Literary? Mainstream? Commercial? What Genre Is This Anyway?

AUTHORS – Great pointers from Lara 😀

Lara Willard

What’s the difference between commercial and literary and mainstream fiction? What do those words mean, anyway? What about “upmarket”? Where does my book fit in?

Sometimes it’s really obvious where your novel fits in with others.

Other times, you show up querying your book and have no idea where to put it. It’s awkwardly similar to high school (at least the movie version of high school). Everybody else seems so neatly sorted into groups.


And then there’s you…


But you want your book to find readers, which means your book needs to find something in common with other books (ones that have readers). Hey, you know which books have the most readers? Commercial fiction. Let’s start there.

Commercial Fiction

Commercial fiction is any fiction that has ONE of the following characteristics:

  • It sells a lot of copies,
  • It has a tight, fresh premise that’s easy to pitch (like a logline), or
  • It has a very specific, established…

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7 thoughts on “Literary? Mainstream? Commercial? What Genre Is This Anyway?

  1. OMG I was the one in the feathers! This is a very good post, because it seems that the cross genres are the books that are selling the best now and you can see how you might get to a cross genre. I think I might put a blood-sucking,walking dead ghost in love with my protagonist in my next mystery.

    Liked by 2 people


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