Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Let's play a new game - Jumping Genres!!

Once upon a time, I would have behaved like most other authors and frowned on someone jumping from genre to genre. I would have believed the hype that it could damage my career. I was told by many that an author should be known and branded by only one type of book.


What makes you think if you have a receptive and following audience in paranormal romances, that your writing won’t be just as good and your voice be just as strong when you delve into a romantic suspense or…  even a children’s book? LOL


I know that many authors in the past would change their names to write different genres because they believed their fans would riot if they bought a book thinking it to be one of their historicals and it turned out to be a suspense or contemporary. I'm thinking of women like Nora Roberts who uses J.D. Robb for her suspense series or futuristic author Jayne Castle who writes historicals under Amanda Quick and mysteries under Jayne Anne Krentz. Of course, these ladies have a NY publishing house behind their best-selling careers and therefore they don’t have to try and keep up a social media presence for three different brands.


Today, it’s different. Today we respect the reader to such an extent that we know she/he checks to see that the book they are about to buy is the one they’ll want to read. And for those that make an error - on Amazon (don’t know about the others since I’m only with Amazon) - a purchaser can return an item once they’ve realized their mistake.


So, my advice to others is what I do myself. I try very hard to keep my covers and my titles a depiction of the inside story so that people who want to buy one of my books knows it’s a Vicarage Bench spirit-travel tale just by looking at the covers. Same with the Angel series and of course, the Vegas series can be nothing else but suspense since almost all the books show a cop on the cover.
A short sentence on the cover can also help the reader in knowing the type of book they’re perusing. Heck, if all else fails the book description must be full of the story details leaving no one wondering what genre this story would fall into.


There is one type of book I might be tempted to start writing under a psuedenom especially if my other books are sweet romance and I know you’ve guessed what that might be. But there’s certainly no law that says it’s a must. I know quite a few very good authors who use one name and they haven’t suffered by doing so. Today’s business has opened that particular stuffy door and the fresh air in here is lovely!


In fact, this new world of publishing is making me so happy that I’ve decided to revise an old contemporary romance written years ago and it will be released next month. Lord I love this business!!


So – does this make sense to you? Or do you think we should still be sticking to only ONE genre?




  1. In today's confusing world of digital publishing, it's probably a good idea to keep jumping genres until you find one that attracts an audience. A writer's mysteries may fall flat, but his her her Sci-Fi might generate a lot of book buyers. It is a trial and error world.

  2. Hi Mimi, I think you're doing a great job with your cover to convey which genre your books are in.

    I agree with Caleb, try different genres and see how things go. In any case, write what you're interested in reading and like minded readers will connect with you.

    Beside, your writing name is your brand, and who knows? readers of your romantic suspense may enjoy your paranormal romances too.

  3. Hi Mimi,
    I don't think authors have to stick with one genre. I have favorite authors who have written in several genres under the same name, and I was so glad I found their other work. ie. Carrie Vaughn, who switched publishers in order to publish a variety of work under her own name.
    Rachelle Gardner wrote a really cool article on whether we actually need all the pseudonyms
    I sometimes wonder how to handle kid's books though - I wonder if a kid might accidentally pick up one of the author's other books that are too old for them.

  4. Hi, Mimi,
    You noted how you use your covers to identify the kind of book you're putting out and I think that works.

    My kidlit books are unmistakable in that I use headshots of kids so you know right up front what you're getting.

  5. These comments warm my heart. I'm glad to see we're in agreement that the readers today are much more savvy than to make many mistakes.
    It's kinda strange in a way because when I love a person's writing, I grab everything she/he/s written and mixing genres doesn't bother me at all. If the story is well done - I'm satisfied.