The Trouble with Genres

This article is just great! I’m not her target audience, but the problem with genre expectations and publisher marketing seems to just muddy the waters.

Essentially, the genre label, meant to be helpful to the publishing industry, has proven confusing to the readers. Some expect it to fit nicely on the bookshelf next to other urban fantasies where a barely-clothed, well-endowed woman with a steely expression sits splay-legged in a graveyard. No offense to the character on that book cover, but when my Gabrielle Gayle sets out to demolish were-witches, she does so with all her parts covered and protected. She’s beautiful and sexy, but she will leave the lipstick at home in favor of packing her daggers. But, I have accidentally found myself on my soapbox about the over sexualization of female heroes in fantasy. Back to my point, for months, I trolled the aisles of bookstores and pulled countless titles off the shelves falling under the urban fantasy umbrella, lined them up to look at their covers, and asked myself how, and even if, my novel fit in with these. It does, mostly, but it also fit in with other books, novels that are a part of another sub-genre, dark fantasy. Dark fantasy has closer ties to horror than urban fantasy does, and poor horror has its own battles to fight when it comes to audience presumptions. After only a few months as a member of the New England Horror Writers, I have already been to some events where audience reaction was either excitement or blunt rejection. At least people know what it is to be classified as horror, for the most part. But, horror seems to be even more polarizing than fantasy. People either can’t get enough of it or steer clear of it, buying the books for that odd friend or family member who likes “that kind of stuff.”

 

Read the entire article here and weep at her perfect insight:

The Trouble with Genres | KaseyShoemaker.com.

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~ by poǝןɔɐɯ uǝʞɔɐɹq on 09/02/2012.

One Response to “The Trouble with Genres”

  1. “I trolled the aisles of bookstores and pulled countless titles off the shelves falling under the urban fantasy umbrella, lined them up to look at their covers, and asked myself how, and even if, my novel fit in with these.” mark of a good philosopher and malcontent, right there. great blog and writing! cheers!

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