Sunday, July 25, 2010

How do you decide a book's genre?

First, I am typing this down one finger due to a softball injury. It's nothing serious, but I may be down one fingernail for a little while. It hurts, but nothing that wont heal. Hopefully quickly.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law went to church with us Sunday and then to lunch. We had a discussion on the way home about my WIP that's up on Scrib'd. Got some good feedback then we talked about how it was classified as sci-fi over there. My sister-in-law said that if she hadn't been told it was sci-fi then she wouldn't have known that's what it was.

Honestly, while the story has some technology elements that are a little futuristic, there is nothing explicitly sci-fi about the story. It's not a space opera that features ships and aliens and different planets. If anything, it's a near-future sci fi story.

So, this is my dilemma, at least it will be once the WIP is finished, how do I classify this thing? I know that this is putting the cart before the horse. Just finish the story, right? Classification won't matter if there is no story to classify. But still, would I be better off classifying this thing as a thriller? Honestly, it's more of a hard-boiled, noir story. But those aren't classifications available most places. My worry is that I don't want to stick this someplace that the people who would enjoy it, recommend it to friends, would never find it.

Just something I am thinking about.


  1. I've been thinking about it since Sunday. You mentioned noir and that does kind of ring a bell with me. Not sure about classifying it as such but it does have that flavor. I guess you have to classify it, huh?

  2. I'm taking a class on book publishing, and the instructor who is also a published author suggests that the gendre is important early on because it will help determine how marketable the book is and will also attract a publisher before the work is complete. Publishers will also sometimes appoint an editor to assist during the writing phase to bring the work to completion. Hope this is helpful.