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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Based on my most recent review, apparently my book, Cyberdrome, is in the wrong genre: Instead of "Science Fiction Thriller" it should be "Science Fiction Romance" because there is a love story involved and my protagonist told his ex-girlfriend, "I never stopped loving you." Okay, when it is brought to my attention, it does sound a little cliché, but hey, it's 5 words out of 90,000--I don't think it should define the book. ;)

Anyway, I'm not here to trash the review, but actually to use it to bring up a pertinent point. Choosing your genre, sub-genre, or cross-genre is a fairly important decision that many of us Indies (myself included) probably make without giving it much thought. I didn't choose high-tech science fiction, and scifi thriller because I studied what was selling best, I just guessed that they matched my book's general themes and went with it.

However, this particular reviewer's comments reminded me that while I have always aimed my promotions, book covers, and descriptions, towards the hard-scifi, predominately male demographic, the majority of my real "fans" (based on reviews and lots of emails) have all been women. So maybe I need to either rethink my genre-placement for the next book, or reconsider who my audience is. I did write Cyberdrome as a love story in a believable science fiction background, and maybe I need to admit that the love story part of it is more appealing, and start talking to a different audience.  

So, what about you? Is there a chance your book is in the wrong genre? Might it sell better, or get better reviews in another?

 

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OK, I haven't read Cyberdrome, so I can't speak to whether that reviewer is right, but merely having a love story does not make something a romance. (And actually, the term "love story" is distinguishable from "romance.")

For something to be a Romance, the focus of the story must be the romance itself, and the story must have a HEA (happily ever after). If the focus of the book is the other elements, with the love story secondary, then it might be a "novel with strong romantic elements" or it could simply be that there is a love story involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Amanda Brice said:
OK, I haven't read Cyberdrome, so I can't speak to whether that reviewer is right, but merely having a love story does not make something a romance. (And actually, the term "love story" is distinguishable from "romance.")

For something to be a Romance, the focus of the story must be the romance itself, and the story must have a HEA (happily ever after). If the focus of the book is the other elements, with the love story secondary, then it might be a "novel with strong romantic elements" or it could simply be that there is a love story involved.
I agree. Amanda. You know, every genre has it's own "hard-core" followers, and many in science fiction are especially so. They have have very high standards and very narrow viewpoints on exactly what science fiction is or should be. It's one reason I now stay off the Amazon science fiction boards. My problem is when I say the heart of the story is about relationships (boy-girl, father-son, human-human-like program) people tend to think it will be "soft" scifi, when in reality the technology and futuristic concepts are realistic and well thought-out (I'm a scientist myself, so that part was easy). However, if I "sell" the high-tech thriller part, I get reviewers like this one who balk at the love story. I know full well you can't please everyone, which is why I don't mind receiving negative reviews (as long as they are being honest). My point in this thread is to see if others are finding that their stories are not exactly fitting into current genre categories, and maybe learn what they are doing about it.
 

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Joseph, I am glad you asked the question. I am currently pondering the same about my novels. I think that your blurb and your cover are great, and only if you strongly believe it will make a substantial difference, you could try to play around with both of them. As a reader I personally love scifi with a dash of love story, and I look for books accordingly. So, maybe I am not the only one :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
momilp said:
Joseph, I am glad you asked the question. I am currently pondering the same about my novels. I think that your blurb and your cover are great, and only if you strongly believe it will make a substantial difference, you could try to play around with both of them. As a reader I personally love scifi with a dash of love story, and I look for books accordingly. So, maybe I am not the only one :)
Actually, Cyberdrome has been out for three years now (published Jan 2008) and with 4,000 sales so far, I think I will leave it alone. I'm thinking about the sequel, and maybe how best to promote it when it comes out...
 

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Joseph: The characteristics that you are describing in your book are actually what I look for in science fiction, so I downloaded a sample.

I read science fiction of many types; I could readily list scifi books that I consider hard science, space opera, classic, thriller, or humor. I'll let you know in what camp I would put yours after I read it, but from what you say I don't think it's misplaced as a science fiction trhiller.

Good point about thinking through your genre choice though. My WIP has a love story, but it's part of my MC's development and not actually the point of the story in and of itself.
 

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You bring up some interesting points--especially about understanding who our audiences are/could be.  One of the important things about being an indie author is that we don't have to stick to traditional genre definitions, and many of us don't.  From what you've described, it sounds like your book crosses into some non-traditional territory, being both hard sci-fi and yet strong in the character/relationship department.  I have to admit, hearing about that aspect of it makes it seem more appealing to me.

If you weren't just about done with a sequel, it might be fun to alter your categories/description, etc. for a while to see if you draw in a different audience and have better or worse success, but as you said, it's selling well right now, so I wouldn't mess with it when you need it to sell the new one.

