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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, have you ever gone to place your new book in a category and not been able to find the right listing? Everything felt like it kind-sorta worked but was kinda-sorta misleading to the customer at the same time?

I recently had an idea for a blog article I want to write. Hopefully, the authors of the new, odd, cross genre, weird, and fringe, may be able to help me with part of the research. I need to know what Genre Category or Subcategory you wish might have been there to select for your novel. Provide an explanation of why you wished it existed, if you have a original name for the category and the type of story you see in this category.  It can be super specific or even a clever new name for a mixture of genre crosses.  An Example I might give: I always wished there was a mind-bending category for psychologically manipulative types of fiction (Think: Inception, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind). This way you could have Mind-Bending SciFi or Mind-Bending Thriller. (just an example)

I’d really appreciate anyone willing to contribute some thoughts.  The only incentive I can offer to help me out is that I’ll provide a list of the categories and author’s books that would land in the categories within the post.  So there is a bit of a promotional/exposure opportunity.  I will of course do some quality control and check out how the books have been reviewed before listing them as exemplary of said theoretical category.

Thank you ahead of time for your throughts! 
 

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Well the series I'm writing is Crime/Sci-Fi and while I can cross a lot of genres on Amazon, I don't seem to be able to cross those. I'm no expert at Amazon though so maybe I'm missing a trick. It's making research a bit annoying as everyone says find something similar to yours. I try all the keywords I can think of and nothing really comes close. To be honest I'm not sure if that's a good thing, or really really bad.

Not sure if that helps you at all. My book isn't published yet, it's going to the editor in two weeks :) and so I'll find out in a month or two what categories amazon actually lets me pick. So far I've only looked at it from a readers perspective, trying to find out where I think the book would go. I'm quite new to this.
 

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I write women's Bible studies.  Christian Non-Fiction is a genre category not used much.  A lot of the time the category is "Religious" or "Spiritual".  When they do offer a category for "Christian", a sub-category for Bible studies is rarely available.  Although Bible studies are Christian Non-Fiction, there is a distinct difference between a novel length non-fiction title devoted to discussing the life of Paul vs. an 8 week interactive workbook style women's Bible study.
 

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Taitrina said:
Well the series I'm writing is Crime/Sci-Fi and while I can cross a lot of genres on Amazon, I don't seem to be able to cross those. I'm no expert at Amazon though so maybe I'm missing a trick. It's making research a bit annoying as everyone says find something similar to yours. I try all the keywords I can think of and nothing really comes close. To be honest I'm not sure if that's a good thing, or really really bad.

Not sure if that helps you at all. My book isn't published yet, it's going to the editor in two weeks :) and so I'll find out in a month or two what categories amazon actually lets me pick. So far I've only looked at it from a readers perspective, trying to find out where I think the book would go. I'm quite new to this.
I also write Sci-Fi Crime. What I do is just stick it in all the applicable sci-fi subcategories and all the applicable thriller categories, one of which is Crime. That's as close as can I get to "Sci-Fi Crime" using the traditional category-keyword approach.
 

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Oh my word, I'm going to love your blog! I write quirky cross-genre all the time. Several reviewers who like that sort of thing have read quite a few of my books and mentioned in their reviews how much they enjoyed the quirky aspects.

Here are some of my cross-genre publications...

I actually use my own category to describe my novel, Shade, whenever possible: "Young Adult Mystery novel with Paranormal elements." Readers seem to appreciate knowing beforehand that it's a Young Adult Mystery, not totally Paranormal.

I describe every book in my Trilogy of The Fisherman's Son - The Fisherman's Son, The City of the Golden Sun, and Return of the Golden Age- as "Children's middle grade fantasy adventure novels."

Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies, which will soon be a series of books, could be labeled "Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction/Zombie Fiction/Political Zombie Science Fiction - with a twist of Horror."

My short story, Occupy Faerie, should probably be labeled "Political Fantasy Short Story."
 

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Yup, my Sycamore Moon series is Crime Fantasy. The Seventh Sons is a werewolf police procedural. It's desolate and gritty and bleak like contemporary crime should be, but I love layering in fantasy elements.
 

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I didn't realize this when I wrote and titled my book but Amazon doesn't have a Home Economics category! ???
I did, however, piggyback on a well-known public domain title which I think helped me get some sales  ;D.
 

