Identifying the genre is how readers know what your book is about and if it will be of interest to them. It’s also how it will be labeled and categorized across various selling venues.
You can combine genres to reach a larger audience than if you just stuck to one. You might have written a story that contains some romance, some paranormal and some mystery.
Where it would be located in a bookstore offline might be different from where a consumer would find it in an online category. Offline, if it has romance in it, it would probably be placed in that section.
But online, such as on Amazon Kindle, it can be placed into more than one category and rank in multiple places, such as romance, paranormal and mystery all at once. Your book can gain a much bigger readership combing genres than it would if you write using only one.
You’ll see examples of cross-genre books, especially among young adult category. Whether they’re coming of age, fantasy, contemporary, historical, romance or horror, they all get labeled by the young adult or teen genre.
Regardless of the genre you have to place your book in when you’re read to sell it, you can still add different subgenres to the category to make sure it gets found by the right audience.
A cross-genre can be used to enhance the foundational genre of the book – such as with a romantic suspense, where the suspense can be used to develop the romance or vice versa.
Creating two genres in one is something that’s been around for awhile and audiences are accepting of books that have this kind of crossover element. There are some things that you need to learn about writing a crossover book.
Always start with a foundational genre and build your crossover from that. If you want to write a sci-fi romance, then make sure your sci-fi elements are strong and that you’ve nailed down the world building.
Pick either the sci-fi portion or the romance portion to be the engine that drives the book. Use what you excel at in one genre to strengthen your subgenre. If you’re good at writing romance, let that shine in your sci-fi romance or in your young adult book or mystery novel. If you focus on writing what you enjoy writing – regardless of the subgenres in your story – you will find a lot of readers who are ready for your work.