--Maria
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ripley said:
Joseph: The characteristics that you are describing in your book are actually what I look for in science fiction, so I downloaded a sample.

I read science fiction of many types; I could readily list scifi books that I consider hard science, space opera, classic, thriller, or humor. I'll let you know in what camp I would put yours after I read it, but from what you say I don't think it's misplaced as a science fiction trhiller.

Good point about thinking through your genre choice though. My WIP has a love story, but it's part of my MC's development and not actually the point of the story in and of itself.
My comment about Cyberdrome being mis-categorized was sort of tongue-in-cheek, but it illustrated the importance of proper genre placement, but thanks for looking into my book :)

Cheers,
-Joe
 

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Here's my question (and I am serious), do you have to limit yourself to one category?  Why not have it in as many categories as possible?  It's not like a DTB which can only be on one shelf.  With an e-book, you can tailor it to different audiences at different times, can't you?
 

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Note: This was being written as new posts came along.

I've also wondered about this in relation to my title as I learn more about the world of Kindle and epublishing.

I wonder if authors here do cross-market or go with whatever market seems best.  I also wonder if altering descriptions on a sequel will broaden an audience or risk disappointing a new audience that might be seeking something the book was never meant to deliver.  I suppose it all comes back to the reader.  I imagine the audience ultimately decides; if your book is selling and selling well, it looks like you've found your market, which is great.  Some of us are still looking, but you leave those like me with something important to consider.

 

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KDP only allows authors to list their book under two categories (i believe in the past they allowe four catgories). So it´s important to choose the correct categories. For instance, today I´ve decided  I will change one of my categories.

I´m listed in Thrillers and Suspense categories. But what is the difference between them? Aren´t both the same? And which is the difference from mystery?
 

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I've been thinking about this topic for the last week or so. I think I'm going to target the YA group. I'm still not entirely sure what YA is since it's not a genre, but I'm sure my book could be placed there. I'm not sure what affect this will have. Unfortunately, it means I'm going to have to slightly tone down some of the things in the sequels.
 

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Another thing to keep in mind is that no matter what categories you assign for your book, Amazon will sometimes add it to different categories.

I don't know what formula they use or how they come up with additional categories for your book.

I've had my contemporary fantasy story appear in action/adventure, paranormal, horror, men's adventure and a bunch of other categories. The lastest category it appeared in was lad lit which made me do a double take.
 

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I have a romance weaving through my second book but I still wouldn't put it in the romance genre.

The romance readers would slate me as there are some quite graphic sex scenes in it!

I wouldn't take your reviewer's advice on that one.  ;)

 

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Great topic. I was just wondering this very thing uploading my first book today.

I am wondering if anyone has any tips on choosing categories. Is it best to start 'safe' with categories? Has anyone had success choosing some unusual cross-genre combos? Has anyone noticed changes in sales when they changed their categories later?

BTW as far as I can tell, in the KDP book details categories, there is only Juvenile and all its subcategories. Does that translate into children's in the Amazon store itself?
 

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Someone posed this question of my book, which I consider a science fiction thriller, on my thread calling for cover feedback.

vrabinec said:
Another vote for #2.

However, I'm not sure how this qualifies as sci-fi. Books about experiments gone wrong, pandemics, that sort of thing typically fall into mainstream unless there's an element of outer space involved like in the Andromeda Strain. If this really is sci-fi, then your blurb doesn't convey that. Though, the blurb is pretty effective as is IMO.

As to the title, I actually like it.
This was my reply:
Ripley said:
Though I appreciate the vote of confidence, perhaps my blurb needs revision to highlight the time travel element (my reason for labeling the book as science fiction). Chapter two starts with my secondary character in the midst of his time travel experiment, and most of the book alternates between the journalist and the physicist until their stories merge. I'm not adverse to a genre change, but I think it's science fiction because I used time travel to expand on the science of viral transmission (admittedly stretching the plausibility of the latter the breaking point) and how the consequences of a time travel experiment gone wrong could basically create a super flu. Science fiction explores alternate possibilities and the consequences of scientific innovations; it is often set in a fantastical setting (the future, space, etc.), but it doesn't have to be.
Any additional thoughts? You can read my blurb here.
 

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If the time travel is by way of some sort of technology I'd say it's science fiction.
If the time travel is by mental powers or magic, then it's fantasy.  If it sells a
bajillion copies then it's mainstream.  I think the question of what genre to put it into
is one that I am going to have to think about for my book, which is  a sort of blend
of genres.  Right now I've got it in two genres that I think are similar, and that
may be a mistake.
 

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I think every story I write has romantic elements in it. That's just the kind of story I like to read. I don't think I'd call a single one of them a Romance though.  ;D

Seriously though, from your blurb I think you placed it correctly. You might look into trying to push into some different places with your review choices though and see how it goes? I certainly wouldn't approach a pure romance blog, but you could try something a little more skewed toward women?
 
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