Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guest Post -- A.K. McKay

Morning All,

Today I have A. K. McKay, the author of  Tommy Tippett,  doing a guest post for us titled "gen·re – adjective, noun" Here we go:


A class or category of artistic endeavour having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
It now appears to me that the easiest part of writing a book is the actual writing! I flew through the writing stage of my book. The words flowed and I thought that the writing caper was a jaunt.

Unhappily I was bought to earth with a thud when I realised that it all became so much harder when the writing was finished, even more so for an independent author who has to arrange everything for themselves.
The conclusion of the story was just the start of the journey to get the book published.

One of the biggest problems I have faced in getting my book, Tommy Tippett  noticed was to understand and label the books genre.
For most authors the task of selecting their books genre is a relatively easy one. The subject matter and the storyline of the book falls neatly into an established genre.

Correctly selecting the genre of your book is extremely important as it directs the reader to your work. A reader of horror stories isn’t going to search in the humour genre for their next purchase.

All of my research informs me that selecting the most appropriate genre is paramount to the books success. The incorrect genre label can be a death knell to a books success.

I have been asked many times what is the genre of your book Tommy Tippett? My answer is always the same.....I don’t really know!
The book can’t be easily pigeon-holed. It is the story of a young boy growing up in a beachside suburb of Sydney, Australia in the 1960’s. There is an innocence to the story that would relate well to the young adult market. So put it there I hear you say!

It could sit there but I don’t see the young adult genre as the books main audience.

Later in the book the situation turns a little grim, nothing at all a teenager hasn’t read a hundred times before, but to my mind this turns the book away from young adult to a more adult read.

Totally confused by the genre label for my book I turned to others for help and advice which, when forthcoming confused me even more. I was told it was everything from Christian fiction through to adult fiction, family fiction through to fantasy.

Now I was really confused.

I had to make a decision about the genre when I was uploading Tommy Tippett to Amazon. None of the drop-downs in the genre menu really applied to the book. In the end I basically fired a shot in the dark and submitted the book grudgingly in the young adult genre. I was then, and I am not now happy with the genre under which the book sits.  Sales are slow which maybe an indication that I have the genre completely wrong.

If there is any moral to this it is if you write a book try and understand from the outset the genre your book fits into. By doing so, you will save yourself a lot of angst and anxiety.


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