How do You Categorize Your Work?

I've seen this question asked numerous times on the boards, so I thought I would take the opportunity to address a topic I've avoided. It isn't a difficult topic, just one people can have strong opinions on. Remember, here at SIA  there is no one size fits all.

In truth, some books are just plain hard to categorize. Like trying to fit a star through a round hole. Most of the time, I categorize mine before I even start to write it. I find it makes it easier when I go to publish.

I'm here to assure you categorizing your book isn’t really that difficult. With a bit of careful thought, you can find the correct hole to slide your star piece through.

First, you need to consider books like yours. I hear it now, “My book is special, there are no books like it.” I'm here to tell you there are. There are approximately 2.2 million books published a year according to Wikipedia. And even if there isn't a book like yours, find a group of books that cover your major themes and study what genres they belong in. Remember that Amazon will allow you to expand up to four other genres, though I have seen a few books with five or more.

Next, think about the theme of your book. I love writing fantasy stories, similar to the Lord of the Rings, but I would never try to fit my stories in to an Arthurian fantasy genre. Both have knights and magic, but there are details to an Arthurian fantasy that need to be included. My books just don't fit the themes to slide into that  genre. Instead I focus on the general tab above it, in this case fantasy, and search for books like mine. By studying their tags and categories, I can deduce what genres my book will fit in best.

Last thing to worry about are tags. I tend to focus on major elements in my books. For instance, Breath of the Titans has a lot of dragons and magic involved, so I found it prudent to include those words in my tags. Fairies also play a pivotal role in my books, so I used that tag as well. Think of the themes and characters in your book, and use that to guide your tags. And don't be afraid to experiment if you aren't seeing the results you want. Only by experimenting can you find the formula that will work for you.

And that is my thoughts on categorizing your books. Keep it simple, think of your individuality, and help guide your work towards it's proper place. #SupportIndieAuthors and keep being awesome!

Riley Amos Westbrook