I’ve noticed some changes in romance since I was a teenager. There’s many different categories to choose from and it get’s more advanced with each year. When I was a teenager and new to romance novels, (No I will not say how long ago that was) let’s just say it was a while ago, anyway, romance novels were pretty much categorized as romance, heated romance, historical romance and I do remember romance mystery.
Today when you go to a site to order a romance novel the choices will astound you. Well it does me. How do you choose? Well, it’s like sitting at a restaurant and looking at a menu. You go in knowing you want steak, but do you want a baked potato or fries? Do you want that baked potato covered and smothered or just lite butter and sour cream. Then you have to figure out how you want the steak. Will it be rare or well done? Oh let’s don’t forget the salad. Do you want a salad? Do you want dressing on the salad or on the side? Croutons anyone?
It’s the same with choosing what type of romance you want. I have the hardest time categorizing my romance novels. Someone asked me one day how I choose the categories that I put on my books. Well, it’s not easy. I have the generic solutions in my head like Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Historical Romance, but if you do the math, they’re used way too much. Funny huh…
Do your homework? I usually go to Amazon and start with the most generic search of Romance. Do it, you’ll be amazed how many there are to choose from. That’s where the A La Carte sub categories come in handy. Look at your book. No I mean really look at your book. What makes it different? Does it have mystery? Don’t just stop at Romantic Mystery, go one step further. Is it a Romantic Thriller Mystery, a Romantic Murder Mystery, or just simply a Romantic Mystery, but do look up that category and see how many other authors labeled their books that way. It makes a difference.
Romance has come a long way over the years. Let’s don’t even get into the many Erotic labels out there, I’ll blush, no really I will. I did my search of these also as I do have a publishing service so it’s an important piece of my work. I’ve started actually making a list of possible categories as I write my books. Maybe it’s a pivotal point in the main part of the story that inspires the category. Since I write mostly Cowboy Romance, try searching that one, yeah it’s huge. I have to see what makes my Cowboy Romance books different from others. Well, maybe put Sweet in front of it, or Clean. But search it first. When I put Western in front of my category it worked well for a while, but guess what, others did that too and now I need to rethink my categories, maybe tweek a couple of them.
So, check your A La Carte menu, which for us writers is our categorization of our work. Make it appealing to the eyes. Make it stand out amongest all the others, but don’t choose an out there label that only you understand. Give your book it’s best chance to be seen in this world of way too many choices. It makes a difference, believe me, I’ve played with this and it made the sales either go up or down.
As always, good writing and May God Bless You…