Know your Readership!

With the pitch-to-literary-agents event PitMad currently happening, the importance of accurately targeting your book to those who will enjoy becomes especially clear.

Even J.K. Rowling didn’t have her big break until the child of the agent she had solicited gave the “Harry Potter” manuscript took to the story – thus clarifying that the most appropriate genre for the book was actually Children’s, a younger age group than Rowling had initially been scouting.

So, how to know the best genre(s) suited to your story? First, there can be multiple – I generally cap at three. For self-published authors, Amazon has generously come up with a multitude of subcategories for the main book genres. Browsing said categories can help you determine exactly which best fits your plot.

For writers looking to pitch to agents for traditional publication, consider what popular books resemble your story in terms of plot, themes and characters – this will help give an agent a clearer picture of how your book fits into the current market for its genre. One example (you might need to humor me here) could be: “Phantom of the Opera” set in space.

Just remember – when it comes to marketability, always keep up your reading. Trends come and go quickly, especially in commercial/genre fiction, and you’re most likely to land an agent if your story carries similar tones to presently popular books.

But, as always, never forget to stay true to that unique twist that makes your book yours alone!

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