Friday, October 17, 2008

"But where should I put you?"

Well, I still haven't come down from the high of finding out I would have a short story published for the first time. That said, my novel is still a WIP, and I have no idea if it will be the one to break through, or if that'll be my next (or the one after, or the one after, or...). So I am really asking this next question moreso than answering it:

Where does a mystery writer want his or her books shelved?

I know the smartass answer, but I'm being serious. Last week I went into B&N and picked up a DVD. I was hoping to get one for my wife to use in her class, but it hadn't come in yet. Anyway, while I was there I had a few minutes to kill so I thought I'd check the shelves for some of the writers I'd like to eventually mimic. I looked primarily for members of the Murderati, along with some other up-and-comers, and I found something interesting...

They were in a couple of different locations. Some were exclusively in the NEW FICTION section, some were with mystery, and some were with general fiction.

This got me to thinking, "where is it better to be shelved?"

My first thought would be mystery, because a mystery-lover would expect to find a mystery- (and even a thriller-) writer there. But Now I'm not so sure. Because names like JT Ellison and Brett Battles were in general fiction, along with the likes of Jeffery Deaver and Michael Connelly. Now I'm well aware that Mr. Battles's books could be considered thrillers, but Ms. Ellison's seem like mysteries to me, as do most of Mr. Deaver's and Mr. Connelly's.

So does being housed in General Fiction mean you've "really made it"???

I can't imagine that's true, because Sue Grafton definitely has, and she and Janet Evanovich both have sweeping sections on the MYSTERY shelf.

So published authors, I'm honestly asking here:

Where would you rather be placed (other than front and center with a placard that says, "BUY ME!" like J.A. Konrath's latest book trailer)?


JT Ellison said...

Jake, thanks for the shout out.

I'm shelved in mystery in Borders, General Fiction in Books-A-Million, and Fiction and Literature in Barnes and Noble. It can be confusing, yes. But I am actually a thriller, and they do try to stick to the labels.

Personally I love the Fiction and Literature label ; )

I've found myself in romance too, when someone doesn't pay attention and just looks at the Mira colophon and assumes it's a Harlequin. That's more frustrating to me than anything.

jnantz said...

Ms. Ellison,
You are most welcome! And I can understand your frustration in that last situation, although it may just branch you out and get you some new crossover readers!

Mostly I was just curious, because I know it's vitally important to some people. Then there are others who are more like, "Just put me wherever they'll buy the most."

I guess when/if I get that first novel published, I might have to revisit this discussion and see if it would matter to me.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by!