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Thread: Categorization

  1. #1
    Marva L. Dowdin
    Guest

    Categorization

    Maybe, we can start by getting information on how to determine a genre; ficton, non-ficton; general or whatever. For those new writers, who are struggling. Marva



  2. #2
    Shane Sutliff
    Guest

    Categorization

    Yes, I believe that would be good to offer. Any ideas anyone? How about links which would clarify different genre's?

  3. #3
    Sasha Tompke
    Guest

    Categorization

    Shane & Marva: I'm not sure I understand what you mean by gathering info about genre classification. We all (should) know fiction from nonfiction, so I assume you're talking about the finer distinctions that fall under fiction and nonfiction. Like romance vs. hardcore thriller vs. suspense vs. popular culture. And general how-to vs. step-by-step vs. overview vs. guide. These are areas that drive me nuts when I'm trying to classify a work to match a publisher's list. Some stuff I wouldn't dream of calling suspense, but the publisher does. Mainstream is the most confusing category for me in all of fiction. What in the world does "mainstream" mean? Does it have less romance and mystery? Does it have general appeal to middle-aged adults? What?

  4. #4
    Rita Ruby
    Guest

    Categorization

    What's a coffee-table book limited to including? Mostly photo essays? Can it be a book about a popular topic? I'm working on a tell-all book that would sit on my coffee table if I bought it (and it was [were?] authored by someone else). Dare I pitch it as such or should I stick with "popular culture" as its market? Maybe it's a hybrid of both.

  5. #5
    Brian Thompson
    Guest

    Categorization

    Rita. Sounds like coffee-table reading to me. But, then, I put just about everything on my coffee table except coffee. Why not pitch the book as a coffee-table book that appeals to popular curiosity?

  6. #6
    Carol Jose
    Guest

    Categorization

    I'm going to try to get a definition of genres from my agent, who keeps screaming at me that publishers aren't going to change genres for me....so apparently there are some rules written in the sky somewhere!! It was easy when I was writing non-fiction. But fiction....whew! You're right SASHA, it's a "drive you crazy" area... Let's all work on getting good definitions of genres and posting them in here...

  7. #7
    Marva L. Dowdin
    Guest

    Categorization

    I agree with you all here. To a new writer this could be confusing. Marva

  8. #8
    Rita Ruby
    Guest

    Categorization

    Carol. I, too, look forward to what you pull from the sky. I specialize in nonfiction and, still, I often find myself wondering how agents will interpret a piece. Step-by-steps define themselves for me, but I've encountered a few editors who thought they were photo essays! My grey areas begin with guides and skill builders. Some meet two or more sets of criteria. Lately, more and more publishing houses are age-limiting their "mainstream" nonfiction -- a marketing ploy that spins my head.

  9. #9
    Carol Jose
    Guest

    Categorization

    RITA: And so what does "age-limiting their mainstream non-fiction" mean?? See what I'm saying?? Even after ten moderately successful years in this game, editors and publishers speak an argot I don't...Pubonics??

  10. #10
    Sasha Tompke
    Guest

    Categorization

    Carol & Rita: You're not kidding. I, too, have encountered age-limiting. I think it's a by-product of specialization. I've found it broken down this way: Newborns (plenty are gifted enough to read from day one, if you believe their parents), toddlers, pre-schoolers/daycare kids, elementary grades, middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, college-age, early adults (different from young adults -- teens), late 20s, just about know what they're doing 30s, biological tick-tockers and true middle lifers (late 30s, early 40s), free-at-last 50s (unless they're raising 8-year olds they had in their mid-40s), pre-seniors (early 60s), and seniors (65+). Age boundaries overlap a tad, but, generally speaking, within each age-group you have a host of other things to worry about: mainstreamers, culturally diverse, ethnic dedicated, religious influence, you see how crazed it is?

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