What would you do with a book plot that is crossed genre, and you can't find the classification definition to market it? It's a paranormal mystery, a crime mystery, a horror and thriller, all combined. The targeted reader audience, would be vastly ranged with the book's elements.

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How about calling it a supernatural crime thriller, similar to one of Charlie Huston's excellent vampire/PI novels? Just a thought.
Thanks! I hadn't thought of that. Great idea, or maybe paranormal crime thriller is another another possibility. I'll research that genre more. Once again, thank you.
"The targeted reader audience, would be vastly ranged with the book's elements."

I'm not sure what you mean by the above...but to hell with pigeon-holing it...mix up all those pulpy genres and see what happens.
I've had the same problem with mine. All the same tags. I finally settled on Zombie Noir, whatever the hell that means.
The trick is selling it to an agent or publisher because they'll have to consider how to market it and if they can't market it, it's harder to get the deal.

This is actually the topic of the panel I'm moderating in June at Murder in the Grove. Well, blurring the lines between the genres, not specifically how to classify them. I'm still prepping but I find a lot of books really are cross genre.

People think Guthrie's HARD MAN is a gut-wrenching tale of pain and psychotic behaviour but it's really a love story about a man and his dog.
Miss Snark actually addressed this recently in her blog. (And if I'm not mistaken, it comes up periodically on said blog to new readers. If you haven't read her, get over to MissSnark.com/ ASAP. This is a must read whether you're published or not. It's fun, entertaining and educational all in one fell swoop. For those of you who are not yet a fan of hers, she is an anonymous NY agent who is very savvy in the mystery field, though she can hold her own answering questions outside of the mystery genre as well.

A recent question (within the past couple weeks, I think) touched on yours, Jannie, in that someone was writing a cross genre multi genre book and wanted to know how they should classify it in queries. Her response from the best of the recesses of my memory could probably be shortened Keep it Simple. (That wasn't how she answered, though. She's much more clever than that. Warning, if you don't like bad language or wry humor, don't bother reading her blog. So in your case, she said it isn't up to you to pick the target audience, it is up to your agent/editor. Your job is to send in a great query saying you've written a paranormal mystery, or even a paranormal novel. Leave all the other stuff out. When you start throwing in too much crap, it increases the chances of instant rejection.
Hmmm. I heard recently that Ms. Snark was not at all what she represents herself to be. Did I hear wrong?

Wouldn't be surprised.
I cross genre lines a lot. What I do is target the genre to whoever I'm talking/writing to. I don't work with an agent and I publish with small presses, so I can do what I want.
OK, if this is a repeat, I apologize, but I don't see it posted.

What I said was: figure out the major thrust, on rewrite, emphasize those points and go with it. Chances are good, though, that it will be hard to find an audience--unless it is absolutely magnificent.
Thank you all for wonderful feedback. All, offered great advice.

I like the idea Robin offered, of keeping it simple and writing the query letter as
a paranormal mystery and allow the agent to classify it. And I hadn't thought of
the increased chance of rejection due to all the excessive crap.

Also, I'd forgotten, (not having an agent) that it's their job, and as Kim said,
they send it off to different editors to target all the cross genres.

Jack's advice to figure it out and emphasized the genre and go with it, makes sense...
and BTW Jack, it is absolutely magnificant!

Hey, my philosophy is: If you don't know, ask!
My books cross genres. I simply refer to them as crime thrillers with a supernatural twist. They sold pretty quickly to an editor who usually does staight crime thrillers, although he did have at least one supernatural thriller on his roster (Alex Sokoloff's The Harrowing).
Thanks Charles. The reason for the paranormal is that the protagonist is a
detective who recruits a retired, (female) forensic psychic to help him on a serial
killer case. That's the paranormal element. She "hears" the serial killer's demented
poetry (featured throughout the book) in her head with visions of the brutal
murders, which the detective utilizes to catch him.

So this has the paranormal element with her, crime, obviously with the detective
trying to solve the case, and the serial killer making it a real thriller.

The three elements are entwined to the point of it not being a crime mystery, but
possibly more than mere paranormal mystery.

As it was suggested before, maybe a supernatural crime thriller, or what I would
call, paranormal crime thriller. (No ghosts, no aliens)

I'm not into the genre classification personally, being anti-classification as Nancy
put it, but one has to have a class for the query letter and to be able to sell it.

As Nancy just said, you have to tell people where they're going to find it. And
starting with an agent and editor is the first place. What do I tell them when
quering? I think simple (like suggested) paranormal crime thriller is the bill.

I like the thriller element, as you said Charles, but don't want to be stuck and not get out either as you mentioned. But it's not a horror by any means.
Just the typical detective at his wit's end to solve an escalated, serial killer
case, and recruits a retired, forensic psychic to help. The only horror would be
the demented serial killer, but even that's just the thriller element.

I guess we might have solved the dilemma! 'Paranormal crime thrller.'
(there's no mystery of who the killer is, because the reader knows him well)


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