Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interesting Thoughts on Genre Discrimination in Writing

A few days back the NYT came out with its list of notable books of 2009. On Twitter one agent commented that once again genre novels were being overlooked. So I wanna give you some info here about genre novels and the discrimination some feel the authors of such novels are subjected to. I will not personally comment on my thoughts regarding this discrimination within the industry (oh, wait--I kinda' did--huh ;-) but will let you come up with your own opinion (I know! I'm so kind ;-).

Genre novels are often novels that are labeled the following ways in the publishing industry: sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, high fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romance (altogether), westerns, YA... Etc. From what I understand of the labeling, the only things that don't qualify as "genre literature" are non-fiction and straight fiction novels (with no substantial lovin').

You know, stuff I don't write. :p LOL

To get a little more insight on the discrimination faced most often by romance writers, I invite you to check out author Mary Lindsey's two recent posts on the situation:

Prejudice: Not a Wise Platform Strategy

Genre Prejudice Part II

Why Can't We All Just get Along? (And Read Paranormal Fantasy...)

Then check out what the NYT did deem as "notable" this year. Did the book or books you loved the most this year make the list? Do the lists really matter to you as a reader? How about as a writer?

Continually curious,


Sheila Deeth said...

The other section of the writers' world that didn't make the list is small publishers. Did you notice how they're all attached to big houses?

Shannon Delany said...

Good point, Sheila. I'm adding at least one more link to this article that was published on B&N that addressed the genre discrimination against paranormals, too.