Where Does Your Book Fit?

At some point during your book writing process, you need to answer the question, "where will my book fit?" This means which section or shelf does it go in at a store, or what category will it fit in an online situation like Amazon or B&N.com?

If you intend to do any retail business at all, you must have a precise answer to this question. If you feel your topic/story is very unique, there's nothing like it, this is not a good thing. If a retailer doesn't know how to categorize it, they'll likely pass as they aren't going to create a new section for one book.

Now it is true that there are times when a book may combine genres/topics. If you're in that situation, you'll need to check and see if such combinations are currently found stores/on retailer websites. If not, if you plan to sell via established outlets etc, you'll need to pick the topic/genre you feel will help the book sell best.

If you mainly plan to sell on your own site, the issue is not as critical. However, you'll still need to make sure potential readers understand where the book fits within the topics/genre's they're already familiar with. Saying something like "you've never read anything like this" will only garner so much interest. If you can't quite pin down your category yet, keep writing, keep working at it until you can. This is one of those times where getting it "sorta close" probably won't be close enough.

Good Writing & God Bless,
Cheryl Pickett


Patricia said...


Good post--good advice. When my clients or students tell me that there is nothing out there like their book, I suggest that they head straight for their nearest mega bookstore. I tell them to find where their book would be placed in the store. If they are realistic in their choice, the books in this section will, most likely, give them a clue as to the true genre of their books.

And, like you said, if there really is no logical place where this book fits in, and the author is trying to reach a segment of the mainstream, he/she should probably go back to the drawing board.

Hop over and visit my informative publishing blog often: I post every day. www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.

Patricia Fry

Cheryl Pickett said...

Thanks for stopping by Patricia!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Patricia and all she has to offer writers, do make it a plan to visit her site and blog.