Summer Series 2021: Writing in Multiple Genres Part 1
by Steph Beth Nickel
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of writing in multiple fiction genres. Later in the blog series, we’ll talk about nonfiction.
Not everyone agrees that it’s a good idea, but there are a number of authors who successfully write in two or more genres.
Before you decide whether you’re going to focus only on one genre or on several, you’ll want to ask yourself a series of questions.
The first …
What does success mean to me?
Will you consider yourself a successful author only if you’re picked up by a traditional publisher?
If so, your publisher will want you to write exclusively in one genre—at least in the beginning. You’ll have more latitude if you go the indie route.
Are you looking forward to developing a devoted fan base?
If your readers love your speculative fiction and then pick up your next book, a cozy mystery or sweet romance, they’ll not only be confused but also disappointed. They’ll be expecting more of the same if your name is on the cover of both books. Writing under different pseudonyms can solve this issue.
Is keeping your fans happy an element of success in your mind?
With so many new books appearing on the market every day, if you don’t release your next book in what readers consider “a timely fashion,” they’re likely to move on to another author and may not pick up your next book if it takes too long to come out. This is especially true if you’re writing a series. Once readers are invested in your characters and storylines, they’ll want more ASAP.
Do you define success as being your readers’ favourite speculative fiction author? Mystery writer? Sweet romance writer?
To develop your storytelling skills to this level requires hours of reading, writing, and research. If you want to become your readers’ go-to author, it’s important to focus on one genre at a time. It’s best to choose a genre you love to read and can see yourself writing in, potentially, for years. Once you become someone’s favourite author, they’re going to want to get their hands on as many books as you can write.
What’s most important to you? How do you define success? Which route makes the most sense to becoming your version of a successful author? Regardless of whether you write in multiple genres or only one, your first responsibility as an author is to write the best book you can.
[Come back next month for part 2 of this series on writing in multiple genres.]
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org; join her Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2725853534313738; or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.