on Live Write Thrive:
If you asked me what is the most important thing an author needs to know to ensure they will have the best chance of success with their novel, I could sum it up in one word: genre.
You have to know what genre you are writing in. And, on top of that, you have to do your homework to be completely “fluent” in that genre. That means learning to identify the markers for that genre.
Readers have specific expectations that they bring to a genre. So that means you, the author, must identify your niche genre, write to those expectations, and be sure that all marketing materials, including cover design, perfectly reflect that genre.
That might seem like a no-brainer, but, sadly, I see a lot of writers clueless about the genre they are writing in and haven’t done their homework.