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There should really be a category for bizarro, and a category for weird fiction.

Both categories defy genre, sometimes explicitly, but they've become their own things that people seek out by name.

A lot of it goes under horror (e.g. H.P. Lovecraft is considered weird fiction), but a lot of it doesn't (e.g. China Miéville is considered weird fiction too, but not horror).

As a reader, I seek out those categories, but usually the only way to find similarly defined works is through also-boughts. Categories would make them easier to find, and looking at additional categories could give an idea of what flavour of weird/bizarro a book really is.

My own Give Me Back My *Censored* Arm is sort of sci-fi with a touch of bizarro. That's hard to communicate in the description without making it too talky and boring, and the categories don't help.

Looking forward to your article!
 

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Phronk said:
My own Give Me Back My *Censored* Arm is sort of sci-fi with a touch of bizarro. That's hard to communicate in the description without making it too talky and boring, and the categories don't help.

Looking forward to your article!
You just got a buy from me. I'll read it tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
  • Okay, So far I've got:
    • SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal Crime | Taitrina | ML-Larson | tknite | Domino Finn
    • Werewolf Noir (?) | Domino Finn - Perhaps Noir is not modern enough for a Police Procedural but I liked the sound of it.
    • YA Paranormal Mystery | Known as Shade | Marilyn Peake
    • MG Fantasy Adventure | Marilyn Peake
    • Post-Apocalyptic SciFi | Zombie | Political | Marilyn Peake - Maybe shorten to Zombie Political Thriller?
    • Political Fantasy | Marilyn Peake
    • Bizarro | Weird Fiction | Phronk - I like Bizarro but I kind of like the idea of just calling it Phronk Fiction
    • Horror Subcategories | Jennifer R P (Any specific ones you hoped they would have?)
    • Mind-Bending Science Fiction | Myself

    Admittedly I was thinking Fiction, but I don't see that It has to be:
    • Women's Bible Studies | Christine Tate
    • Home Economics | jillb

Hopefully the list will keep growing, but as a side project I'd love to come up with some good names for all these categories. I guess think of it this way. If you were going to be known as The _____ Author, what might you want the blank to be? For instance, The Werewolf Noir Author, The Phronk Author, The Shade Author. Ehhh... maybe its not the best way to think about it but it might help http ;)
 

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Here's one:

Urban Rural Fantasy + Romance + Paranormal + Sword and Sorcery= heck if I know. (Oh, and add a touch of beauty and the beast with a side order of gargoyles in there.)

I didn't start out with the idea to write that, honest. It just happened. :-[ [Tried to write a paranormal shifter romance. My characters were like, "You sure you want to go there, with us?" ::Gargoyle hero laughs evilly:: ]

Also known as: why the trad pubs would never touch me with a ten hundred foot pole.

I usually just label it under the umbrella of Fantasy Romance and move on.

::sighes::
 

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Jennifer R P said:
Well, Amazon needs to do horror subcategories. They really do.
Yes, please. I contacted Amazon asking them to get my horror novel into a vampire subcategory, and they were like, "All our vampire subcategories are, erm, romance and teen/YA." (Which isn't totally accurate--there's "Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Paranormal > Vampires"...but that's still not horror and not what I want to choose if I didn't write a mystery, thriller, or suspense novel.)
 

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Yeah, I was really surprised at just how many fantasy categories there were.  I didn't even mean to get sorted into Norse and Viking, and had no idea how I'd managed that at first, until someone linked me to Amazon's cheat sheet. 

Learning that other categories are non-existent, both in comparison and in reality was actually kind of a shocker.  Where do Stephen King books get sorted, then?
 

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My books are categorized as "Steampunk," but I keep thinking that I'd really rather categorize them as "Alternate History Fantasy/Paranormal." Because, frankly, I think there's more in my books for the paranormal reader than the SF reader, and anything Alternate History is, from what I recal,l immediately categorized as SF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Z. Rider said:
Yes, please. I contacted Amazon asking them to get my horror novel into a vampire subcategory, and they were like, "All our vampire subcategories are, erm, romance and teen/YA." (Which isn't totally accurate--there's "Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Paranormal > Vampires"...but that's still not horror and not what I want to choose if I didn't write a mystery, thriller, or suspense novel.)
I just wanted to say your covers are awesome.
 
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