Searching for a good book
So, you’re out and you’re searching for some choice new novels to read. For your first step you check out the obvious ones at the nearest bookstores and then at home, you also shop around online.
You are open to trying new authors. Maybe you know about small presses and indy presses and maybe you don’t: from the inside the market is complicated.
Have you heard of the following terms bandied about? Commercial fiction, romance novels, cyberpunk, magical realism, ebooks, free downloads, $25 in hard back, $22 in soft cover. Is it all just a jumble
Best Selling Genres – offline & online
Online, women at least are spending more on romance novels and ebooks than on any other type of fiction en masse. As a woman, I found that offensive to be perfectly honest, and did not read anything in the romance category until one of FB friends’ authors (as an author I managed to get a good 20 to 30 other pro authors into my FB friends’ list – many are women), well, she was promoting one of her novels rather than one of her nonfiction witchcraft books and I decided to try it. Unlike a lot of the romance novels there was a woman on the front – usually there is beefcake on the front or else boobs. Her book’s cover art wasn’t like that so I tried it.
Wickedly Dangerous is actually dreadfully disappointing for those seeking a torrid sex romp novel which I had expected it to be. Instead of leaving me blushing half the time, or nauseous, or rolling my eyes at the cliche writing “Donovan reached around and pulled her tightly into an embrace their skin tingling and slightly steaming in the sea air…” It really wasn’t like at all. In truth I felt it was a novel that for some reason only a publishing company that felt confident about selling a woman author’s work to loads of other women felt could be marketed as a romance novel although there is barely more than one kiss in the entire story. I felt that as a regular novel – or a fantasy novel or novel with fantasy elements it was pretty good but as my preconceived notion that romance novels are pornography for women – it wasn’t even smutty. Gad.
The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead, which I actually wrote and is for sale at this site, has more sex in it than Wickedly Dangerous, but isn’t a romance novel. Hm, maybe I just didn’t have the right agent? In truth, I was hoping that both men and women would be interested in it. What genre is it?
In truth, I think it could be defined more than one way and I’ll try to explain why.
Commercial fiction – well, I’m not sure about that. I am pretty sure it just means popular to a very wide audience, in which case my novel could be called that, unless I am horribly deluded. If it means contracted before it was written for at least 6 figures, then The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead isn’t like that.
Magical realism – actually definitely yes on this. The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead does have ‘realistic occultism’ or ‘realistic magic’ in it, but almost nothing as flashy as one would find as minor in fantasy genre novels. It’s all done up as if it were the real world – like the one you and I live in.
Urban fiction – again, definitely yes. As an author I confess to be slightly puzzled whether this means anything other than the story being set in a city. I should know that, I’m an author, but I can assure you that the novel setting and characters all operate in the big city of Indianapolis. What this is like, by the way, depends on what the reader is used to. Indianapolis really is a big city, but for those used to giant cities it is very mellow and much smaller. For that reason, as a person and as an author I call the gigantic ones Megalopolae as per the comic book Judge Dredd who lived in a Mega City.
Crime fiction – yes, The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead is a novel about crime – actually it is about crime prevention. However, the novel is not a thriller which turned off at least one literary agent who I approached with the book. There are several mystery elements to the story, and there is crime in it.
There are threads about morality within the story, mostly clearly represented by different characters. It is mostly black and white, but is also sort of about dealing with morally grey areas – do the means justify the end? That’s left up to the readers to decide.