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This Q is for a friend who's not a member because she's not on the internet much.

She wrote a book that has garnered a few top reviews from Vine reviewers but sells very slowly, like one or two a month. It's an awesome book, IMO. It's set in the 1960s about a woman archaeologist who is searching for closure from being betrayed by a lover and who also meets the guy who later becomes her husband. There's a lot of focus on her adventures, the lost love and betrayal, and the developing relationship, all intertwined.

Trouble is, the book ends in a non-trad manner in that the woman ends up going on a personal journey instead of marrying the new guy. I think it's cool, but you don't realize she does end up marrying the love interest until you read the afterword. The story is complete w/o reading the afterword, but you don't know this fact about them getting back together, and thereby the happy ending - the story revolves more around personal growth from being betrayed.

She's had it in the historical fiction category, and is wondering what would happen if she put it in the historical romance category. Would readers be mad at the ending and give bad reviews?  Thanks on her behalf, I'll forward the answers to her.
 

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If it's about her personal journey, I might consider putting it in the new women's fiction category. It's still fairly small and not too competitive, so she wouldn't need to rank too highly to get visibility from it. :)
 

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It's not a romance (and it's not a historical romance). Unless there is a definitive HEA (happy ever after) or HFN (happy for now) with them together, don't put it in romance.

Historical romance is typically pre 1920s.
 

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What is the conflict driving the plot? Is the plot about falling in love? Or is it about her personal growth (of which falling in love is merely a part of that growth, and perhaps is the reward for getting everything else right)?

If the former, then it is a romance. If the latter, then it sounds like women's fiction.

Romance always has a HEA ending (or at a minimum, HFN). If not, then it may have strong romantic elements, but it is not a romance.
 

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smreine said:
If it's about her personal journey, I might consider putting it in the new women's fiction category. It's still fairly small and not too competitive, so she wouldn't need to rank too highly to get visibility from it. :)
This.
 
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