Do you know why fiction genres matter in the publishing industry?
Because you, as a fiction writer, want to sell books.
Now, maybe you could invent your own genre like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling or Kurt Vonnegut.
But if not, the safest bet is to pick an established fiction genre until you are so famous your work will be its own genre.
But to get to the point of being so famous you can make up your own genre, you must first understand why fiction genres matter to the writing industry.
Here are four reasons fiction genres matter to you the author:
1- Editors and publishers care about genre.
They have to know what shelf to sell it on.
If you write a query letter with the wrong genre, then the expectation is off and the agent will pitch it in the trash.
2- Readers have expectations.
If you try to sell your book as a mystery and it’s really a Christian romance with suspenseful elements, readers won’t come back.
3- Writers, editors and publishers all want repeat customers.
Readers become reviewers who become repeat customers.
Or put another way: readers become fans who become superfans.
Reviewers and superfans expect industry standard stories within specific fiction genres.
4- Agents sell genre.
Agents have relationships with people who sell books and they sell books based on genre.
Without a clear genre, they have nothing to sell.
5- Amazon categories.
This is super important for indie authors.
Knowing the major fiction genre your books fit in helps you figure out where to put yours.