Author Topic: Anyone familiar with the Fantasy >> Dragons & Mythical Creatures subcategory?  (Read 226 times)  

Online Vale

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I've been spending time familiarizing myself with the various subcategories on Amazon while finishing up a series and this seems like one of the better fits for what I'm writing. The category is: Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Dragons & Mythical Creatures and I was wondering if anyone had any experiences or insights with it? R. A. Salvatore and Anne McCaffrey seem to be holding most of the spots with their older books. It also seems to be a little heavier on dragons than mythical creatures, as the category suggests.

If it helps, the series I'm writing has sentient gryphons as the characters and no humans. It takes place in a world that's grounded in realism: except for the gryphons, every other plant/animal is based on existing plants/animals and there's no magic. While the scope and feel would make it most comfortable in high fantasy, a "mythical creatures" subcategory seems like a solid secondary-category fit for a series that could be summed up as "armies of gryphons at war in interesting ecosystems."

I think I'm just having a new author problem. Depending on my mood I have bouts of "but... it's reality+1, that +1 is gryphons, but that's a close match to some people's definitions of magical realism" or "it's probably more low fantasy since there's no magic and the only fantasy race is gryphons" or "what if that makes it sword and sorcery, except there are no swords or sorceries..." or... well, you don't need to hear my whining =] I'd just appreciate any insights.

Offline Skip Knox

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Well, you only get two categories, so among what options are you trying to choose?

Also, don't forget you can reference your gryphons (include alternate spelling) in the keywords and in the blurb.

Online Vale

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If people reading the dragons&mythic creatures categories are looking for mythical creatures, I think that's a good fit. I just haven't heard anyone talking about it. For the second, epic fantasy is the clearest fit for tone/expectations, even if it's one of the broadest categories. I'm open to suggestions and still reading. A lot of books that take a similar route (Jess E. Owen's Summer King series) are clearly YA, and YA -> Fantasy has a lot of subgenres in it, like Creature Fantasy. A lot of the borderline gryphon books opt for YA for that category, but my series isn't YA.

Books>Lit&Fic>Genre>Animal looks to be more dogs and urban. I read through some of the entries in magical realism (eight novels by Haruki Murakami, Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves) and it didn't feel like a good fit with what shows up in the charts.

I see what you mean about the alternative spellings eating up keywords. As I finish up my series I thought it would be fun to read all of the gryphon books out there. I found a lot of books that didn't show up at all, depending on how my search string spelled gryphon. "Gryphon" didn't reveal Owen's series with "gryfons" nor the Griffin Mage series in the search results. Gryphon tends to be the favorite for the fantasy animal (it avoids confusion with the last name Griffin and the first name Griffen), but I'll definitely include griffin as a keyword. Maybe griffon, too several animal types (griffon vulture) and the French language prefers that spelling.

Offline Skip Knox

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Remember that keywords can also be key phrases. There's a character limit so you can't stuff them too full, but you certainly get more than just seven words.