Because series can now be identified by multiple genre categories, many of you may be wondering how to determine which genres fit your series. In this article we will go over one strategy you can use to select your main and sub-genres!
We have found that an accurate, descriptive set of genres will reduce the bounce rate of potential readers (the number of readers who come to your series but leave after a single look), so making the right choices can have a great influence on your series’ success!
We also recommend this article on genre selection, which has been incredibly helpful in our own research.
Step 0) Where can I edit my series’ genres again?
Go to your dashboard and hit the “Edit Series” Button next to the series you would like to adjust. Scroll down until you reach the “Genre” section.
You’re able to select three genres and select the main genre in the dropdown menu. On Tapas, your series will be listed under the main genre.
Step 1) What are the available genres?
Here on Tapas, we currently have the following genres for you to pick from:
Novels: Romance, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, BL, GL, Horror, Comedy, Slice of life, Drama, Mystery, Science fiction, Non-fiction, Action
Comics: Romance, Fantasy, LGBTQ+, BL, GL, Horror, Comedy, Slice of life, Drama, Mystery, Science fiction, Gaming, Action
Step 2) What genre elements are in my story?
Now that you know the potential genres, take a close look at your story! Is it set in the present, future, or the past? Are there supernatural elements, magic, or dragons? Are your characters falling in love? Is there a murder or flying cars?
What kinds of genres are you able to recognise within your story? Decide which are most heavily featured and which are most important to you, then compile them into a list.
- My story is set in the future (Science fiction)
- It begins with a murder mystery plot (Mystery)
- It features a central couple falling in love (Romance)
Step 3) Who is my target audience?
As creators, we sometimes forget that we don’t JUST create for ourselves, but that there are people just waiting for our stories. Think about the reader who would be your story’s biggest fan - what story elements are they going to enjoy the most?
Is your series a mystery story with characters that have such a great romantic dynamic that they will attract more romance readers than mystery fans? Your main genre should likely be Romance.
Do your readers comment more on the fantastic world building of your fantasy world than the drama subplot? Looks like the series should be categorized as a Fantasy.
Are your followers huge fans of the BL genre, no matter what other plots your series contains? Your series will likely find more readers in the BL genre.
In order to attract the maximum number of readers, your fanbase’s preferences should have a major influence over your decision which main genre you choose.
Step 4) What other series can I compare my story with?
Sometimes it’s best to see what others are doing right. Take a look at comics, novels, movies, or books that have similar elements to your series and review their genre categorizations. This can be another very tricky endeavor, since you might find your story too unique to compare it to anything out there. If that’s the case, find series that have similar elements.
Comparing your work to popular movies or TV shows is also useful because you can analyze how these stories were marketed. Take a look at which characteristics of a movie are advertised in its trailer and how the story is described on IMDB. (While you’re at it, you can also review how the visuals were used to convey the story, which can be helpful for your cover design.)
What elements were heavily featured within the marketing? Was there a focus on the characters, the humor, the horror, the drama? Was the movie/series successful? Who was its target audience?
A murder mystery series could have many similarities to the movie Seven (Crime, Drama), while a science fiction series may overlap with Blade Runner (Sci-fi, Thriller). Watching the different trailers for each series gives us a good idea of what we could do to visually showcase the story and pull readers into its world.
Step 5) Combine your findings
After going through steps 2 through 4, hopefully you will see a pattern emerge! Some elements keep popping up, while others you thought were important are actually less of a priority to readers.
Your fans’ preferences should weigh heavily on your main genre choice and maybe even some of your secondary genres. The other steps will help you to make sure you’re going in the right direction.
Step 6) Never stop - keep improving!
Knowing what your readers want when you’re just starting out can be really hard. Because of that, it makes sense to review your genres after some time, once you have a clearer understanding of your series!