I Need Your Help

Not money.
Not blog related.
Not time (well, maybe two seconds).

Think back to the summer. Are you there?

You may remember that I spent most of my summer on a blog tour for IN NAME ONLY.

My debut novel was a total learning experience. Of course I learned a lot in the writing of it, but this wasn't the first novel I wrote, and I learn a lot with each one.

With this novel, I learned what it's like to work with professional editors, cover designers, and formatters. I learned what's involved with getting a book Out There for readers to read.

And, boy-oh-boy, did I learn about promotion. Even with all I learned, I don't know enough. I'm certain I'll make more mistakes next time - but they will be different ones!

It's this Next Time I need your help with.

One of the tasks involved with listing the book on Amazon is what amounts to shelving it. Placing it in a genre.

For most of you, this would be an easy task.

For She Who Excels in Complicating Everything ... not so much.

For marketing purposes, I came of with my own genre:
Crime Fiction with a Kiss

What? Amazon doesn't include Crime Fiction with a Kiss as an option? No way!

Truth. Sigh.

What's a writer to do?

This writer futzed around at the Big A and listed her book under Crime Fiction, Mystery, and Romance. And, she thinks, spread herself too thin in the process.

Now time is rolling around to be thinking about the next book. It's a very different story, but the same type of book as IN NAME ONLY.

Both my editor and my proofreader have told me which shelf they believe it should sit on, even though it doesn't meet all the official requirements to sit there. It was the same with IN NAME ONLY, but I don't always listen - LOL! 

Here's the blurb on the back of the paperback - and at Amazon:

No Home. No Family. No Place to Hide.
For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to him, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible. No matter how much she yearns for a real home, she relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. She's vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.

Please select where you would shelve the book if you had to choose:
a. Crime Fiction
b. Mystery
c. Suspense
d. Thriller
e. Romantic Suspense
f. Romance
g. Some Combination of the Above
h. Other (Specify, please)

You can just put the answer in the comments or you're welcome to email me at tikihuttime AT gmail DOT com if there's something you'd like to discuss.


Thanks for participating. Your answers will help me more than you know.

I owe you big time. So just yell if you ever need a hugely big favor. Or even a small one :)

See you Friday!


Laura Eno said…
I don't see it as spreading it too thin with your choices. I see it as throwing the net wider. (but then, what do I know? LOL)

If I had to choose, I'd choose A,C,and E.

I love your tag line, by the way. Crime fiction with a kiss is an awesome way to describe it.
Unknown said…
Darn it. I was hoping crime fiction with a kiss was a genre. :)

It's hard for me to judge without reading it. A romantic suspense is not the same thing as suspense or romance. It has to be 50/50 and both elements have to be even throughout. If you have 60/40, then it's no longer a romantic suspense. Does that help narrow it down?
Anonymous said…
romantic suspense
I'd say romantic suspense.
the answer is simple, Carol :) Since judging by your cover, by your readers and everything else, I think you write mostly for ladies you should then always aim at them in all things connected to publishing. And we all know ladies stick to romantic suspense like flies to honey :) There, Dezzy has spoken :)
I vote suspense. Other elements are there, but are not what we (I) am focused on.

It's a chocolate cake, that has jelly between two layers, and white frosting with roses decorating the top, but it's still a chocolate cake.

I'm hungry.

Linda G. said…
Romantic Suspense. That covers it concisely, and is a very popular genre to boot. :)
Anonymous said…
Too bad, I had lots of money to give. Oh well, I'll just give it to that man on the street corner yelling at cars and pedestrians.
Anonymous said…
Really love the blurb. Romantic Suspense.
Romantic suspense would be the closest.
Emily R. King said…

I'm thinking...E is closest.
Rula Sinara said…
I've read it and I'd call it suspense (I was going to toss it up between suspense and romantic suspense but if I go by Stina's 60/40 then it's more plain suspense...even if it has romantic elements).
Unknown said…
Hi Carol - I would do Romantic Suspense.
Morgan said…
I'd say Romantic Suspense! And it sounds FABULOUS...
Anonymous said…
I think I agree with the majority and put it in Romantic Suspense.
Johanna Garth said…
I think it's Romantic Suspense. I also think there should be a Crime Fiction with a Kiss genre.
Talli Roland said…
Having read the book... (I know I don't need to mention that, but I did! And I enjoyed it!), I'm going to go with romantic suspense.
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Carol,
Hope the week is off to a great start. My picks would be Crime Fiction, Mystery and Romantic Suspense.
Luanne G. Smith said…
Looks like romantic suspense. Like Dezzy said, the cover and blurb would do well with women readers in that genre methinks.
Hart Johnson said…
I think romantic suspense fits best, though Amazon lets you check several, so I'd also check crime fiction. The tags at the bottom (under reviews) you want to have as many checked as many times as possible because you want your book to come up when people search for stuff. I'd have your location, witness protection, hot fireman (I'm serious) and ask you friends to go check all the marks, too.
Jennifer Shirk said…
Well, when I read it, I thought it more a romantic suspense.
Melissa said…
If the hero and heroine end up together (as in - it meets the basic expectations of a romance), I'd pick Romantic Suspense.

