Monday, February 25, 2013

Fiction/Ghost or Fiction/Romance/Paranormal?

And you thought writing was tough?  So I'm thinking about our ghostie book and what genre we should list it when we're finished with it.  We want to choose a genre that matches the book, no doubt, so we narrowed it down to two genres - paranormal mystery and paranormal romance.  I was thinking though (the book marketer coming out), which of the two genres is the most popular?  I mean, the book could fit into either genre, why not choose a genre that would appeal to most people (thus more sales)?

So I posed the questions on Facebook and I got some pretty good replies.  All I asked was which of the two genres do you like to read and by doing this I could get a guessestimate of how many liked one genre over the other.

One of our past clients and dear dear friend, Steve DeWinter, pointed out that according to the BISAC, there isn't even such a thing as a paranormal mystery.  Ugh.  Looking through the genres they have listed, it would only fit under either Fiction/Ghost and Fiction/Romance/Paranormal.  I'm okay with the first but the second looks more like it but I really didn't like romance being the forerunner since this book isn't a romance novel per se.  God this stuff is confusing.

So I wanted a few ideas on what exactly was a Fiction/Ghost and found this page at Goodreads.  Yeah that looks about right.  So I decided to do the same thing with Fiction/Romance/Paranormal and I found this interesting article on what is paranormal romance.  Okay I'm getting it but still not 100% sure.

The book is a mystery.  It has ghosts and it's built around a love story between a mortal man who wants to contact his dead wife.  There are lots of ghostie things going on, it's one big mystery after another but the romance just isn't there except for the romance between the mortal and the dead wife.

And of course there's Henri the ghostest with the mostest having an affair with one of the mortal women, so there's two instances of romance going on but it's fleeting and not a big part of the whole scheme of things. 


This writing stuff is harder than it looks.

So I found a list of book titles listed under paranormal romance at Goodreads  I personally like humorous paranormal books.  It would definitely fall in that category especially with the fun cover we're going to give it. 

So this is why I'll get an author who says "My book is a fiction/paranormal/juvenile/crime/mystery/blahblahblah.  God I hate it when they do that.  You have to narrow it down to one, I want to scream.  But they probably had a time with it just like I'm doing now.

Blah.  I think I'll go get some work done to take my mind off this or I'm going to go crazy.


  1. I have the same dilemma. My I love to write lighthearted paranormances, well... love stories, where the couple-to-be has to solve some sort of problem. In The Heidelberg Ghost, for example, woman falls in love with a ghost and they have to set out on a quest to find a missing jewelry box to release him from a spell. So, it's a pretty clean love story with the focus on the treasure hunt. I've been classifying it along the lines of paranormal romance, fantasy, chick-lit, woman's fiction. So, I feel your pain... Maybe we need to campaign for a new official category of ghost fiction... ;-)

    1. My goodness I would love to read that, Nickie!

  2. I have the same problem. I originally considered my book a 'chick lit' book with a ghost/paranormal slant. I have been a number one best seller on Amazon in the paranormal romance/ghost genre but my book is not a romance. There is a hint of it, but the book is mostly about a oman whose mother dies, comes back as a ghost and opens a portal to the afterlife in the process. It's a book about relationships and a woman coming to terms with the changes in her life, most importantly, losing people she loves and seeing ghosts. Bookbub labeled it a fantasy but it's not really that, either. I've had three agents tell me they like the book but don't know what genre to list it as if they were to sell it. It's frustrating. And I worry that being labeled fantasy and/or romance will tick those readers off because it's really not one of them.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Carolyn! It's hard to figure out where to place a book if it has elements of several genres. I think even Amazon and the publishers have a hard time with it, lol.