View Full Version : Genre Problems with Querying

01-08-2015, 01:10 PM
I've had problems in the past trying to classify my book by genre.
I'm happy with my book, but feel that I'm making poor decisions about who I'm querying. I feel like I could classify it a few different ways, and was curious if anyone out there has had luck with querying your book as a few different genres and to those genres' respective agents?

I don't want to give my book a five word long genre classification, but I'm having a hard time finding where it fits in, if anywhere.


Old Hack
01-08-2015, 02:46 PM
You have to know what genre it is in order to query it successfully.

If you're not sure, find books like it and see where they're filed on bookshop shelves.

If it genuinely does straddle more than one genre (and although many writers think their work is genre-straddling, it rarely is), then you can query agents in both genres, so long as you write appropriate queries for each.

Cathy C
01-08-2015, 03:58 PM
You might try posting your concerns in the Interstitial forum (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=195). They're pretty good at coming up with the ruling genre.

01-08-2015, 06:43 PM
I second Old Hack's excellent advice. Find some comparison titles and see how they are shelved. You can also query it different ways, either by simply changing the genre or subgenre, or by having different versions of the query to emphasize different elements.

01-09-2015, 12:03 AM
I third Old Hack's advice. Book stores and libraries.

It may be easiest to first start with a category and work from there. For instance, is it fiction or non-fiction? Is it Adult, YA, MG, or Children's? Once you have that nailed down, it may make it easier to figure out the genre. When it comes to genre go with what a majority of the writing fits into. For instance, Cathy above has an Urban Fantasy novel being re-released. Let's assume it's for YA, so that makes it a YA in the Fantasy genre with an Urban sub-genre, thus you could say YA Urban Fantasy. If it has small portions of other genres, as most novels do, don't worry about those. Query with the major genre and let the agent adjust it.

01-09-2015, 02:53 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone, I definitely know that is Adult Fiction, but beyond that I still need some help. I will try the method of looking for similar books and what genre they are classified as, and will also try posting for help in the Interstitial forum. :)

Debbie V
01-13-2015, 07:31 PM
You can also look at agents that rep all of the genres you think it might fit into. There are some who are generalists. It is still helpful for you to focus the query on the genre represented the best by your manuscript though.