Genre Limitations

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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Genre Limitations

Post by asiraki » April 15th, 2010, 9:33 am

Dear Nathan,
I wonder if you could lend me your opinion for something that's been on my mind lately about genre. I've asked a few authors about this, and the consensus seems to be that my novel, which is more supernatural thriller with elements of dark fantasy, should be described as anything but horror, because the people I spoke to said that this is a label that potentially scares away most agents and editors. One of the authors also told me that whether I like it or not, the book will be sold and marketed as urban fantasy because it involves a woman who kills demons, even though my novel contains a tad more violence and graphic descriptions than the urban fantasy novels I read. The novel makes use of demonic symbols and some things that are associated with fantasy, but there are no spells, and no magic. So, all things considered, in a query, do you think it would be wiser to describe the novel's genre as supernatural thriller or as urban fantasy? The first thing I consider when pitching my novels is "who is going to read it?" and in this case, even though the gaming/comic book fanboy audience will enjoy the novel, it will also appeal to many fans of urban fantasy. What do you think? I'd appreciate any and all thoughts.

Thank you for your time,



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Nathan Bransford
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Re: Genre Limitations

Post by Nathan Bransford » April 16th, 2010, 12:15 am

I wouldn't worry so much about who is going to read as much as I'd think about which section of the bookstore it's stocked under. Anything more specific than that: just leave the classification to the agent.

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