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Are you SURE you know your genre and category for your book?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an author tell me, “My book is an adult fantasy,” but after I begin editing, it becomes apparent they were way wrong about either their category or genre. 

Either they have the wrong category (age range of readers; Children’s, MG, YA, NA, Adult) or they have their genre wrong (paranormal, romance, suspense, fantasy, etc.). 

Why is it so important to nail my category and genre, anyway?

First, you want to make sure you’re categorizing it correctly in KDP (or Ingram, Lulu, etc.).

Second, you want to make sure you’re marketing to the right group of readers (super important).

Okay, so how do I know for sure that I’ve got the right category or genre?

Let’s start with category. 

First, ask yourself the age of the protagonist and most of the central characters in the story. If they’re mostly teens, for example, it’s probably YA. All or mostly adults? Then, it’s adult. And so on.

Second, take a look at the subject matter contained in your plot. If the key points of your novel deal with teen issues, it’s going to be YA. If the protagonist is under 18, but the subject matter deals with more adult issue, etc., it might actually be adult. 

Third, what is the median age of the readers who would get the most enjoyment/fulfillment out of your book? Do you think mostly adults would relate to this, regardless of the protagonist’s age? Then, it’s probably adult, and so on. 

If you’re not sure, always ask an expert or Google it. 

Now, on to genre.

To determine the proper genre for your novel is a bit more difficult. It mostly depends on certain key elements that must be contained in any given genre. If those elements are present in your story, then you know that’s the right genre for your book.

Let’s say, for example, your story involves two people who fall in love, struggle to make things work, but ultimately wind up happily ever after. THAT is definitely a romance novel. 

If you’re unsure, do some research online as to the rules of the different genres, including manuscript length, key elements, and subject matter. See which ones most closely fit your story.

Or, I have an even better idea. 

I created a Genre Rule Book just for you! Some of you already have this, but if you don’t have it, and you’d like to receive this full-color, mini ebook that walks you through the different (main) genres and the rules that apply to each, feel free to email us at info@writeyourbestbook.com and ask us for copy now.

Hope this has been helpful and that you now have the right tools to make sure you’ve chosen the right category and genre for your story. 

Talk soon,

Christina Kaye