Oct 3, 2011

Genre Mashups

So, I've been gone(ish) for a week or two, constantly updating one post with New Voices information, but doing very little else here.

Today, I'm back(ish). And I have absolutely no insights to give or share, instead I have some big crunchy questions:

Aside from the whole, 'we don't know what to catalog this manuscript as because it crosses genres...' thing(which seems to be more bookstore related and maybe not such a big deal now that there's so much self-pub/epub), is there any reason NOT to storm ahead and from the outset determined to write across a couple-three genres?

Are there any rules for crossing genres? Any you feel are done to death? I know that when they go poorly, they REALLY go poorly... but are there guidelines to doing it well?

I asked Amazon, and they had no craft books to offer me on the subject. Instead they were all... hey look at THAT book over there, isn't it shiny? So I'm askin' you fine people!


  1. I don't think there's any reason not to try it. Think of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. That book did so well and it definitely crossed genres. It might be helpful to know which is the MAIN genre, but I love books with lots of elements in them.

    Good luck! :)


  2. I say, don't worry so much about how to classify your book. Write what you love, and write a book you'd want to read, and you can't lose. Follow your enthusiasm and instincts, because a good book is a good book, no matter what shelf it occupies.

  3. I wish I knew the answers. My guess is, it would be easier to sell to eharl with only one genre. Maybe epubs would have more wiggle room though? xx

  4. @A.L. -- I actually haven't seen or read Across the Universe. I really need to remedy that, since I've now read about it online and am totally intrigued.

    @Susan -- You're probably right. I have so many ideas, I'm always trying to find some way to filter them. Not just what might be unacceptable, but what might be unexpected in a *good* way. Like I know I like Romantic Comedy and I know I like Historicals -- is there a market for Historical Romantic Comedy? I can't think of having seen any, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't do well. Or then, maybe what is great about RomCom would utterly fail to mesh with what's good about Historicals. You know? (I do really want to try that, but I honestly don't know if it would fly -- I know RomCom Paranormal has a hard time!)

    @Aimee -- I have no idea either. I want to say that there is room at HQN because there are some main lines that are already focused on some genre crossed with romance. Historicals, Nocturnes, Intrigues... Once upon a time there were Flipsides(romance + chick lit), and I think at one point there was another short-lived line that were kinda action-adventure with an ass-kicking heroine... I don't know the genesis story of these lines though. I wasn't actively watching the market ten years ago. And maybe you can only cross two genres? RomCom's are already two crossed genres, so if you add another element, maybe that's where it all goes to pot. I really have no idea haha. I have lots of questions, though.

  5. There are definitely historical romantic comedies. Think Julia Quinn, Loretta Chase... Even Jane Austen books were reckoned to be pretty funny at the time. In fact, I read an article the other day which had that the best selling element in historical manuscripts was humour. So I thinks that definitely a goer. (I hope so that's what I'm aiming for.) I love regency rom coms as all the period manners seem so well suited to it. Some I've read are even quite slap stick in places.


Spammers have found me again, so to save my inbox and avoid an extra, useless, and extra-useless daily task to nick the useless comments, captcha is on!