“We aren’t entirely sure how to market this” was one of the reasons the publisher used for dropping my novel. In all honesty I get that one. The novel ended up being a paranormal, sports romance. And the sport involved isn’t one of the bigger sports, it is ice hockey. My husband (a lifelong hockey fan and a man who played until he was in his 40’s) once called ice hockey ‘the fourth ring in the three ring circus of sports in the US’.
I couldn’t have picked a sport like football, basketball or baseball.
I like hockey. I’m willing to put in the time to research about hockey, about the organizations and the culture. Heck I even have put in a lot of time to research fighting and the sorts of men that become enforcers (fighters) in the NHL, even though none of my characters have been enforcers. If you are wondering it is normally guys who have caretaker personality who end up fighting the most. I’m guessing that my love of the sport and my willingness to put the time in are the reason that only one of my non hockey stories have sold.
I’m probably not going to give up the fantasy elements of my stories. The romance comes and goes – but most of my characters have some sort of partner, but they aren’t all in the process of falling in love.
So I have to figure out a way to start and market my own sub-genre. In the 80’s I started reading fantasy books set in modern cities. It may have taken years, but Urban Fantasy is a common sub-genre. So given enough time and effort maybe the ‘next new big thing’ will be ‘paranormal sports romance’, it may take twenty years, but I’m still young.
How about you? What is your favorite sub-genre to read or write?