That really got me thinking about genres and how we classify what we read into these categories. It also got me thinking- do publishers market books as a particular genre based on who will most likely buy the books?
One example that really sticks out is the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis. In my mind these books have a strong science fiction element to them. They are in space, they talk about being cryogenically frozen and they are on a voyage to a new planet. Now the books do have a bit of romance in them between Elder and Amy but I would argue that the main plot of the book is geared towards the space travel and planet exploration. Now, when Across the Universe and A Million Suns were first published they had some beautiful covers.
While I love, love, LOVE these covers I would say the main focus of the covers are romantic, especially for the first cover. This was great because it drew in a large group of woman and teen girls to read these books. Now I know this going to sound like over generalizing, and I don’t want to come off as sexist but in my opinion science fiction is a genre that attracts more male readers than female readers. That is not to say that girls/women don’t read science fiction because I know that is not true considering that I am one of those said women. I do think though that the covers on these novels brought in some readers who otherwise may not picked these books up. Cue cover change:
Sidebar: While this discussion post is not about cover changes, can I just say that I am more than a little irritated by publishers who change their covers mid-way through a series. Please finish the series off with matching covers and go with a cover change once I have collected all the matching covers and they look beautiful on my shelf. End Rant.
How much of our reading habits are engrained in what genre the book is marketed as? I know that while I try to be open to everything when it comes to reading, I tend not to read as many fantasy novels as I do other genres. I have read some fantasy in the past and I have quite enjoyed some of them (Graceling series by Kristin Cashore, Stormlord series by Glenda Larke) but it is not a genre that I gravitate towards. I wonder if some of these novels were marketed in a different way would I be more apt to pick them up at the book store? My gut tells me that the answer is yes.
My question for you is how important is genre when you are picking out a book? Also, how do you pick which genre a book falls under when it can so obviously be put into more than category?
I’d love to hear what you think on the topic so please leave a comment down below.