If you’re writing for the Middle Grade (MG) audience and planning your novel, you’ll also need to figure out what genre it will fall into.
MG Genres & Examples:
- Fantasy and adventure make up the majority of MG best-sellers.
- Magic and High Fantasy – The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
- Mystery – The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
- Humor – Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce
- Paranormal, Mythology Fantasy, Superpower – The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan
Agents will want to know right away what category your Middle Grade novel fits into so they know how to market it. As writers, we have to keep in mind that agents and publishers will have in the forefront of their minds how much money our book can potentially make them.
Everything is risk to them, and the chance they are going to stretch their imaginations on your behalf or create a category just for you isn’t likely (unless you’re already a best-selling author).
Middle Grade is the reader audience not a genre. Best not to accidentally refer to MG as a genre when marketing your book. It could be enough for an agent or publisher to not even bother looking at all your hard work.
If you want your book to be “findable” on sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, you still have to be able to categorize your book. Of course, as an indie author, it’s not necessary to categorize your book as neatly.
Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant self-published their Unicorn Western novel with great success and nowhere near within a “proper” category.
They’ve built great author platforms and know that not all readers care whether or not a book can be neatly categorized as long as it’s a great read. No agent or publisher risk was involved, so they went for it, and their instincts paid off.
Look at that cover. I’m interested – just added it to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list.
I hate the idea of anyone’s creativity being stifled by rigid rules that dictate what the majority of readers will predictably read. I’m interested in something new, something different, something that hasn’t been done before. I can’t be the only one.
If your writing is a little or a lot outside the box, anything is possible. With memorable characters and a well written reader-hooking story, I believe there’s a big enough audience for it.