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May 30 2017

Genre For Book Marketing

I’m reading:
47 Mind Hacks for Writers by Karen Dimmick & Steve Dimmick
and using the exercises as blog post prompts.

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For today’s excersise, I’m supposed to find some books in my market, guess what they’re about, and then write why my book is different.

Fractions of Existence is an Urban Fantasy.

Define= “Urban fantasy describes a work that is set primarily in the real world and contains aspects of fantasy. These matters may involve the arrivals of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence between humans and paranormal beings, conflicts between humans and malicious paranormals…” Wikipedia

According to Amazon’s list:
Best Sellers in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Unless you’ve been living under a rock at the bottom of the sea, you know what Harry Potter is about. So I’m not going to pretend to “guess” at what’s become common knowledge.

Why my book is different

I don’t have a boy wizard. There’s no Hogwarts. It’s set in NYC. Fractions of Existence has more in common with How I Met Your Mother than with Harry Potter.

2. The Library at Mount Char
I have no idea what this book is actually about. I’m going to guess the main character will turn out to be more than human. There seem to be orphans in this. They have books to guide them, I’m guessing.

Why my book is different

Not about orphans. No books to guide the main character. Vastly different.

3. A Shade of Vampire 44: A Tangle of Hearts
Right off the bat, I’m going to guess this book is about vampires. Looks like some romance and friendships.

Why my book is different

I do not believe the Existence series is ever going to be considered vampire books.

4. Raised in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 2)
Takes place in Seattle. Has Mages, Demons, a vampire, guilds, and swords. Possibly a detective novel.

Why my book is different

Takes place in NYC, southern CA, and on a cross-country road trip. This isn’t a spellcasting book, nor is it a detective series.

5. American Gods
A storm brewing for the soul of America. Seems to focus on one character figuring out mysteries of the fantastical variety.

Why my book is different

It isn’t just about America. It isn’t even just about one character.

6. The Secret of Spellshadow Manor
I’m going to guess it’s mostly a book with magic.

Why my book is different

Fractions of Existence doesn’t have Magic.

7. Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy Book 1)
“Supernatural Bounty Hunter” and a vampire.

Why my book is different

No “Supernatural Bounty Hunter.”

8. The Billionaire Dragon’s Secret Son
I’m guessing there’s a shifter that turns into a dragon, and he and the main female character are going to make a baby (or already have).

Why my book is different

Fractions of Existence does not mention dragons. There are no secret babies.

9. Alastair Stone Chronicles Box Set: Alastair Stone Chronicles, Books 1 through 4
A professor who is a mage is also an investigator.

Why my book is different

Not about professors, mages, or investigators.

10. Death and Relaxation (Ordinary Magic Book 1)
Police chief with magical powers deals with the paranormal.

Why my book is different

Again, Fractions of Existence isn’t any type of detective novel.

To be honest, the first book on this list that seems even slightly close to Fractions of Existence is:
Unborn by Amber Lynn Natusch (Number 84 on the list.)

I decided to take a look at another Amazon list.

Best Sellers in Myths & Legends Fantasy

15. Elementals: The Complete Series
“Nicole Cassidy is a witch descended from the Greek gods” A comet awakens powers.

Why my book is different

The main characters in the Existence series do not descend from the Greek gods.
There isn’t a witch in Fractions of Existence.
There’s no comet.

Just for fun:

The Historian
It’s 16 on this list. It isn’t like Fractions of Existence, but the antagonists would own this book, or one much like it.

The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 1)
Number 18 on the list is a book that both Xavier and Gwendolyn would probably read.

The Prophecy: The Fulfillment Series, Book 1
This description has a similar feel, except the reader age is far younger than my book.

And more searching…

The Immortals (Olympus Bound)
This seems like it could be closer to what I’ve written. But then there’s a glance at the lists it lives on:
#332 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Action & Adventure
#500 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
#596 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

I do have action and adventure, but “Literary Fiction separates itself from Genre because it is not about escaping from reality, instead, it provides a means to better understand the world and delivers real emotional responses.” – HuffPo And that is not a category I expect to land in.

Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical
I just looked at the top 100, and none have any real similarities to Fractions of Existence.

(Fairy Tales does not seem to be a category under Fantasy in Books, only in Kindle. Interesting.)
Nothing in the top 100 of Best Sellers in Fairy Tales is comparable to Fractions of Existence.

I just read descriptions of a lot of books, and none of them strike me as similar to what I’ve written.

On the upside, according to 47 Mind Hacks for Writers, this means I’ll stand out in marketing.

On the downside, the lack of vampires, detectives, orphaned main characters, magic users, and dragons could alienate me from those who read Urban Fantasy.

Urban Fantasy Clichés and Tropes

I found a list of Clichés and Tropes that I seem to have avoided:

  • Bada$$ female loner
  • Bada$$ normal who “plays” with paranormals
  • vigilantes/hunters/professional monster-fighters as the protagonists (Mine are antagonists…)

Have you ever encountered a book that didn’t seem similar to other books in the same the categories/ genres?

5 comments

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  1. Juneta

    Great post. I have that book on my Goodreads challenge list this year. After reading your post I think I’ll move it up.

    I thought C E Murphy’s The Walker Papers was different at that time for being similar to the genre which is why I love that series. So sad she ended it. Shamanic magic use and the way her character uses it to carry the series is what I found unusual. It was a different type of kicking the badasses butt.

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
    Juneta has this post to share Finding The Hero WithinMy Profile
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    1. J Lenni Dorner

      The Mind Hacks book? I have a review of that coming up.
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      1. Juneta

        Yes the Mind Hack. Cool!
        Juneta has this post to share DREAMS, GOALS AND ADVENTURE BY AUTHOR MICHAEL D. DITTONMy Profile
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  2. Deb Atwood

    Fascinating exercise. It might also be interesting to do the exercise based on thematic elements like good vs. evil or brain vs. brawn or underdog vs. top dog to see differences and similarities.
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    1. J Lenni Dorner

      That would be an interesting post.
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