Friday, 16 September 2011

Genres - I've got a problem with mine...

I'm having trouble with my genres.  And no, it's not something I should be seeing the doctor about, but as a writer genres are something we're supposed to consider quite important.  But doesn't sticking a label on yourself limit you to a certain type of audience or reader? And does categorising yourself into a certain genre of writing also limit you, as an author, in terms of what it is you actually write?

These are all questions I asked myself the other night as I started putting some serious thought into how I market my books.  Because they are not all in the same genre, and I'm finding it difficult to know what to do about that.

Plenty of glamour, sex & pure escapism.
You see, I've classed myself mainly as a writer of romance.  And I do write romance.  'No Matter What' and 'See You At The Show' are both - first and foremost - romance books, just not your usual idea of romance. But then, what is the "usual" idea of romance?  Isn't romance what you make it?  I mean, there're no heaving bosoms or dashing heroes in my books, but there are plenty of incredibly hot men, beautiful women, and tons of glamour and sex, because that's the kind of romance I like reading about - and I'd quite like to live it too but life's not that bloody exciting, is it?  Unfortunately...

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Genres.  So I'm a bit concerned that by giving myself the label of a "romance" writer I may be mis-selling myself to readers who want a totally different kind of romance to what I'm offering them, and losing out on a set of readers who don't want the kind of thing they think I might be writing! Do you get my drift here?

And then we have another of my novels. 'Too Much Trouble in Paradise', which is also, first and foremost, a romance novel, but it is nothing like 'No Matter What' or 'See You At The Show'.  Whereas those two books are very much romantic dramas, with lots of twists and turns and emotional ups and downs, 'Too Much Trouble..." is a more humourous, a more "real", if you like, look at romance.  I've classsed that book as chick lit, which it is, to some extent.  But I still don't like the idea of labelling something.
Sex, love and lust in the world of rock 'n' roll!

A more humourous comedy romance, set in the sun!
Am I confusing you as much as I'm confusing myself?  You see, now that the past 2 years worth of writing is completed and I've put my first 3 books out there in the big wide world for people to read, and hopefully enjoy, I really need to start knuckling down to some serious marketing.  I need to really begin to make people aware of the books' existence, and this is where my genre problem comes into it.  Do I really need one?  Well, yes.  Probably.  I've got to give people some idea of what it is that I actually write here.

So, yes, I write romance.  And I write for women, so there's a start.  I'm not saying men wouldn't read my books, but - and accuse me of stereotyping here but I can't think of any other way of putting it - I'm not really sure they're a bloke's type of thing, my books.  But I'd certainly love to hear from anyone of the male variety who has read any of my books.  It would be enlightening to hear what they thought of them.

What I write is edgy, sexy romance with a barrel-load of drama and a lot of emotion.  I write glamorous, escapist romance that will make you both love and hate characters all at the same time, and maybe even want to be one of them - for a while!  Because my books have a tendancy to take you on a rolloer-coaster ride as far as relationships are concerned.  But if you like that kind of thing, if you like the get-away-from-it-all, larger-than-life stories and characters that take you away from real life for a bit, then you're the kind of reader I'm looking for.  So now all I need to do is try and encourage that kind of reader to buy my books without giving myself a label that could possibly scare some away and make others think twice...

Any ideas...?

1 comment:

  1. I think it's funny that none of the men who purport to love me have EVER read my work. not by boyfriend, not my dad, not even my gay best friend! Is this because I label it "chick lit"? I hope so, because the only other reason would be that I'm a terrible writer....!