Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Love Story vs. Romance: How to meet reader expectations

"If you write in category, you write knowing there's a framework, there are reader expectations."- Nora Roberts 
For Women Write Wednesday, I am tackling the topic of reader expectations and how important it is to research categories and keywords before marketing your novel. 

When I wrote my novel Seasons  I made the rookie mistake of not really thinking about genre, categories, keywords, and click through rates. I just had a story that I wanted to tell. After doing research post novel I found that the novel fit best in the Suspense genre.  I based this on the fact that Seasons has danger but not a lot of action like a thriller and like most suspense novels it has the reader wondering if the killer(s) will be caught before committing another crime.

Once I had nailed down the genre I started to map out keywords that represent the unique flavor to my novel. One of those key flavors is the romantic relationships in the book. I had to ask myself if the book was a suspense romance or a suspense novel with romantic undertones.

Question Is: How is romance different from love story.
No reader genre has greater expectations than romance novels. There is a clear set of expectations that a romance novel reader demands from romance authors. Wikipedia defines the genre as needing to have an, "Emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending." Read: Happily Ever After or what readers of the genre call it HEA. Whereas love stories just like the movie, "Love Story" is based on relatable characters and isn't necessarily bound by the HEA expectations, but rather the journey that the couple takes.

My Conclusion: 
My novel, Seasons, is a suspense novel with a love story that in the word of one my reviewers, "Isn't cheesy".  By correctly matching readers to your novels you are able to then share your work with the people who want to read it most.

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KM Hodge author of the Syndicate Suspense Series.
 Book #1 Seasons is available for free on Kindle Unlimited. 

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