Marketers are always interested in labeling books. And it makes sense, really. If a book is labelled 'romance' a reader knows instantly to expect a story where a romantic relationship is front and center, and where everything ends with happily ever after. The same concept applies to other genres --readers know what to expect from a book labelled science fiction or horror or mystery.
Sometimes, though, books fall between the cracks and don't fit easily into one genre or another. Such is the case with Confessions of the Sausage Queen and one of the hardest things I've had to do is figure out exactly how to categorize it as a book.
Is it romantic comedy? Well, it's certainly a comedy, and it has some romance in it, but the romance isn't the central part of the story. Is it a mystery? There is a kind of mystery wrapped into the story--who is trying to destroy the sausage business and why?-- but, no it doesn't fit the mystery category. . The closest label I've been able to come up with is 'chick lit' because it is light and funny and it is, above all, Mandy's story. Still, I can't say I love the chick lit title--it always reminds me of little bits of gum sold at the check out counter of the local convenience store.
But, for lack of anything better to call it, chick lit it is. I think--and I know I'm a bit prejudiced because I wrote the book-- it's more than that. A funny quirky romp that made me laugh as I was writing it. Maybe it's a slightly romantic funny girl in charge go get the bad guy and save the day book. Yeah, that's it. Isn't there a category for that?
What is it Syndrome
8/4/2014 04:07:52 am
I agree! Some books just don't fit the established categories well. I've struggled with this too--Compass North is women's fiction--romantic suspense--Alaskan fiction--mystery (maybe)--mainstream fiction. It's been reviewed by a number of romance sites, but it's not structured like a classic romance. But readers do like labels...
8/4/2014 04:27:54 am
I know what you mean, Stephanie. What I write is much better defined as 'women's fiction than romance, but since much of it has strong romantic elements, it's often marketed as 'romance' and I sometimes wonder if that isn't disappointing to readers who pick up the book and expect something different than what they find. Though, personally, I like books that don't fit into tight categories.
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