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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Which Genre Is Best In Show?


I confess to getting a kick out of watching The Westminster Dog Show, even though I feel a bit guilty.  Why would I feel guilty watching a dog beauty contest?   I think it’s because I feel the animals are being used and manipulated in an unnatural setting.  Dogs should compete at their own levels, not under a human standard of dogness.

The way they “show” the dogs seems foreign to how dogs really interact.  We love that dogs run, bark, roll over for belly rubs, try to lick us, love to sit on our laps and be by our side.  None of these features are included in the judged event.  Instead, it’s a competition run by a bunch of stuffy snotnoses who believe they are qualified to be in a superior position to rate dogs on a subjective scale. We should embrace a dog's natural imperfections and not penalize them for being unmanicured. Their sloppiness and and doofiness is what we should hug.

This year the competition featured 196 dog breeds, which is weird because not even 20 years ago there were maybe 145 breeds.  The evolution of dogs is out of control.  Breeders are genetically altering our dogs and mixing breeds and certain physical traits that are not natural.  This has me wondering: Are we creating more genres of books the way society is breeding new dogs?  Is our genre explosion good for us?

It’s not enough to say you write science fiction books.  Are they post-apocalyptic adventures?  Are they futuristic stories?  Are they time-travel books?  Are they human vs. robot books?  It seems that every genre has its subgenre themes and categories.  If enough people tend to write on a type of topic, a genre has been created.

Mommy porn.
Lesbian vampire erotica.
Terrorism fantasy.

These are just some of the scores of mini-genres floating around now.  What makes a genre a genre?  Can a mini-genre belong to multiple genres?  Does everything really need to be labeled and catalogued to such a degree that the books in a genre get trivialized?

Drama, mystery, comedy, etc. just don’t cut it anymore.  We need to further classify a book to the point likeminded ones are clustered to form a new genre.  It would be akin to the supermarket not just having a candy aisle, but multiple sections for candy, each with it’s own distinct theme: gum, sucking candies, milk chocolates, chocolate with nuts or flavors, etc.

In the end, the best dog is singled out, and the same comes with books.  Despite a flurry of new genres, only a handful of books will be deemed “the best in show.”

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

1 comment:

  1. I always like mongrel pups best. I wonder if we could have mongrel books too.

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