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Old 04-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #1
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what is "mainstream" genre ?

on fictionwise, you can browse by genre. one of the sub-genres of "fiction" is "mainstream". but in this sub-genre, i found some mysteries (but there is also a sub-genre "mystery", on the same level as "mainstream"), some romance (there is also a sub-genre "romance"), some suspense / thrillers (there is a sub genre "suspense / thriller"...)... you see where i am going with this right ?

so i'm confused, what is the "mainstream" genre ? i don't really see anything these books seem to have in common, or any reason they could not be classed in "mystery", "romance", "thriller"...

is this a common genre ? i've never noticed it before.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:24 PM   #2
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I think it's just "general" fiction that can't be specifically categorised as romance, mystery, SF, etc.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
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I think it's just "general" fiction that can't be specifically categorised as romance, mystery, SF, etc.
ok, that makes sense, thank you.

but then why do they also add books from the other genres (mystery, romances, etc.) ? it's a giant mish-mash in there. if i *am* looking for "general" fiction that is not mystery or romance or whathaveyou, i'm going to have to weed it out from the rest.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:50 PM   #4
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It seems to be the same for 'General' in the non-fiction list too - that has items that would be better off in other categories.

Maybe they rely on information from publishers to categorise books, and 'Mainstream' and 'General' are the dumping grounds for the books that haven't had category information provided.
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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It seems to be the same for 'General' in the non-fiction list too - that has items that would be better off in other categories.

Maybe they rely on information from publishers to categorise books, and 'Mainstream' and 'General' are the dumping grounds for the books that haven't had category information provided.
aha, that would be a likely explanation.

they need some professionnal librarians in there, that place is a mess.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:13 PM   #6
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MobiPocket's All Categories page lists the only options for professionally generated MOBI ebooks (this will be embedded in the MOBI book's metadata). MobiPocket's "General Fiction" category would seem to naturally map to "mainstream", but I tried two popular FictionWise mainstream books and one (2nd Chance by James Patterson) was in MOBI's "Suspense & Thrillers" category.
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Old 04-11-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
MobiPocket's All Categories page lists the only options for professionally generated MOBI ebooks (this will be embedded in the MOBI book's metadata). MobiPocket's "General Fiction" category would seem to naturally map to "mainstream", but I tried two popular FictionWise mainstream books and one (2nd Chance by James Patterson) was in MOBI's "Suspense & Thrillers" category.
2nd Chance seems to be suspense or thriller if you read the description on Amazon. I have only read one James Patterson book and it was a thriller.

I think general fiction is fiction books you cannot map to another category.
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:11 PM   #8
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so, "mainstream" just means general fiction (in theory at least), and fictionwise needs help with their categories. thanks for the answers everyone.
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Old 04-12-2008, 03:50 PM   #9
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Mainstream would be non-genre fiction. It's the "straight" literature that wins Pulitzer Prizes and is taught in literature courses (that is, if it's any good). It's usually character-based even if it has a strong plot. Genre fiction is usually driven by the story.

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Old 04-12-2008, 04:16 PM   #10
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Mainstream is also used to mean popular, or well selling. Books that sell well to other than the specific demographic that they are targeted to. Thus a romance that sells well to a general audience might be classified as "mainstream."
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Old 04-12-2008, 04:39 PM   #11
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Basically the categories mean whatever the bookstore decides it means. Horror is definitely a separate genre but often it doesn't have it's own section and is mixed in with "Fiction" or "Literature."
Often Fantasy is shelved under the Science Fiction label. It's less common now but was general practice back in the 70s.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RWood View Post
Mainstream is also used to mean popular, or well selling. Books that sell well to other than the specific demographic that they are targeted to. Thus a romance that sells well to a general audience might be classified as "mainstream."
Mmm, that's what I was thinking...

You've got to remember that these are books for simple reader.; the people of the airport paperback; the common clay consumers of the commuter canon. You know...morons.

(Blazing Saddles is one of my favourite movies; which also means you can consider the irony of my posed condescension)

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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Marc: I would offer you a Laurel and Hardy handshake; but, I would need to count my fingers afterward since it seems that you have yet to have your first coffee of the day. So while the world keeps producing better idiots/morons/voters it is up to us -- those that have had their coffee today or will have it soon -- to set our own standards and not be influenced by the New York Times bestseller list.

We must find those people that would take a bicycle trek while reading Moby Dick and tear out the pages read to lighten the load as the trip continued. People that read the newspaper comics first and then turn to the "hard" news. People who are willing to have an avatar with a guitar in the background.

Perhaps we need a poll to determine if we should have a poll. After all, two polls don't make a right, but three lefts do.








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Old 04-13-2008, 04:24 PM   #14
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either what HarryT said-or just THAT sorta literature that aint controversial,but not groundbreaking either.
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:44 PM   #15
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Marc: I would offer you a Laurel and Hardy handshake; but, I would need to count my fingers afterward since it seems that you have yet to have your first coffee of the day.
I've had two coffees, so that would make me all better now (or, at least, quicker).

Quote:
So while the world keeps producing better idiots/morons/voters it is up to us -- those that have had their coffee today or will have it soon -- to set our own standards and not be influenced by the New York Times bestseller list.
Here, here! (That's not a spelling mistake; I need you to come here quickly as I appear to have again been caught up in the unusually binding and labyrinthine byways of trying to put on my black skivvy - I've started to lose feeling in my left arm, and my lips have become distastefully familiar with my right armpit).

Quote:
We must find those people that would take a bicycle trek while reading Moby Dick and tear out the pages read to lighten the load as the trip continued. People that read the newspaper comics first and then turn to the "hard" news. People who are willing to have an avatar with a guitar in the background.
Would you believe that's a self-portrait...without a tripod (subject excepted of course...Hardy har har)? I am all for those Moby Dick bicycle-trekking chappies, as physeter macrocephalus albinus is hard to come by on the open road, or even the closed roads, and trying to find and hold open the right page while pedaling madly towards a suspect horizon with your harpoon held at the ready over your head is no mean feet (because it's even harder by foot). I'd vote for a them.

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Perhaps we need a poll to determine if we should have a poll. After all, two polls don't make a right, but three lefts do.
Two wrongs do not make a right; nor do two polls make a right; however two poles and a crossbeam make a goal and and two Wrights make an aeroplane, so together with can aim high and rule the world from above! (Well, at least we can rule about 852 feet of linear ground for about 59 seconds from our airborne ivory tower soaring arrogantly 10 feet above the great unwashed).

Also, I'm due another coffee. (I'd say "caffellatte" but then you might think I read "literature", and I don't want you putting this Escheresque, wound hole in that particular Schroedinger box).

Mr. Wood...you have my undying loyalty and service at your command. Go forth and pollify!

Cheers,
Marc ("Ishmael, call me")
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