Recently, I published Dreaming Montana on Amazon Kindle. Part of that process required choosing a category for the book. This is more difficult than it might seem at first. Amazon has a limit of two category assignments per book so I needed to really identify my market.
In the case of Dreaming Montana, my first pick was paranormal romance. This genre barely existed eighteen years ago when I wrote the first draft. I’m thankful now to have a marketing tag for it. This book has no vampires or zombies or werewolves, though these are the creatures that have popularized this genre. Instead there is an angel. This is not a story of survival against freaks of nature, but about divine guidance and having the courage to embrace life. This gives you an idea of how broad the paranormal romance category actually is.
Choosing the second category was more complicated. The story has supernatural and metaphysical elements. The only available options were either Occult & Supernatural or Visionary & Metaphysical, but not the desired combination. Occult sounded almost satanic, and to tag one’s work as visionary seemed just a tad grandiose. But after researching, it seems these two categories are just two sides of the same coin.
Occult is defined as “dealing with supernatural influences” which is not specifically devilish, so maybe I was just an impressionable kid when the Exorcist came out. Though the definition fits my story, the creepy negative undertone does not.
Visionary fiction is harder to describe. One website defined it as “fiction in which the expansion of the human mind drives the plot.” Another website claimed that visionary novels “deal with shifts in awareness that result in metaphysical understanding by the central characters.” This also typically involves psychic and paranormal experiences. That sounded right to me, so that’s what I picked as the second category.
But the truth is that all four labels involve supernatural elements and could just as easily be applied. Some are heavenly and divine while others seem a bit earthy. They all fit this story. While Dreaming Montana is about believing in a force greater than oneself, it also has a nice dash of erotica thrown in. The characters are only human, and pleasure is an excellent motivator.
It might be just enough to lure those earthy Occult & Supernatural readers over to my heavenly Visionary & Metaphysical book.