Anyways. During the conversation, this arose:
- The reason why there are historical romances is that significant many people like historical novels AND romances. Therefore there is a sufficient market to be worth tapping.
- There may be some people who like historical books and not romances, and vice versa; but, since there are enough people who like both, it doesn't mater that some are put off because they don't like romance, or historical.
- Also, history can be rather romantic. When it's not being gruesome, as my historical fiction is.
A book needs to fit somewhere. It needs, I'm terribly sorry to say, a pigeon-hole. I don't like that fact any more than you do, but it is the case for 99% of books. And the other 1% have their very own pigeon-hole of unpigeon-holedness..
2. Assuming that you have found a few books that do cross the same genres, at least make your book fit that mini-genre. Think closely of the readers of those books and how you can tap into what they like. And mention it in your pitch.