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  • Writer's pictureClarissa

Shelf Space

I've received a lot of emails and comments from inspiring authors asking "What's my genre?" or what industry professionals call "shelf space" (where your book fits on a shelf at the bookstore). Once And Future Wife has dual timelines, one modern and one ancient.

Would this book be considered contemporary or historical? There's a paranormal element as well...where, oh where does this book belong? Where would you find this novel at the bookstore?

Before I can answer where OAFW does belong, let's look at where it does not belong.

Check out this promo of paranormal books, notice how very different my book cover is from nearly every other novel? My book does not have explicit sex scenes, and therefore, my cover does not match the other books.

There is also this multi-genre promo, not a single novel seems to be "out of place", the net to catch readers is much wider (and much less precise). None of the books seem have a "shelf space".

So where does my book belong? Agents and acquisition editors alike solve this problem during the query process with one little question, What books are similar to yours?

I have relatively clean books (little swearing, no explicit sex, moderate/thematic violence). What books have paranormal elements, historical content and dual timelines?

Take a look at my upcoming release...Pieces To Mend also has paranormal elements and dual timelines.

Both books don't fit snugly into one specific category, forcing publishers to find similar hybrid books. In my case, Susanna Kearsley and Amy Harmon have been fantastic examples to mirror. Both authors weave paranormal elements into their story (most of their novels are dual timelines as well).

When pitching a novel or finding your own niche, nailing down your "shelf space" or finding "comparable" books, makes your novel easy to market (and easy to find for readers).

Keep the comments/questions coming!

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