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Genre classification plays an important role in a book’s life. Publishers, agents, and advertisers use genres to bring your book to market. And readers use it to find your book. The genre determines where the book is placed in physical and virtual bookstores and in libraries. It helps sellers lead readers to books they may like based on past purchases. It also helps identify the book’s competitors and audience, both of which impact marketing, messaging, and sales. The genre even affects where the book is placed in bookseller catalogs and which literary agents support a book project. Ultimately, your chances of selling a book go up when it is accurately classified.
Genres start with two major categories, fiction and nonfiction. Beneath these are adult and young adult sub-categories and beneath these are hundreds of additional categories called sub-genres. Genres are also defined by considering aspects such as theme, style, plot, subject matter, and even gender (women’s fiction).
Children’s books can be part of the fiction or nonfiction genres. However, these books are further categorized by the target age of the reader and other details, such as the number of words or the subject matter.
Now that you know more about genres, we encourage you to review your own book and decide the genre in which it best belongs. Verify that the language, word count, and subject matter match with your target genre. If necessary, change either your target market or the elements of your book so it can be properly classified. Then, keep working on getting that book to market!
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