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Author Topic: Bear in Sheep's Genre  (Read 4273 times)

Offline Conan

Bear in Sheep's Genre
« on: March 30, 2015, 05:23:12 AM »
I will admit that I am guilty of blending genres, many modern authors are. I love romance and all that.

It's easy to slip a little romance or science fiction into a fantasy story.

Hell, Even Aragorn and Samwise chased a little tail.

But when I go to Amazon and look at the top 10 sellers in Fantasy, I have to take a step back and pause.

Best selling Fantasy Novels:
#1=Outlander
#2 =Fur-Given
#4 =Fur-Gotten
#5=The Bear's Bride
#7=Bear Seeking Bride:Trent

I am sure these are all great books for their target audience, but....

Is this really Fantasy? Isn't this romance?

Maybe it is time for these books to be declared as a completely separate genre?

And I don't just mean sub-genre either....something new ....like Enchanted Bear Boys or Vampire Booty-Call.

It's awfully hard to get ad space, and makes a pretty frickin hard sell for us sword and sorcery folk.

c
Tied up and twisted; gnarled and knotted with wrinkles; haggardly firm and unyielding; his eyes glowing like coals, that still glow in the ashes of ruin; untottering Ahab stood forth in the clearness of the morn; lifting his splintered helmet of a brow to the fair girl's forehead of heaven.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 08:38:52 AM »
But can't people looking for sword and sorcery just look under the "sword and sorcery" subgenre...?

Look, I feel your frustration, thought I'm coming at it from a different angle. I'm making a list of agents to query, and an awful lot who are listed on QueryTracker as representing "fantasy" only rep urban fantasy, which is not what I write. But I can't deny that a book featuring vampires, werewolves, elves, whatever having sword duels (and heaps of sex, perhaps) in the streets of modern US cities is a pretty fantastical book. It has just as much right to the "fantasy" tag as my story of sorcerers, harpies, thieves guilds and gangs of teenage duellists set in a completely made-up world. Just it's more urban fantasy, and I'm more epic or high or low or world (the nomenclature varies) fantasy.

We're all in subgenres, because this is a big and beautiful and complex genre, and that's a great thing. It means there's something for everybody, and ways for everybody to find their specific something. Even if that something is bears.

Offline Conan

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 01:37:21 PM »
But can't people looking for sword and sorcery just look under the "sword and sorcery" subgenre...?

I don't consider swords and sorcery to be a sub-genre of Fantasy, they are the genre.

Start spending $2.00 a click for ad space and you might find yourself a little less willing to share a genre.
Tied up and twisted; gnarled and knotted with wrinkles; haggardly firm and unyielding; his eyes glowing like coals, that still glow in the ashes of ruin; untottering Ahab stood forth in the clearness of the morn; lifting his splintered helmet of a brow to the fair girl's forehead of heaven.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 02:15:00 PM »
I once complained to a Waterstone's employee when I noticed that the books that copied '50 shades...' (by Sandra something, I think) were shelved in the Fantasy section >:(
He said something like "they have supernatural events" (can't remember exactly now) and I just rolled my eyes at him and mumbled away...
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Offline Conan

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 02:33:32 PM »
I just rolled my eyes at him and mumbled away...

I enjoy romance in Fantasy. Where would the genre be without Robert E. Howard? Conan the Barbarian was always out swiving. I think romance adds great depth to a character.

But at what point do we draw a line in the sand, when love becomes the main theme of the book--versus action and adventure?

Before long, fantasy may become so accepting of a spectrum of elements, that it gets swallowed up completely and returned to the dark ages our founding authors worked so hard to write their way out of.

We may find our writing swords sheathed, and ourselves stuck in a corner, wearing a dunce hat, and reading worn copies of Jane Austen novels.

c
Tied up and twisted; gnarled and knotted with wrinkles; haggardly firm and unyielding; his eyes glowing like coals, that still glow in the ashes of ruin; untottering Ahab stood forth in the clearness of the morn; lifting his splintered helmet of a brow to the fair girl's forehead of heaven.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 03:09:06 PM »
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

I'm "She Who Reigns Over Us All In Crimson Cheer", according to Peat!

Offline Conan

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 03:31:49 PM »
Interesting article:

https://www.waterstones.com/blog/crossing-genre-1cab122e

Interesting article, again...he is not paying for ad space like I am.

One of the perks of reaching middle-age, is that the illusions of idealism fade--along with the irrational influence of testosterone.

Personally I greatly enjoy books that blend genre's, and in that respect I wave a white flag of surrender. But the war-torn trenches on the battlefield of marketing, do not allow one to wear gray armor. I must pick a side and fight for my chunk of land.

In the words of Gandalf  ~Go back to the shadow, you shall not pass!~

c
Tied up and twisted; gnarled and knotted with wrinkles; haggardly firm and unyielding; his eyes glowing like coals, that still glow in the ashes of ruin; untottering Ahab stood forth in the clearness of the morn; lifting his splintered helmet of a brow to the fair girl's forehead of heaven.

Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 06:05:00 PM »
But can't people looking for sword and sorcery just look under the "sword and sorcery" subgenre...?

I don't consider swords and sorcery to be a sub-genre of Fantasy, they are the genre.

Start spending $2.00 a click for ad space and you might find yourself a little less willing to share a genre.

