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What’s All The Fuss About Genres? Where Does Your Book Fit In?

What’s All The Fuss About Genres? Where Does Your Book Fit In?

As a regular person – a reader –  genre’s never got in the way. I never gave them a second thought. I  glanced at the cover, read the synopsis, scanned the first chapter, flipped through the pages, then either purchased or put it back on the shelf.

NOW, as an author, there’s this genre problem staring me in the face.  After the light bulb goes off in my head, the writing is done, the synopsis is written, the editing and proofing has filled many countless hours of my days, and my book cover is in place. It’s time to pick a genre. It’s all a part of the publishing process.

And don’t think, what’s this fuss all about, because there are genres and then there are sub-genres. It’s important to place your book in the right category because evidently many readers search by genre. List it in the wrong category and you may never be found, lost in a sea of misfits. Each time you list your book for sale (Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc.) you are asked to list its genre, then add a sub genre.

Sure, they give you a list to choose from, but not every list is identical. Nook may not have the genre you chose on Kindle. Smashwords  may have the genre, but not the sub-genre. I think its a game they all play! LOL! “Let’s see if we can stump her again!” And they usually do. I would probably do better without lists. Give me a box to type into!

Am I the only one with this problem?  I usually have to classify ‘Crossing The Line’ as general fiction wherever I publish. That’s the easy part.  Then the sub-genre becomes a problem. I don’t consider ‘Crossing The Line’  a romance – more of an un-romance! Where’s that on the list? Contemporary has come up – Women’s Contemporary. To me, that throws the boys out! haha! And I have had men read my book. I found this definition of Contemporary:

Contemporary: a romance using modern characters and true-to-life settings.

But there’s that romance thing again. There’s a small romance there, but it’s not the biggest plot in the story. A romance was not what I was going for. I have been told from readers it’s a great beach read. I’ve never seen Beach Read on a genre list. That would probably not narrow it down enough anyway. We would have to know what kind of Beach Read. For women? For Men? Acck! So what do I do? Where do I go from here?

Here’s my synopsis of ‘Crossing The Line’ to give you an idea of what I am fretting about, because as soon as I have the sequel  ‘What Line’ completed I will have to go through this whole ordeal again. I want to be sure I have ‘Crossing The Line’ listed in all the right places with all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed!  ‘What Line’ will be able to follow in the same footsteps!



Helena and her husband Jim have three grown children, their second grandchild on the way, and a strong thirty-year marriage. At least that is what Helena’s family and her best friend Gabby presume.

However, when Jim begins spending more and more time at work with Lori Walters, his new assistant, and arrives home way too late at night for Helena to be comfortable, she starts to dig. And what she uncovers will alarm you! Jim, a closet narcissist, (scoring eleven out of fourteen qualifying points) is in denial, and their marriage is failing because of it. All the chaos in her life makes it hard for Helena to concentrate on her business as a decorator and furniture refinisher, as she slowly unravels incriminating evidence against him.

Helena must hire a new contractor to help her with the latest project she undertakes, and Wayne comes into her life, adding a sweet twist to the mystery. Hot flashes and anxiety attacks are almost too much for Helena to handle, as she tries to find the best way to deal with Jim, Wayne, and her stressed marriage.

As Helena struggles to keep her marriage intact, and her feelings for Wayne buried deep inside, her best friend is in need of her assistance in another state, and her daughter is due to deliver the new baby any day. Helena wrestles with her conscience to determine who needs her most, pushing her own needs aside.

From this description how would you, the average reader, classify ‘Crossing The Line’?



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

4 responses »

  1. I would say Contemporary but didn’t know that had connotations of romance. It’s such an archaic system isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. General or literary fiction, contemporary. But I would add keywords that included romance and/or relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well you know the score – sometimes general is the only listing, contemporary usually has women attached and there is not always a place to add key words. Relationships is good – I hadn’t thought of that one. Thanks for the suggestions Susan!



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