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How to Choose a Genre for your Book

hello everybody before I get into

anything I got two things to say one

yeah I know I missed last week cliff had

spine stuff going on I was helping him

with his spine stuff same old same old

but a bunch of you sent really nice

messages and well-wishes and I just

wanted to say thank you so much for

being so sweet and understanding and the

second thing I have an announcement a

lot of you folks have been requesting

this and now I can officially say that I

will be selling signed copies of EB

Awakening if you want to get your hands

on this pretty lady and you want my name

scribbled inside of it you can buy one

from me my money and yes she ships

internationally so if you're interested

I got the link to the order form listed

below all of the details are in that

form get one for you get one for your

friends or just get a bunch for you and

[ __ ] your friends all right another that

it's time to get to today's topic and

that is Jean roux a lot of you been

asking hey Jenna how the hell do I

figure out my books genre now for the

record is super important to know your

genre because picking the right one will

essentially guide your target audience

directly to your book but if you're just

starting to write or outline the book

I'd argue that figuring out your genre

probably doesn't need to be your top

priority right now worry about telling

the story you want to tell don't try to

force it into a box right from the

get-go but if you've been plowing

through your manuscript and you've got a

good grip on the story now would be a

great time to categorize that [ __ ] here

are some steps you may want to implement

in order to help you pick the right

genre for you step number one is the

most obvious step familiarize yourself

with all genres if you're a writer and

you don't know of at least 10 john Rah's

you got some homework to do get to know

the various genres sometimes this is the

only step you need to do if you skim

through a list of genres one might pop

out at you and be like hey it's me I'm

the genre now some of you have asked me

but Jenna where do I find a list of

genres you google it good gravy people

have you never heard of the internet get

to googling find yourself a list or five

and check them out breathe through the

descriptions see if any are calling your

name but if after doing this you still

haven't been able to narrow down your

genre you move

on to step two breaking your book down

to its basics as writers it's really

easy for us to believe that every teeny

tiny nuance in our book is important and

they are important just not when it

comes to nailing down your genre for

this step you're going to break your

book down into its most important parts

by asking yourself a few questions first

question what's the plot some genres are

content driven fantasy novels usually

have magical elements sci-fi novels

usually have futuristic elements but

genres like action adventure and mystery

hone in directly on the plot if your

plot involves epic journeys or high

stakes then you've probably written an

action adventure novel if literally the

entire plot revolves around freaking the

[ __ ] out of your audience then you've

probably written a horror novel second

question where and when does the book

take place if your book takes place on

Mars in the year thirty fifteen


written sci-fi if your book takes place

in the mystical land of unicorns then

congratulations you've written a fantasy

also send me this book still not sure

then you move on to the third question

got any monsters any ghosts goblins

hydras chimeras if you've got any

creatures that go bump in the night

you've probably written a horror novel

or a paranormal novel if you got

creatures that breathe fire you're

probably looking at fantasy last

question what are the primary

relationships being developed in this

book boy meets girl they fall madly in

love they suck face then maybe some

genitals if this sounds like your book

I've got news for you you've written a

romance you sweet SAP you now if your

book is light on the love but heavy on

the sucking primarily in the crotchal

region then congratulations you've

written an erotica

now take a shower you filthy animal now

keep in mind just because your story

features sex and romance doesn't mean it

falls into those genres lots of books

have romantic subplots but a subplot

doesn't necessarily determine the genre

alrighty you research your options you

ask yourself these questions you should

probably have your genre nailed down by

now or you might have finished this step

and realized that your book fits a

variety of genres if that's the case we

move on to step three eliminating and/or

combining options it's really common for

a story to fit

than one genre but you got to be honest

with yourself and pinpoint which

elements are most prevalent and which

ones not so much just because your book

is complex and unique doesn't mean you

got to label it as a young adult action

adventure sci-fi fantasy or a romance

slow your roll

you want to take the less important

elements out of the running even the

awakening features a romantic subplot

but since the love story isn't the focal

point of the book it's not going to be

relevant to the genre what did I say

about subplots eliminate them get on out

of here

now if you've done this and you're still

left with two or three genres guess what

you can combine them fantasy is a genre

adventure is a genre if your book takes

place in a fantasy world and it follows

a character on an epic adventure guess

what you've written a fantasy adventure

lots of books fit more than one genre

but the key is to be selective about

your combination so now that we know the

general genre of our novel we move on to

the last step figuring out the ages of

our target audience specifically we're

determining if our book is young adult

new adults or adult adult if your book

is for children I would hope that you

know that for clarification young adult

books tend to be targeted to high

schoolers new adult books tend to be

targeted to college-age folks and adult

books or for adults now it's super

common for adults to read young adult

books or college-age folks to read adult

books and so on and so forth but you

still want to know which age group your

book is geared toward because they're

going to make up a bulk of your target

audience so the first thing you want to

look at is the age of your characters

more often than not your characters ages

will mirror the age of your target

audience most young adult books feature

characters in high school most new adult

books feature characters in college and

most adult books feature adults that

said you're going to need to know a

little bit more than the age of your

characters if you're going to nail down

the target audience for example look at

the books content is there sex is there

violence if yes is it graphic young

adult books can feature sex and violence

but it's usually watered down a bit it's

sort of softcore you know what's

happening but you don't really get to

see all of it

then we look at new it'll these books

can feature sex and violence that's more

graphic than you'd see in a young adult

book because the characters are older

and thus in theory the audience is older

as well

said new adult books usually feature

characters who are either in college or

they're living the college experience

that means they're handling independence

and adulthood for the first time they're

leaving home they're getting jobs

they're finding themselves if your

characters are between the ages of 18

and 23 but they're not in college or

their story really doesn't have much to

do with that kind of experience then

it's probably not a new adult book

lastly we have adult books are your

characters adults if not does your book

feature graphically adult content then

well done you've written an adult book

that's it so there you have it these are

the steps to nailing down your genre

familiarize yourself with the different

categories break your book down into

pieces and more than anything be honest

with yourself about the content and

don't forget to figure out who your

target audience is if your book is for

teens and you didn't slap a big white a

on that genre guess what they're not

gonna buy it with that said don't forget

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yourself one of these puppies you'll be

glad you did and I would also like to

give a shout out to fellow writer

extraordinaire Danielle Rhodes she is an

impeccable example of writers who help

other writers and I totally wouldn't

have been able to get these signed

copies ready if it wasn't for her help

you should definitely check out Danielle

she's got a super awesome blood book

trilogy I've got the link to her website

listed below and don't forget if you

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