See, this is your problem. S&S is not Epic Fantasy. S&S is not Dark Fantasy. S&S is not Urban Fantasy, but they're all encompassed under the same title. Thus, it is a sub-genre. Fantasy denotes "the Fantastical." If that happens to involve a little love with a bear, so be it. The market is bloated with genre-defying monstrosities (especially in the ebook market), and yes, it does get a bit taxing when paranormal romance gets all the love. But you need to remember, it's still a part of the Fantasy spectrum.

You're paying money for ad space that I can assure you won't compete with a brand spanking new Starz "original" series (Outlander). Which strikes me funny because it's obviously Science Fiction, not Fantasy but eh.

But all in all, cordoning off "Romantic Fantasy with a Bear" will get you nowhere. People are still going to buy it. Does having #1 on a chart of some off the wall sub-genre matter at the end of the day? No. People buying your book matters. This is called competition. Genre labeling should not matter in marketing, only through personal reviews and recommendation, but that's an entirely different debate.
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Offline Conan

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2015, 06:23:04 PM »
But can't people looking for sword and sorcery just look under the "sword and sorcery" subgenre...?

I don't consider swords and sorcery to be a sub-genre of Fantasy, they are the genre.

Start spending $2.00 a click for ad space and you might find yourself a little less willing to share a genre.

See, this is your problem. S&S is not Epic Fantasy. S&S is not Dark Fantasy. S&S is not Urban Fantasy, but they're all encompassed under the same title. Thus, it is a sub-genre. Fantasy denotes "the Fantastical." If that happens to involve a little love with a bear, so be it. The market is bloated with genre-defying monstrosities (especially in the ebook market), and yes, it does get a bit taxing when paranormal romance gets all the love. But you need to remember, it's still a part of the Fantasy spectrum.

You're paying money for ad space that I can assure you won't compete with a brand spanking new Starz "original" series (Outlander). Which strikes me funny because it's obviously Science Fiction, not Fantasy but eh.

But all in all, cordoning off "Romantic Fantasy with a Bear" will get you nowhere. People are still going to buy it. Does having #1 on a chart of some off the wall sub-genre matter at the end of the day? No. People buying your book matters. This is called competition. Genre labeling should not matter in marketing, only through personal reviews and recommendation, but that's an entirely different debate.
You are right, I submit to defeat. I guess the Fantasy I grew up with is dead. I was named after Conan the Barbarian so I guess I am biased. If you can't beat em, join em.
My next protagonist will be a ninja-kitten.
Tied up and twisted; gnarled and knotted with wrinkles; haggardly firm and unyielding; his eyes glowing like coals, that still glow in the ashes of ruin; untottering Ahab stood forth in the clearness of the morn; lifting his splintered helmet of a brow to the fair girl's forehead of heaven.

Offline Raptori

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Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2015, 06:54:15 PM »
But can't people looking for sword and sorcery just look under the "sword and sorcery" subgenre...?

I don't consider swords and sorcery to be a sub-genre of Fantasy, they are the genre.

Start spending $2.00 a click for ad space and you might find yourself a little less willing to share a genre.

See, this is your problem. S&S is not Epic Fantasy. S&S is not Dark Fantasy. S&S is not Urban Fantasy, but they're all encompassed under the same title. Thus, it is a sub-genre. Fantasy denotes "the Fantastical." If that happens to involve a little love with a bear, so be it. The market is bloated with genre-defying monstrosities (especially in the ebook market), and yes, it does get a bit taxing when paranormal romance gets all the love. But you need to remember, it's still a part of the Fantasy spectrum.

You're paying money for ad space that I can assure you won't compete with a brand spanking new Starz "original" series (Outlander). Which strikes me funny because it's obviously Science Fiction, not Fantasy but eh.

But all in all, cordoning off "Romantic Fantasy with a Bear" will get you nowhere. People are still going to buy it. Does having #1 on a chart of some off the wall sub-genre matter at the end of the day? No. People buying your book matters. This is called competition. Genre labeling should not matter in marketing, only through personal reviews and recommendation, but that's an entirely different debate.
You are right, I submit to defeat. I guess the Fantasy I grew up with is dead. I was named after Conan the Barbarian so I guess I am biased. If you can't beat em, join em.
My next protagonist will be a ninja-kitten.
Instant bestseller.  :P
I wish the world was flat like the old days, then I could travel just by folding a map.

Offline Yora

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2015, 07:20:35 PM »
Interesting article:

https://www.waterstones.com/blog/crossing-genre-1cab122e
Do people still whine about this? I thought this had been put to rest 20 years ago.

"Oh no, some book snob who only likes depressing books makes rude comments about the books I really love!" Wha, wha... Why are people still trying to get the love of people who seem to have a clear disdain for entertainment?
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Offline Conan

Re: Bear in Sheep's Genre
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2015, 07:35:28 PM »
I already said uncle. You do not need to kick me when I have already admitted defeat.
And I'm not a snob, I like romance too.
I love all literature.
Tied up and twisted; gnarled and knotted with wrinkles; haggardly firm and unyielding; his eyes glowing like coals, that still glow in the ashes of ruin; untottering Ahab stood forth in the clearness of the morn; lifting his splintered helmet of a brow to the fair girl's forehead of heaven.