Were You Expecting This?
Every notice how certain genres have certain…shall we say expectations?
Do you buy a haunted a house book, get halfway through it and go ‘My god, the house is haunted, I did NOT see that coming.’?
Of course not.
If it’s a haunted house book, the house had better be either haunted or someone’s gas lighting someone.
It’s what readers expect. If it turns out to be all in the character’s mind, people are going to disappointed.
Romance is the same way. If it’s romance, it has a happy ending. Period. If there’s no happy ending, it’s not romance. It’ll never be romance.
Thrillers suffer from this too. If a woman is being followed by a strange man, he needs to up to something… menacing eventually. If it turns out it was colossal misunderstanding, your readers will feel disappointed. (Though it could work in a romance.)
It’s great for writers to try new and different things; to defy the rules and break conventions. However, going against ingrained expectations can often do more harm than good.
No one wants to buy book A and end up with book B.
Even if book B is a great book.
So before you hit ‘publish’ on your book, think about where your book belongs. A book that sells horribly and gets bad reviews in category ‘A’ might just sell like crazy in this other category over here.