That kind of removes the whole “competition” thing when it comes to getting readers’ attention, though. Yes there’s still incentive to write/craft well, but genre fiction comes with an implicit understanding that you’re not trying to target the entire planet (as some people seem to insinuate). Just all the English speaking Fantasy nerds.
Well, yes and no, young grasshopper.
1. I don’t think any book can target the entire planet (unless one gets into the non-fiction faith or self-help realm, and even then, that assumes everyone has the same faith concepts you do or the same neuroses you do.)
2. General fiction without a genre is more often found in Literature, but even that itself has become a genre.
3. What’s wrong with targeting an audience? Restaurants do that, movies do that, music does that, clothing does that, housing does that, even choosing a major in college does that.
4. Really good genre books DO transcend genre.
5. Most avid readers read more than one genre. I read: Military SF, SFR, RSF, cozy mystery, police procedural, sword and sorcery fantasy, historical mystery, historical romance, romantic suspense, anything with a cat in the book, some YA, Christian SF/F, science fantasy…. As I type this I’m thinking more of AUTHORS I read than genre. CJ Cherryh. JD Robb. (Those two are totally different in style and structure and theme.) Robin D Owens. Piper Drake aka PJ Schnyder. Julie Czerneda. David Weber. Tanya Huff. Elizabeth Moon. Jack Campbell. Ian Douglas. Ed McBain. John D MacDonald. Sue Grafton…. this list will get really long if I keep going…
6. I targeted English-speaking SFR nerds with my FINDERS KEEPERS. It was translated into German and is now called Sternen Jagd. Stacey Kade’s books have been translated in several languages. Likely the Harry Potter stuff has been translated into EVERY language and, I suspect, even Klingon.
7. Learning to craft fiction transcends genres. The concepts–let’s take the very first one in this class “change”–works for every genre.
8. Rest easy, young grasshopper. The world can be your oyster.
I know I have a few published authors in this class. What say you? Inquiring minds want to know…
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//