Solaris Books has posted an interesting article at their webiste concerning the packagaing of genre fiction. Go read Marrying Authors to their Market: A Genre Perspective for interesting insight into the issues publishers face when selling books. An exceprt:
Publishing a successful SF/F novel is not something you can easily do to a formula, and indeed, the measures of what make a novel a success are as varied as the houses that publish them. So how, then, do you go about finding this elusive success and packaging a novel in a way that will maximise its potential in the market?
As I see it, there are currently two schools of thought – to package your SF/F novel to appeal to as wide a readership as possible, in the hope of enticing readers from other areas of the bookstore to pick it up on a whim; or to package your SF/F novel to appeal to the perceived core readership of the genre, or indeed, fans of Battlestar Galactica and Doctor Who, people who want a book with a spaceship or a wizard on the front of it.
For even more insight into the matter, check out Ariel’s assessment of the matter over at The Genre Files.