Are You My Genre?

While fixing my site’s containers, re-doing the front page, and examining other writers’ sites, the branding debate has grown more and more…well, confusing.

One of the most important aspects of branding (and the publishing business in general) is knowing your genre. Pitch to an agent or editor without those all-important labels, and prepare to have them yell, “Noob! The power of Nora compels you! Be gone!”

That said, I do take this pretty seriously, and I do realize there’s a lot more to branding than genre, because — hard as it is for me to believe these days — there may come a time when I feel like writing in a different genre.

Still, genre’s extremely important for the most powerful people in the publishing business: The Readers. Genre labels help readers find authors, and the very last thing I want is for a reader to pick up one of my books believing they’re about to get one thing, then get quite another.

I’ve tagged myself as romantic suspense, but I remain unconvinced. It seems most publishing houses market romantic suspense as romance with a mystery or suspense element, as if romance were a paper doll and suspense is one specific outfit it can wear. The black Kevlar catsuit hanging between the Laura Ashley Inspirational and the Historical Vintage Dior.

Reader opinion may vary on whether The Living Legend is a romance wearing the catsuit. Personally, I don’t think it is. Probably more like an action figure wearing the suspense catsuit with the Prada romance boots.

So what does that make me? Action-adventure romance? What is action-adventure romance? Does anyone even know?

Mmm… romantic thriller? No one uses that anymore, do they?

Single title character driven psych-suspense thriller with romantic elements? Yee haw. Boy, that sure does lend itself well to snappy catch phrases. Not.

Why is this so hard? It’s certainly not as if I haven’t read widely enough to know what’s what, and I do know my market. Mine aren’t the books to pick up when you want a couple carefree hours of short-and-sweet. Mine are the ones to look for when you’ve hours to kill and want something a little more involved.

And of course there’s the whole e-publishing issue. Almost to a man (or woman), the uninitiated seem to believe the E stands for Erotica, not Electronic. I definitely don’t fall under that umbrella although believe me, there are days I wish I did. I don’t think people even realize there’s “other stuff” available.

Anyway, somewhere in all that is the formula for my perfect brand. Should anyone run across it, please ask it to call home. It’s an emergency.

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5 Responses

  1. :help!: I have a Vista..and that has to be what the guy owned. :omg: 😳 :censor:

  2. …and that proves it. I also can’t find the correct block to leave comments. Kick me out of the gene pool.
    :banghead:

  3. lol

    :hug:

  4. I have a hard time branding myself. I have novels coming out that are futuristic, paranormal and contemporary. Hard to brand.

    So I have a shoe on my site.

    /shrug

  5. Send me ALL your books, Emma Wayne Porter, and I shall BRAND YOU.
    Okay – that was just a sad yet transparent attempt at free reads. *g*
    But seriously, I’m going to download Living Legend, cause I like your wit… :tyty:
    but AFTER Harry Potter :notwrthy:

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