Yesterday I read on a blog a very excited comment to the effect that there was now a new genre, YYA (young-young adult, meaning middle school). Rather than get into a rant on the proliferation of "genres" and writers chasing after the latest fad, I just want to say a couple of words on genres and marketing categories.
Originally, the term genre meant novel, short story, poetry, theater, etc. All these genres were influenced by literary movements (classical, romantic, modernist, etc.) which in turn responded to the world at large and its problems and issues. Of course, words change in meaning with use. That's a feature of language. But at some point, overuse of a word for many different things robs it of any meaning.
In current fiction, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, adult, young adult, and so on, are marketing categories, that is, demographic groups the book selling business targets. The best literature appeals across these categories (Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley, JK Rowling, etc.) Even marketers seem to understand that the over-proliferation of brands in a company begins to cannibalize their own products. If we let marketing drive what we write, we will mostly write trite books aimed at ever shrinking readerships. It is to everyone's benefit to cast a wider net. Write a novel, story, poem, or play (no labels on it) for your ideal reader or readers. At least, that's what I aim for.
Please visit my book's website at www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Angela1.html