Subgenre as a Marketing tool
When readers go to the bookstore, whether virtually or walking the aisles of a brick and mortar, rarely do they have no idea what they want. They go for mysteries, fantasies, or literary fiction. In today’s highly specialized world, book genres are no exception. If you go to the mystery section, there’s cozy mystery, paranormal mystery, romantic mystery, thriller mystery, etc. (you get the point). These are not simply words plastered on the signs over bookshelf, they’re cues to plot formulas, tropes, and the type of story the reader is going to get into.
Readers are smart.
Do your research.
Marketing the subgenre of your book incorrectly could lead to disappointed readers and poor reviews. Don’t market an adventure book as a romance because there’s a sex scene. They will go to social media. Luckily for the authors the reader is complaining about, the reader didn’t name names. 24 minutes and 24 people agreeing. Groups like this can have over a thousand members.
Again, don’t label your book something it’s not to boost sales. It will go poorly.
In this case, Paranormal Women’s Fiction is a genre that has the following tropes:
MC over 40.
Divorced, has midlife marriage troubles, or is going through a major life change because she’s middle-aged.
Magical creatures or magic of some sort.
Humor (though not required, it’s part of most pwf)
They’re going through things that women do at midlife.
If these four things are not essential to your plot or character, don’t step in this growing genre just because it’s hot right now.
(Side Note: I’m marketing Eastside Hedge Witch as Paranormal Women’s fiction. It meets all the tropes and it’s hilarious!)