From Jane Friedman’s blog: How Important Is Genre When Pitching and Promoting Your Book?
Spoiler: very important.
I love working with books that are cross-genre or genre-bending, but crucially, every book still has a primary genre. Naming one primary genre tells me that you understand genre, that you’re a reader, and that you know where your book fits in the market. When I sell books that cross the boundaries between literary fiction and fantasy, for example, to literary fiction editors, I’ll call it a “work of literary fiction with speculative elements,” and to sci-fi & fantasy (SFF) editors I’ll call it “literary fantasy.”
Of course the bits bolded above caught my eye. The bolding is mine. The person quoted defines “literary” in “literary fantasy” as a quality describing the writing, by the way.
I never know how to talk about the Death’s Lady trilogy.
I usually say “literary fantasy” when I mention the first book. But the other two — still literary fantasy? Or epic fantasy? Or something else? If literary in this context means refers mainly to the quality of the writing, I guess I feel more comfortable calling the whole thing “literary fantasy.” In contrast, if “literary fantasy” were to indicate minimal fantasy elements, the first book fits, but the other two don’t.
I’m pretty pleased with Kuomat’s story at this point, by the way. It was a challenge to write in a couple of ways. It proved a good deal more difficult to write from the pov of a Talasayan person than an American, for reasons which are probably obvious — syntax and phrasing and also attitudes and just everything required a lot more conscious, deliberate focus all the way through. In contrast, writing from the pov of either Jenna and Daniel is much easier, even restful. That’s not why a subsequent novel would be written from their points of view, but it’s a significant benefit to doing it that way.
Here’s the cover for Kuomat’s story, by the way:
You can see which title I decided to go with. I kind of expect to go on with this series eventually, and at that time I expect I will have a chance to use some of those other titles. This one fits this story, flows from the previous sets of titles, and I like it.
It’s 75,000 words, by the way. I don’t know whether that quite makes it a full novel, but it’s about 12,000 words longer than The Year’s Midnight — even counting the Interlude. That’s why I went ahead and made it “Book 4” rather than listing it as associated content.