Category Conundrum: The After Eden Series

web_banner_e-books_2000x1000I think most people know the iconic story of the Diary of Anne Frank. Anne and her family hid in an attic for two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and were eventually captured.

Well, let’s say instead of 1942, we have a fictionalized version of the story set in the year 2432, with hovercraft, robots, bio-engineered birds (the real ones became extinct). The same basic story, and all the main characters are practicing Jews and family helping them are Christians. What category should it be in? Broadly, science Fiction, yes, but what sub-categories? Religious Fiction? Christian Fiction?

Every author (until they supposedly make it “big”) struggles with discoverability for any of his or her works. Pick the right ones and you have a better chance of being found. Pick the wrong ones and your natural readers won’t find you and you get lost in the crowd. Things can be further complicated by have a novel that doesn’t fit nicely into one category.

Honestly, I struggled with this. The After Eden is an international, science fiction, thriller series spanning several decades and features different religions, politics, and nations.  My solution: I decided to do something unique and have the After Eden books listed under Christian Fiction (Futuristic) and the other half listed under Religious Fiction (Futuristic), with the companion novels in Cyberpunk. Does that accurately describe the series? No, but that isn’t the point. It is about connecting with readers who are most likely to enjoy the books.

Most of you know The Hunger Games books and now the movies. In a dystopian future, teenagers are sent to a self-contained, booby-trapped island for a fight against each other to the death. Look on Amazon and what categories are the books in? Science fiction? Dystopia? No. Self-Esteem and Reliance (Teens) and Friendship, Social Skills & School Life (Children’s Books). Yes, I started laughing too, but it illustrates the point better than anything. Categories are not to describe the book, but to connect with the readers who will love your book.

For me this is especially important because the series enters its final four books—collectively, more dramatic, more emotional, and events more destructive than its predecessors. I want those readers to find the series, because it is quite unique.

The After Eden Series Page (Check out the cool animated covers)

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