Thursday, October 14, 2004


I'm reading Jill Winters' RASPBERRY CRUSH. I didn't like her first two books (PLUM GIRL and BLUSHING PINK) too well, but so far I'm liking this one a bit more. But I wonder if I didn't like her first two novels much because they were mass market paperbacks marked "contemporary romance," whereas her style is really closer to chick lit-- the romance seems to me to take a back seat. This book is only labeled "A Novel," and as a trade paperback it's packaged more like Chick Lit, so I wonder if the fact that I'm liking it better reflects the fact that I'm not necessarily expecting a lot of romance.

It can be very difficult to clearly, concisely, and accurately label your books. Some books defy easy categorization. One NCP author's books are labeled "romance," but they almost always have the heroine involved with two different men-- not traditional romance by any means. Similarly, I had trouble labeling ALL I EVER WANTED-- was it romantic comedy or romantic suspense or just plain contemporary romance? I ended up having NCP label it "romantic comedy," but I'm still not sure that was right. And if a reader picks up a book expecting a romance, or a comedy, and the book doesn't meet their expectations, they may be disappointed. This is a problem when you're tring to sell a book to an editor, too-- if you label it a comedy, but she doesn't see any LOL humor in the first two pages, it may wind up in the circular file... not the ultimate destination you had in mind for your manuscript!

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