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

Which Part of the Book Is Best?

Book Play Pic

COVER: I’m the best. Without me, they wouldn’t even check the book out.

STORY: Cover, you’re just the good looks. I’m the brains.

BLURB: Nobody will see your brains until I convince them to look inside.

PRICE: They won’t see how the story turns out until I show them what a great value the book is.

FORMATTING: My excellent design is what makes it such a great value.

CHARACTERIZATION: The memorable characters generate future sales through reviews, recommendations, and referrals. I draw out the reader’s emotions.

EDITING: Those would be bad reviews if not for me!

MARKETING: I created the buzz for this book, and I generated sales and reviews.

COPYRIGHT: You’re all wrong. I’m best.

BLURB: How the deuce are you best? Nobody even reads the stinkin’ copyright page.

Everyone but Copyright laughs.

COPYRIGHT: If not for my copyright statement, everyone would be getting this book for free. And if not for my fictional works disclaimer, we’d be getting our rear ends sued. That’s how!

STORY and CHARACTERIZATION: Get rid of us, and nobody would want the book for free. You wouldn’t be able to pay people to take the book.

CHARACTERIZATION: Besides, there isn’t anyone – living or not – fantastic enough to be confused with a character in this book.

EDITING: You weren’t so fantastic in the first draft.

COVER: I could have sold that first draft.

MARKETING: No, I could have sold it.

STORY: Only because the story is so amazing.

COVER: Who’s going to read the story if nobody checks out the book? Huh? Answer me that.

MARKETING: Not to worry. I have it covered.

COVER: Really? What if I were the ugliest cover anyone ever laid eyes on? Or what if I looked like a perfect cover for a completely different genre? Would you still sell me then? Huh?

STORY: Readers would rather have a great story than a great cover.

COVER: But they will judge how good the story will be based on how great I look. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

BLURB: Even if the cover is amazing, they won’t check out the book until I capture their interest.

FORMATTING and EDITING: And they would shut the book quickly if not for us.

STORY: Or if I didn’t engage the reader right off the bat. Look, Cover and Blurb, you only have to engage the reader’s interest for a few seconds. I have to entertain the reader for several hours straight.

VOICE: I have you all beat.

PRICE: Who are you?

AUTHOR PAGE: I’m the about the author section.

Everybody but Author Page laughs.

STORY: Nobody even gets to the about the author section until the book is finished. How can you be the best?

AUTHOR PAGE: Because without the author, this book wouldn’t even exist in the first place.

FORMATTING: You’re not the author. You’re just a page about the author.

AUTHOR PAGE: I also generate future sales by sending fans to the blog, social media pages, and fan page.

MARKETING: You can thank yours truly for those pages.

COVER: Much of that marketing features a picture of me. My image makes the book marketable. I’m the brand.

CLIMAX: Excuse me.

BLURB: Yes…?

CLIMAX: I’m what every reader wants. They yearn for me. They read hundreds of pages just to get me. The closer they get, the more they want it. I give them everything their hearts desire. Any reader will tell you that I’m the best part of the book.

STORY: You!? You’re not even a whole page. They read me for several hours, and you just for a few seconds. Why, if not for me, they would never reach the climax.

ENDING: It’s not the climax they’re after. It’s the ending. They want happiness. They want all the loose ends to be tied. I make the readers happy. I make them come back for more in the sequel. I make them recommend the book to others.

COVER: Look! Someone’s coming.

BLURB: Places, everyone!

INTRODUCTION: It’s so nice to meet you.

Chris McMullen, author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers, Vol. 1 (formatting/publishing) and Vol. 2 (packaging/marketing)