It's great to have Tabitha Barret here today discussing the dilemma of categorizing books so readers can easily discover them. Always a hard thing! Be sure to check out her new release, The Third Throne: Angel of Death.
Finding the Right Genre for Your Book
by Tabitha Barret
First of all, thank you Marsha for asking me to write a guest blog for your site! I love sharing my experiences so that I can help future authors avoid some of the mistakes I have made along the way. I wanted to talk about book genres and explain the importance of finding the right genre for their books when they are ready to market, advertise, and sell them.
When authors create their works, they aren’t necessarily thinking about how they will be categorized in the marketplace. They write what they know and love, but may not try to identify it as a specific genre. It’s wonderful when authors break the rules and create cross-genre or unique stories that can’t quite be classified as one specific category, but it can be dangerous when they are ready to market their book. Every site that reviews, lists, or sells books will ask the simple question of,“What is your genre?” The problem arises when the author has to choose from a specific list of narrow categories. Their book may not fit into one of the check boxes and are forced into the General Literature category, or worse, a genre that doesn’t really fit their book. It can mean poor sales and damaging reviews.
If a book site is truly devoted to selling books, they will allow for additional keywords so that authors can describe their book in more detail. Labeling the book properly is vital to finding the right readers. They must think about their book as whole and come up with overall themes. They can use the keyword searches to their advantage and drill down into their story to find the best words that describe their book.
Personally, I write a series called,“The Third Throne,” which is about Lucifer, Hell, and Fallen Angels. The series itself will have various creatures such as werewolves, vampires, and creatures that I have created myself. My first book, “The Third Throne: Angel of Darkness”, falls into Paranormal Romance, but also Urban Fantasy. Not all sites have either category, so I have to put it into Romance. This genre is a broad category and my book would most likely be overlooked by someone looking for Regency or Contemporary Romance, so I’m already at a disadvantage. Hopefully, using keywords like Fallen Angels, Hell, and Apocalypse will help me find my readers.
The second part of the problem comes when readers find a book and decide that the chosen genre doesn’t meet their expectations. They will suggest their own genres and sometimes criticize the book because it doesn’t match their preconceived characteristics of the genre. This happened a lot with my first book. The cover of the book shows a young woman creating a violent storm. For some reason, people immediately thought it was a Young Adult novel. My book contains sexual situations and is intended for Mature Audiences over the age of 18.The genre of Paranormal Romance, which is supposed to imply sexual relationships, didn’t deter readers from thinking it was Young Adult. A number of reviews said that it was a YA book, while others said it was New Adult. Honestly, those two genres are on the exact opposite of the spectrum, so it confused me to no end. I learned that I had to advertise the book in such a way that would show readers that my book didn’t fade to black during the intimate moments and that it did contain adult situations. The genre of Paranormal Romance didn’t protect me enough, so I had to clearly state that this is Adult Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy and that it was “steamy.” I even had to add a content warning to Goodreads that the book is intended for Mature Readers. Since safeguarding my descriptions, I’ve had less confusion. So far my second book, “The Third Throne: Angel of Death”, has avoided these pitfalls with my detailed descriptions.
In short, know how to describe your book in an honest way and do what you can to list it properly on book sites to gain the readers who will enjoy your books. The wrong genre listing can mean disaster for your book sales.
The Third Throne:
Angel of Death
The Third Throne Series
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Heather Baker
Date of Publication: 7/31/2015
Number of pages: 530
Word Count: 223,833
Cover Artist: Heather Baker
Anjali has embraced her destiny to end the world, but now she must find her ten Harbingers, known as the Predznak. She is determined to find Alazar, the Angel of Death, the former leader of the Predznak, before the other angels. She fears that he has lost hope and is close to becoming a Rogue Angel.
Alazar has spent too many centuries waiting for his Master Anjali to come and claim him. Deception and lies have kept them apart, but now it’s too late. He has vowed to the other Predznak that he will kill their Master so that they can be free.
During her search for Alazar, Anjali meets the Spirit Experts, paranormal investigators who are on a collision course with the Angel of Death. Anjali finds herself strangely attracted to one of the Spirit Experts and decides to become a part of their group in an effort to keep them safe from her dangerous angel.
Can Anjali stop Alazar from killing the Spirit Experts and destroying the surrounding town? Can she keep Lucifer in the dark about her affections for the mortal man? Will unseen enemies destroy all that Anjali holds dear?
The Third Throne: Angel of Death is the second book in the steamy Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance series.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/lmijIjDuvZk
Available at Amazon
Anjali felt the temperature of the room drop until ice particles formed from her breath. The world around her fell away and went silent. The only sound she could hear was her heartbeat. At first, it was strong and steady, but the tempo slowly changed until it sounded like waves crashing on a beach. A brilliant blue filled her vision and she saw the ocean waves rippling and dancing in front of her. She could practically feel the sand between her toes. It was a peaceful sight. All of her worries were gone and she breathed a sigh of relief. She no longer had to worry about destroying the world and killing everyone. Staying here in this serene place would be wonderful. There would no longer be blood on her hands and the fate of the world would be someone else’s problem. She could just drift away with the tide and be free.
She knew this feeling. It was simple and easy to understand. If you let go of your worries, you will find happiness. She sighed, wanting to be happy.
Happy? The thought floated to the surface of her bewildered mind. There was no such thing in her life. She was a servant of Lucifer, of Hell. Angels were meant to bow to her command and do the will of God through her. Something was wrong. She wasn’t destined to be happy, nor was she at the beach. She was in a cold, dark place without oceans and sand. Romania. She was in Romania with Alazar, her Angel of Death, and he was tempting her with his power.
The storm that dwelled inside of her, just below the surface, welled up as it recognized the feeling of death. It yearned to reach out and touch Alazar’s power. It felt familiar, but not because she had experienced death before. It was familiar because it was a part of her, a missing piece. Her power reared up and clawed at her insides. It fought to reach Death and welcome him home. The only thing holding it back was her ring. She used her thumb and carefully wiggled the ring off her finger until she heard the small sound of metal hitting stone. Plink.
“Enough!” she screamed, letting her power rush to the surface.
Alazar was perplexed by her scream. He thought he was winning. She had seen the ocean and had become complacent in her thoughts. What was happening? No one ever broke free of his control, unless they resisted the temptation, which was rare. He never let them escape. He never backed down from his temptation of a person, until they were dead. Something felt dishonest about that as he watched Anjali break free of the vision.
It’s wrong to push people beyond their breaking point, he thought, just before he felt the air stir.
He tried to release her face, but couldn’t move. He knew he was in trouble when her blue eyes turned black and glowed with power.
About the Author:
Tabitha Barret graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English. She married the guy from her Creative Writing class and together had two amazing children. They live in a quiet town in New Jersey with their three rambunctious dogs. She is currently working on her series, The Third Throne.
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/thethirdthrone