Which Genre Is Best?

Genre Pic

ROMANCE: Everyone knows I’m the best genre. I give readers the happy ending they crave.

EROTICA: Honey, you’re just a tease. I have what they really want.

SELF-HELP: That’s not quite true. What people really want is a healthy relationship with a warm, breathing body. A romance provides an escape from reality. But with a relationship guide, people can have a better reality.

ADULT: It’s not the relationship part that’s the challenge; it’s the intimacy. I’m the three-letter word that everybody wants, but most people are afraid to talk about.

MYSTERY: Relationships are fueled by passion. What kind of romance are you going to have if you need to read a guide to learn how to do it? People want books to entertain them. I give them a puzzle to solve to engage their interest.

SUSPENSE: If you want to really engage your audience, you need elements of suspense.

COMEDY: What’s more entertaining than humor? Everybody loves a good laugh.

FANTASY: Why not have it both ways? I offer the reader a better reality and I entertain the reader.

SCI-FI: But your reality is too far-fetched to be believable. I do it with a better version of the real universe.

HISTORICAL FICTION: Are you kidding? Jumping through wormholes, extra dimensions, aliens, going back in time… Who are you calling unbelievable? What I do is take events that have actually occurred in reality and make them better.

PUZZLES: You’re living in the past. I give people a way to make the present more fun.

COMICS: Exactly. And I do it in color with pictures.

CURRENT EVENTS: What’s wrong with reality? I show readers that the real universe in the present is really quite fascinating. It turns out that the truth is stranger than fiction.

POLITICAL SCIENCE: Ain’t that the case? And there isn’t a more fascinating current event than politics.

ETHICS: Where have you been? Politics is the reason reality is so screwed up right now. If everyone read me, the world would be a much better place.

HOW-TO: People can read you, but you’re not going to change people. The way to make reality a better place is to read a how-to guide. We have a guide for everything.

TEXTBOOK: Technology makes the world a better place. You can’t do rocket science or brain surgery with a how-to guide. You need a technical book deep in knowledge.

SPIRITUAL: Don’t you see the problems in society caused by having so much technology without the wisdom and spiritual harmony to go along with it? Look at the happy children playing with rocks and sticks, and the unhappy spoiled children with cell phones and video games. What we really need to teach is how to get along with other people, how to believe in ourselves, and how to overcome adversity.

RELIGION: And what would be better than the word of God himself to show you exactly how to do that?

PHILOSOPHY: That would be a lot easier if there weren’t so many gods and religions to choose from.

CHILDREN: The important thing is to get kids reading early. Teach them the fundamentals they need to succeed in life. Give them the gift of reading. If they don’t learn how to read as children, every genre will be out of business.

TEEN: The critical stage is when the child turns into a teenager. Most people want to ignore teens, or just punish them for bad behavior. What we need is to understand the problems of the teenager and help them through this critical stage of their lives. It can have a drastic impact on their adult lives.

SPORTS: That’s where I come in. I give them something they enjoy doing, provide plenty of exercise, keep them too busy to get into trouble, and teach valuable teamwork skills.

POETRY: Really? Then why are so many professional athletes getting into trouble with drugs and legal problems? Let’s face it. No matter what you do, people will have problems. I help people understand the human experience better, and I inspire them through creativity.

DRAMA: Nobody can illustrate the tragedies of life better than I can.

TRAVEL: When life beats you up, you just need to get away from it all. I can take them to the perfect place and help them enjoy it while they’re there.

COOKING: You can’t run away from your problems. Everybody feels better after a good meal.

LEGAL: That’s a good idea. I’m starving. Let’s all have a good meal. Besides, if you think you’re better than I am, I’ll just sue you for it.

Copyright © 2013 Chris McMullen

11 comments on “Which Genre Is Best?

  1. Amazing… Ha! Gave me a good laugh. 😀
    I guess, it is not about the genres. A book appeals to us because of the way it is written and the plot it presents. This genre mess is way too difficult to comprehend and understand.
    A well-written post. 🙂

  2. Another list where mainstream contemporary fiction is not present! I feel left out. I don’t want to have a tragic ending – bittersweet is a better description: not everybody wins.

    It is ‘a novel of obsession, betrayal, and love.’ but doesn’t fit well within the category romances: they have certain expectations which I don’t satisfy. And although it involves adults, it is not ‘adult’ nor erotica.

    It’s just a novel, set a few years back, in the intersection of three lives. What you would look for under Fiction in a bookstore. I aim for literary quality – but not writing (told from alternating viewpoints of the three main characters, I am limited in my language to the way each of them thinks and speaks.

    Please add ‘Fiction’ or ‘General fiction’ to your list! Or even ‘Literature and fiction.’ Or ‘Contemporary fiction.’

    You said you want to be inclusive…


    • True, this “play” is missing some of the popular genres. If it’s any consolation, literature is one of my favorite genres. 🙂

      Books that don’t quite fit into a popular genre seem to have a marketing disadvantage, unfortunately. Yet some of these books are very good and quite refreshing; if there were an easier way for readers to find them, they have a lot of potential. However, if the book is good enough, word-of-mouth sales can potentially overcome this; and there are ways to spread the word through marketing (here, the uniqueness of the subject can inspire interest).

  3. I suppose the Stanley Saunders Series of which “An Eastend Boy” is the first book, is the easier to write.

    Set in East London after the war it tells how Stanley becomes a honed killer. Whilst along the way he has adventures with various women but also reveals his caring side. Through it all runs the love story between himself and Gillian, plus his relationship with his rather dangerous mother.

    Life in the East end of London after the war was not pretty. People were bombed out and did what ever they had to to survive. Stanleys mother is a prostitute but she loves her son – her only mistake – and he loves his mother, it is into this very dangerous and violent world that Stanley walks when protecting her from the villans and others who would harm her.

    I have just published the prequal A Perilous Future which shows Stanley growing up during the war and exactly how dangerous his mother was.

    Having said that I am not too sure which genre it should fall under, crime, sex, or adventure any ideas?

    • That’s a tough call, but an important call. Feedback from readers who are familiar with all or more of the story may be helpful here (especially, if they actively read any of these genres). From your description above, I can’t tell. However you choose to go, I encourage you to market the book that way—make the cover fit that genre, angle the blurb toward that audience, and check that the Look Inside fits with this. Definitely, if you can select the best genre, it will give your book the best chance of success. Good luck with your book. 🙂

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