Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Genre Separates the Indies from the Traditionals

Genre is the one place where you may find a major difference between traditionally published novels and indie published novels.

Traditionals fit into bookstores
Traditionally published novels have to fit into a very narrowly defined genre space in a bookstore. The author has to adhere to the rules of genre so that the novel is easily identified as belonging to the genre. A mystery story is clearly distinct from its first cousin, the thriller, for example.

Unless you are a well-known author of best sellers, the reader isn’t shopping for your book in a book store. Instead, the reader is browsing the shelves looking for an interesting mystery, thriller, romance or whatever genre they prefer. The challenge for the new traditionally published author is to build a fan base that will seek books written by them in the future.

The indie difference
Indie published authors don’t have to worry as much about genre definitions because they aren’t marketing in traditional bookstore outlets. And their fan base is built from loyal family and friends and word-of-mouth. Such buyers are buying the author more than the book. Indie novel readers tend to select the author first and the book second.

The challenge for the indie author is to reach new readers through social media and online marketing combined with speaking gigs and traditional PR efforts. Indie authors still need a genre to identify the book’s place in Amazon or Smash Words, but the author self-selects the genre.

The indie author need only select the genre that most nearly fits what the story is about. This leaves the indie author with more freedom to mix genres and experiment with genre formats in ways traditionally published authors can’t. This is a subtle difference, but one you can notice if you look for it. But you have to know the basic rules of the genre you enjoy reading.

Speaking of reading...
My new horror novel Hags is about an ex-con who is accused of serial murders while battling a human-sized faerie and a couple of hags as evil as any from the Middle Ages. As the body count mounts, will he learn the secret of the hags before he becomes their next victim?

Today is the last day to download Hags for free. But you have to act before midnight tonight. Obtain your free copy for your Kindle reader by clicking here.

Don’t have a Kindle reader? Download the free version for your computer or smart phone from Amazon by clicking here.

Here’s another novel idea…
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