Dear Miss Snark,
My novel combines elements of alternate history, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction.
My twenty eight year old black coworker thought that the book should be labeled as African American because four out of eight main characters are black.
My thirty five year old wife thought that if I removed the sex scene (not going to happen) it should be YA because the main character is sixteen.
My seventy five year old cousin thought it should be alternate history track because he enjoyed carefully researched parts about World War II the most.
My thirty two year old friend who only reads mystery thought it would do well as murder mystery.
As for me, I think its an urban fantasy because there is magic involved, even thought I attempted to make it plausible to the point that one of the people who read it claims that she was able to stop wrist pain following my books instructions
My fear is that by choosing one aspect of the book and labeling it urban or contemporary fantasy I will shut many doors.
I can see Miss Snark reading my query and saying, Hmm
Fantasy? Thats an automatic no. Where is that pesky form letter? Oh, well, this tissue would do, I only used it once. Okay, maybe twice, but whos counting?
If you can see me reading this in a cover letter and saying "interesting" your optician is a miracle worker.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: when in doubt "commercial fiction" works very nicely.
I pay very very little attention when writers tell me their books should be lableled such and so. About 25% of the time they are flat out wrong. Another 25% of the time, they're half right but chose the wrong category.
Don't worry about this. Write compellingly and I'll read it.