If the romance is not well enough developed or there's not a HEA, then Crime Fiction. :)
I also agree that Romantic Suspense says it all! Julie
Anonymous said…
List it under as many as you can...and perhaps see what's "hot" and go with those categories?
Carol Kilgore said…
Did y'all think I drove off a cliff someplace? My well-planned day got interrupted by a streak of real life. But I'm here, and I'll be around to your blogs today and tomorrow.

In the interest of time ... thanks to all of you for responding to my plea. This is a huge help.

I'll address all of you who made additional comments below.

Again - thanks to all!

For those who may wonder where my editors believe my books should be shelved, I'll post a brief update on Thursday. No need to respond again if you have already.
Carol Kilgore said…
Laura, Stina and Johanna - We could always lobby Amazon to include Crime Fiction with a Kiss ... huge LOL!

Dez - Indeed. You are so sweet. Thank you :)

Teresa - Chocolate cake? I want chocolate cake :)

Stephen - Money? Dang!

Linda J and Morgan - Glad you like the blurb :)

Hart - I think I'll pop over and add Hot Fireman - I don't have that one :)

Laura - Unfortunately there are no paranormal elements or cowboys and it's set present day in our plain old world. There is that hot fireman, tho :)
CATachresis said…
I think E or possibly A :)
Gail said…
I quickly sped to the comment box without allowing others to influence me...E.
Carol Kilgore said…
CATachresis and Gail - Thank you both :)
e. Romantic Suspense
Helena said…
I like Romance Suspense. And yes, I've bought your book but I haven't had time to read it (sorry!), but of course when I do I'm anticipating giving it a rave.
LR said…
That's difficult isn't it. Could fit into all those categories.

I think I'd put it under Crime Fiction and Romance.

River said…
I think it should be Romantic Thriller, or Thriller Romance. Do they have those categories? If not, shelve it under Romantic Suspense. Unless you can talk them into creating Romantic Thriller?
Carol Kilgore said…
Helena - Thanks! And no worries :) My Kindle is loaded with enough books for months - and I still buy more!

River - I will have to check. A few people have told me they thought it was a thriller.

Lynda and LR - Thanks!
Southpaw said…
I say suspense. Can you only choose one?
Carol Kilgore said…
Holly and Summer - Thanks!
Sounds like romantic suspense to me. I wandered over from Delores' blog and decided to stay awhile. Well, not exactly "stay", but I have signed on as your newest follower. Nice to meet you.
L. Diane Wolfe said…
Romantic suspense. But you are allowed secondary categories, too.

FIC027110 FICTION / Romance / Suspense
FIC030000 FICTION / Suspense
FIC031000 FICTION / Thrillers
(From the BISAC website)
Carol Kilgore said…
Susan - Thanks for wandering over and following. And thanks even more for commenting. Your voice helps :)

Diane - Awesome!
You get the Official Internet and Amazon Guru of the Year Award!
Thank you :)
I would say

Romantic Crime Fiction!

Anonymous said…
I think it belongs with E.

Carol Kilgore said…
Nas and Medeia - Thanks so much :) I'm keeping a running total.
M Pax said…
It's too bad we can't invent our own genres. You could tag it that on Amazon and invent it.

I'd choose a, c, or e. If it has a HEA you could try romance.
Julie Flanders said…
I think I would say Romantic Suspense. I can relate to this problem, I have no idea what genre my book is.

And for the record I love your "crime fiction with a kiss" description. I've always thought it was so creative and definitely made me want to read your story.
Carol Kilgore said…
M Pax and Julie - Thanks. And for the votes of confidence for Crime Fiction with a Kiss.
Caryn Caldwell said…
To me, it sounds most like romantic suspense (E). You have the suspense/thriller element, but it looks like romance also plays a big role. Plus you don't want to leave out people who are looking for either genre by selecting one or the other.
Carrie Butler said…
I vote for romantic suspense! :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Caryn - That's how I feel, too.

Carrie - Thanks!
Gwen Gardner said…
Romance/mystery or romance/suspense. I had trouble placing mine, too, Carol. There's not a YA paranormal cozy mystery section! I'm still not sure mine is under the correct category.
Shelley Munro said…
Just reading the blurb it says romantic suspense to me. :)
sherry fundin said…
hi carol, i came over here from linda grimes blog. saw the name, under the tiki hut, and i thought i may like your blog. i think i would classify the book as romance,murder,crime,suspense and thriller. i always try to include as many tags as apply. think it helps the reader choose.
nutschell said…
Based on the blurb, I'd say this is Romantic suspense. :D Although I do like Crime Fiction with a kiss as a genre. :D

Carol Kilgore said…
Gwen - Round holes and square pegs :)

Shelly - Thanks!

Sherry - Thanks for coming over! Nice to meet you :) And thanks, too, for commenting.

Nutschell - Thanks and thanks :)
Carol Kilgore said…
As promised ... where do the editors believe my books should be shelved? The same place as many of you:
Romantic Suspense.

Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts.
Jemi Fraser said…
I'd say romantic suspense too - but I feel your pain. My stories are crossing all these boundaries too!
Carol Kilgore said…
Jemi - Wouldn't it be nice to write in one genre, LOL!