There are dozens of different genres to consider. As a romance writer they each have the fundamental romance plot. However they can be fantasy, suspense, paranormal or even erotic. Choosing a genre has as much to do with your audience as it does with your own writing preferences. For example, you may prefer to read romantic suspense however your novels may have a historical bent. So how do you choose the genre that’s right for you?

What’s Being Published?

One of the considerations you MIGHT want to make are the current buying and publishing trends. I say might because this isn’t always a good way to write. However, if your goals for writing romance are to sell books and you’re able to embrace any romance genre and write a good story then it’s certainly something to pay attention to.

What Do You Love?

There’s a more popular school of thought that says you should write what you love to read and what you feel comfortable or confident writing. For example, if you’ve been reading mysteries since you were a child then the mystery subgenre may come naturally to you. If you love horror then write romantic horror or paranormal romance. Don’t forget that there’s likely going to be an element of research involved as you write your story. If you love your genre then research will be enjoyable. If it’s not enjoyable, perhaps you’re in the wrong genre.

Where Does it Fit?

Sometimes you have a story and you’re not sure what the genre is, you just know that it’s a story you have to tell. As you’re writing this story, it makes sense to step out of it for a few minutes and to identify the genre. You might do a little research online to find books with similar themes or plots. What genre are they in? You might write down the possibilities. For example, your book might be a romantic suspense that takes place in the past. So is it a historical romance or a suspense?

Why Does it Matter?

Knowing your genre helps you write a better book. You’ll be able to plot and manage the nuances of your specific subgenre.

Knowing your genre helps you identify the right agent and/or publisher. They have goals and target markets and audiences. Publishing is at its core a business of numbers. Agents and publishers need to know what you’re writing so they can assess how you fit with their plans and goals.

Knowing your genre helps you market your book. Whether you self-publish or publish traditionally, you’ll need to market your book. Understanding who your audience is will help you connect with them and sell more books.

There are an abundance of genres to choose from. Here are a few to consider:

  • General
  • African American
  • Collections & Anthologies
  • Contemporary
  • Erotica
  • Fantasy
  • Gay
  • Historical / General
  • Historical / Ancient World
  • Historical / Medieval
  • Historical / Regency
  • Historical / Scottish
  • Historical / Victorian
  • Historical / Viking
  • Horror
  • Lesbian
  • Military
  • Multicultural & Interracial
  • New Adult
  • Paranormal
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Science Fiction
  • Suspense
  • Time Travel
  • Western
  • Young Adult


So many to choose from! Grab a story starter if you aren’t sure where to begin and Happy Writing!