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How to Choose Your Genre

When authors are asked about their book, they will typically start by describing their book's genre. Genre refers to the format, content, style or type of story you are writing.

The four main literary genres are fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry. These categories are further divided into subgenres.

Knowing your book’s genre as an aspiring author will enable you to target the right readers and help you determine how to appeal to them. It will also allow you to approach publishers who may be interested in your work.

Here are a few tips to help you decide on your genre.

Make a list of books you have read recently

We always hear the advice “write the book you want to read.” Writing should be enjoyable, and you will feel more at ease writing about topics you are passionate about. Do this exercise to figure out what type of books you enjoy reading.

Identify your strengths, skills and expertise

If you have some experience writing, do what you do best. Choose subjects that are familiar to you and make use of your expertise.

Define your goal

What would you like your readers to know, feel, and experience while reading your book? What would you like your readers to get out of your story?

Explore different genres

Consider writing short stories in different genres to find the one that appeals most to you. When deciding which genre to pursue, there are no hard and fast rules. Write in the genre you enjoy the most and choose what feels authentic to you.

At IABX, our mission is to promote and empower independent authors. We strive to provide useful and valuable information to do just that.

Feel free to send us an email at if you have any comments or suggestions. We would love to hear from you!

Missed the past weeks' Wednesday Writing Tips? Check them out here.

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