The category I picked: Urban fantasy thriller

As I talked about in my Finding a category post, I researched categories on Amazon and combined that research with what I wanted to write. The genre/category I came up with is “urban fantasy thriller.” So to break that down:

  • Urban fantasy. Takes place “today” and has definite fantasy elements such as magic and magical people.
  • Thriller. I’m using the Lee Child or John Sandford definition of thriller in this case. A mystery with lots of action. My hero is smart, capable, and willing to kick the ass of any bad guys who get in his way. He has the ability to tap into the magic system of this universe, but he’s not a full-blown mage (there are very few of those beings).

So how do I know that I found a “hungry category” as Chris Fox (link to his website) calls it? I don’t. He even says this in his Risk Versus Reward video (free to watch, all of them are). There’s no way to KNOW if you’re picking the correct category for yourself or if the books you write will be successful. A lot plays into that. Are you a good enough writer to pull it off? Do you perform the correct marketing tasks to get the book(s) noticed? Not to mention do you have the correct type of professional-looking cover art for this genre?

In short, it’s a crap shoot. But if you can figure it out and break the top 100 sellers on Amazon, you’re going to be moving books and making a little money. Urban fantasy certainly fits the mold of both hot and hungry. But the genre/category is also crowded. Lots of people writing for it. That’s the risk versus reward Chris is talking about. The reward is really good, but you have to get discovered to cash in on that reward. And getting discovered is not easy (except for a lucky few), but it is doable.