The Birth of a New Genre – Guest Post by Jaq D Hawkins…

A few years ago, authors were advised to try to improve their sales position on Amazon by suggesting a new genre. This naturally got out of hand very quickly and Amazon stopped adding new sub-categories by request. Also, hitting number one in a sub-category so that the author could claim best seller status became cliché and effectively meaningless.

Now, if you look through the drop down menus on a category like Fantasy, you’ll find a lot of choices and really no room to add more. The current advice is to choose categories that are as specific to your story as possible and add any additional qualifiers to the keywords and description, which will still make your book come up on a search for the specific term.

As a Fantasy reader, I found the current selection rather interesting and had to look up the meaning of Gaslamp Fantasy, which is a Historical Fantasy set in the nineteenth century, but not to be confused with Steampunk which is more Science Fiction focused

Stories about witches are very popular just now in both Young Adult Fantasy and mainstream. A few decades ago, fiction stories written by practicing magicians often suffered from the desire of academic magicians to infuse the plot with magical lessons. This often resulted in stilted fiction.

When I wrote my Goblin Trilogy, I was determined not to do that. My approach was to write a Fantasy story, but let my knowledge of magic take a back seat in steering what was, after all, intended as fiction. I threw in some magicians to see what would happen and to my surprise, they quickly took over. However, I made no attempt to hinder their fantasy magic.

Scroll ahead fifteen years and through following up on a Facebook post from an author friend, I recently came across a group that has been generating a new Fantasy sub-category that Amazon has not yet caught up with, but which certainly merits a tag of its own. It’s called WitchLit.

What makes WitchLit different is that the stories are written by people who are knowledgeable about Witchcraft, Wicca, and/or Paganism, which gets reflected in the stories. I came across this at just the right time to submit a story to an anthology of stories that reflect the natural magic of our world, and it was accepted. The anthology is currently on pre-sale, to be released on the Summer Solstice, 21 June 2019. At .99 for a collection of 23 magical stories, it’s a real bargain and all the proceeds will go to Books for Africa, a literary charity that provides books for children. https://www.amazon.com/Witch-Lit-Words-Cauldron-Magical-ebook/dp/B07SCVXR88/

So not only have I found a genre tag that suits my Fantasy fiction, but I’ve been able to contribute to a good cause. I would encourage anyone who enjoys Fantasy fiction to give the anthology a try. The standards were high and I’m very much looking forward to reading the stories from the other contributing authors.

Jaq D Hawkins

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17 thoughts on “The Birth of a New Genre – Guest Post by Jaq D Hawkins…

  1. This is very interesting. I’ve found that there are a lot of new genres and sub-genres which Amazon and other major bookstores haven’t caught onto yet. I have written 1 memoir and three fictions. Up until now, it was always difficult for me to label my books with a specific genre. Then my editor came up with a name for it and it fit perfectly. Has anyone ever heard of Social Fiction? I hadn’t until recently. Thank you for this post! It has certainly given me hope that eventually, the bookstores will recognize the new and less popular genres.

    Liked by 2 people

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