30 Book Genres
Whats so important about knowing the
Well, if youre an author with a work in progress, youll want to know its genre to ensure your ideal readers find and read it.
List ascience fictionnovel as a paranormal romance, for example, and youll likely end up with a flurry ofnegativereviews. No one wants that.
Readers of specific book genres have expectations youll want to meet if you want them to enjoy your book and recommend it to others.
You also want readers to see yourbooks coverand know its the genre they want.
So, knowing your books genre not only helps with marketing. It can make all the difference in your writing career.
(Side note: If you want the peace of mind that youre publishing with good grammar and punctuation, then check out the free Grammarlyproofreading tool.)
Once you know your books genre, you can write it knowing the following expectations your book should meet:
For example, if youre writing YA fantasy, youll run afoul of your readers (and their parents) if yourstoryincludes a sex scene or graphic violence. If youre writing a cozymystery, you dont want your books cover to look like it belongs on ahorrornovel.
And if youre writingfantasy, youll want to find a designer who specializes in that genre and knows how to create covers worthy of a Rick Riordan novel.
Unless youre an experienced cover designer (likeDerek Murphy of CreativIndie), DIY covers using stock photos will put your fantasy novel at a serious disadvantage.
With that in mind, enjoy this list of 30 types of book genres with descriptions and an example (or two) for each. Its not an exhaustive list; there are upwards of 40 genres more if you count sub-genres and mixed genres.
But its enough to help you identify your books genre.
Whether you write fiction ornonfiction, youll be prepared to meet genre expectations and market your book appropriately to reach your target audience and maximize sales.
Your readers will also appreciate your taking the time to learn what this post will teach you. And so will your books editor and cover designer.
The fantasy genre involves world-building and characters who are supernatural, mythological, magical, or a combination of these. Examples:
Similar to fantasy, this genre explores futuristic or technologicalthemes and ideasto address scientific what if questions. Examples:
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Sometimes considered a subgenre of fantasy or of science fiction, this genre is usually set in a bleak future (near or distant) to explore cultural or social issues. Examples include
Any novel that focuses on an adventure undertaken by the main character (with or without help) falls under the adventure genre. This genre can easily be combined with others. Example:
Any novel where the main storyline centers on a romantic relationship falls into this category, which has several subgenres. Examples include
One of the toughest genres to write, this one centers on a mystery and involves either a professional or amateur sleuth. Examples:
The goal of this genre is to scare your readers and keep them that way until the hero vanquishes the threat. Example:
This genre also has scary elements, but its main objective is to keep your reader in a state of suspense until the storys resolution. Example:
Fiction with authentic LGBTQ+ representation falls into this category, which is sometimes considered a subgenre of contemporary fiction but can also be mixed with romance, fantasy, and other genres. Example:
This genre covers fiction set in a specific time period and providing historically accurate detail relevant to the period and its characters. Examples:
(13-17 yrs) This is fiction for readers aged 13 to 17 years. Example:
Fiction in this genre is written forkidsaged up to 13 and is further divided into smaller subgenres. Example:
Each of the books in this genre is a true account of the authors own life. Memoirs are typically related to a specific time in the authors life or to a specific theme of the authors choosing. Example:
Biographies are books written on someone other than the author generally someone well known or someone whose life and or death can teach the world something worth learning. Example:
In this genre, youll find books on every kind of cooking someone in the world took the time to write about, as well as cooking for different diets and nutritional needs. Example:
This genre includes books on artists of all kinds, as well as on each type of art and its history. Example:
How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
This genre is all about helping your reader realize their potential, develop their gifts, and live fulfilling lives. Example:
Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking
This genres main purpose is to get you to do something, to inspire you, or to challenge your perspective. Example:
Here youll find books on both mental and physical health concerns as well as diets and weight loss. Example:
This genre focuses on a specific time period or covers a broad span of time, often describing specific historical characters. Example:
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind
Look to this genre for topics related to creating a home and developing specifichobbiesor crafts. Examples:
The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life
If it deals with family life, marriage, or any kind of interpersonal relationship, your book belongs in this genre. Example:
The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
Books in this genre are supposed to make you laugh or at least keep you entertained. Many also belong to thememoirgenre. Example:
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
If youre writing a nonfiction book on business topics, wealth building, or managing your money, it probably belongs to this genre. Example:
Books on the legal system, on laws, criminal justice, and related topics belong in this genre. Example:
The New Jim Crow: Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Books in this genre discuss politics or issues related to one or more of the social sciences (psychology, sociology, social work, etc.). Example:
From personal guides to spiritual memoirs to histories, this genre covers religions of all kinds along with spiritual practices. Example:
Any book that proposes to teach the reader how to do something or how to do it better belongs to this genre. Example:
Zak Georges Dog Training Revolution
This genre includes travel guides and travel-heavy memoirs. Example:
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
These often read like well-crafted crime fiction but are true stories that chronicle real crimes, typically with exacting detail. Examples:
If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood
17 Things to Write About For Your Next Nonfiction Book
According toQueryTracker, of all the genres listed above, the top ten most popular fiction genres are the following:
And these are the top ten most popular nonfiction genres:
If your book doesnt belong in one of these top ten lists, dont worry. Plenty of books that fit into other genres get published every year traditionally or independently.
These lists indicate the genres most often submitted to literary agents as well as the genres most often requested by them.
If you know your books target audience is plenty big enough to justify your investment of time, energy, and other resources, it makes no difference whether your chosen genre is on the most popular list.
Use what you learn with us at AuthorityPub to write, launch, and market your book to bestseller status.
Now that you know how to identify your books genre (or genres), how will that influence your decisions regarding cover design, editing, and marketing tactics?
Where will you find more of the kind of readers who will love your book, so you can send them word when it launches?
Maybe youve already found some Facebook groups for your genre. Or maybe your reader following on Twitter is steadily growing, thanks to your use of targeted hashtags.
What could you do today to begin marketing your book, so you can whet the appetites of your genres biggest fans among your social media connections and email subscribers?
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Because it can be done. And if thats your goal, Ill do everything I can to help you get there.
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Categories: General fiction