By A L Wright, Feb 24 2016 01:49AM
Let me tell you what annoys me. From what I have seen so far as an author, there is no separation, or division, between a Romance and a Love Story. When submitting your book or manuscript to a publisher or to list it on a sales site, they ask you to list the categories it falls under. Most of the time you can pick three, sometimes only one or two. So how do you make your book stand out from the rest of the fantasy world? You pick fantasy romance. Or Urban Fantasy. Or paranormal fantasy.... etc.
Now here's what I don't like, is that there is no way by using the categories you have to pick, to let the reader know that your books main story isn't about the romantic situations and goings on of the couple you wrote about. You have to use your descriptions to do that. But that tag, that category "Romance" is still there, hovering about your book to immediately disillusion your potential reader who just wants to read a good fantasy story. This reader would probably take a chance with the book, if they knew up front that it's a fantasy adventure, with a love story mixed in.
Every story has a love story, right? Okay maybe not every single one, but most do. Even Iron Man has a lady love, and Hawkeye has a wife and kids, and The Vision eventually hooks up with... oh that could be a spoiler if you haven't read the comics or watched the animated series... Point is, a good story makes us relate to the human side of the protagonist, right? That's why we love Deadpool.
But there are those readers who aren't in it for the romance, and may leave a bad review of how they were misled, led to believe it was just a fantasy adventure. Yuck, kissy stuff! And you have to keep in mind if there is any sexual imagery then you have to be up front about the romantic aspect so that young or sensitive readers are warned away.
Tricky stuff, this audience targeting is!
So I guess the challenge comes down to, how do we as authors let our audience know the difference between a Romance and a Love Story? Maybe I just need to get better at my book descriptions.