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[Featured Discussion] - What's With Genres?

This is a new segment, Featured Discussion. Where, I am looking at heading with this segment is more of a opinion based discussion. There is some that will be true and fact, but for the main part I want a good discussion, and I want people to chime in and talk. I will make my opinion and comments known as well. However please, PLEASE do not insult or degrade anyone else.

Featured Discussion:

     Last week I spoke about a common issue in everyone's mind, How OLD is too OLD? But in it I spoke directly to a specific style or genre of book, Young Adult. This week I wanted to segment into a different topic, What's so important about Genre's and Why do we really need them?

     Book Genres – A List Every Writer Should Know
Since the publishing industry is segmented by genre, it is essential that you are able to identify and become intimately involved with your genre. As a first step along this road, here’s the genre list we use…

      Well when I first started doing research on Genres and why exactly they are so important in the book scene, I actually stumbled upon new information that I had never realized or would have thought about. On I find a great clarification on the term Genre and another classification term I hadn't thought of Category.

     Both are coined by, "A book genre or category is simply a distinction of one group of books from another by characteristics in form, style, or content that the books in that grouping have in common." (Source: Publishing Questions) Genre is mainly used to classify fiction while category is mainly used to classify nonfiction. Now, while that's all fine and dandy know the technical definitions of both, why are they used is a harder question to answer than it seems.

     By looking at BubbleCow, we know that genres categorize books into styles and content types and occasionally a new Genre will appear and thrive. New publishers will flock to that genre trying to fill shelf space and meet readers demands in this new area. So paying attention to genres and new emerging styles and types of Genres could you in a direction of a new favorite read, or a new topic to write about.

     Going over to my main source (Publishing Questions) though, I understand that if books weren't organized by a Genre or Category, it would simply be by he author's name. Just imagine how hard that would be to go into a Library and find a book that you are interested in and would read. The extensive knowledge you would need about the book before you even went into the bookstore/library would be mind boggling, and how would you find anything new?

     The issue however with Genre and Categories is there is no governing body who sets standards on which book should belong to which genre. Furthermore there isn't any real set standard on what a Thriller is. I am sure we all can identify a thriller, but can't books belong to multiple genres and categories? We put the books where they best fit, not based on any standards.

     Genres are important because they let a reader/customer walk into the library or bookstore and immediately know where they can find a specific book they are looking for, and the section of books that they enjoy reading. As well to writers, it allows them to see new emerging genres that publishers are looking to sign and help shelf a new empty empty bookcase. I look at Genres as a way to categorize or a characteristic of a book, that layers and layers the identity of a book making it unique and great all its own, because in the end I don't believe a book has just one particular genre.
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