Is it Time for a Change?

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Hello Lovelies and welcome back to the blog.

We’ve talked a lot about writing a series, and about the pitfalls of how writing an especially long-standing series in a set genre can box you into being a writer of one genre and only one genre, when that may not be what you want to write for the rest of your life. Last week I talked about the traditional publishing side of this, and about the author/agent relationship, how you can approach your agent about your interest in a broad writing career, and what to do if they aren’t capable or willing to pivot with you once you’re contracted with them. If you missed that post, go ahead and check that out now.

This week, I want to talk specifically about how a self-published author can signpost to their readers that they do more than just writing one type of book series. Let’s dive in.

  1. Consider Using Pen Names for Different Genres

The thing is, you may lose fans if you’ve branded yourself too securely into one genre and then try to write in another very different genre. Fans of period romance, for instance, may not be all that into it if you decide to do a high fantasy next. Murder mystery lovers might not be all that into space operas. If you’re jumping totally to the side of the genre you started in, you might consider writing under a different pen name and building a new fan base. 

This is also important to consider when you write and publish for another day job, such as a college or a hospital, and then also publish other things that don’t mix well with your professional life, or could be seen as a conflict of interest. If the middle school kids you teach could find both their textbook and your steamy werewolf romance novels easily under the same name, you might consider using a different pen name. Places like Amazon will offer books to read based on similar reading interests, and it makes it even easier to find when, with one click on the name of their professor, everything they’ve ever published comes up.

  1. Have an Awesome Website Hub

Of course, such conflicts of interest that will lose you a day job may be rare. You want to make sure that you have an excellent website outside of the sites that you are publishing that can become your hub for all things that you write. In the event that you do have conflicts of interest, consider separating your day job website from everything else that you write. Just in case.

Still, with everything else you write, it’s very practical to have different pages linking your books in each genre. Include links to where people can pick the books up, with images and back cover synopses of each book. Include a header with each of your pen names, or list your pen names in a FAQ section, so that people can always find out for themselves that you are the same person writing each novel. If you’re really tech savvy, each pen name can have its own website, but you should still link all your pen name websites together so that all your works can easily be found.

  1. Fast Publish

We’ve talked about fast drafting, so let’s talk about fast publishing. When you fast draft, you write an entire series, or a large section of that series all at once. You edit the series all together, then you can then take the steps to publish each book in the series back to back, usually between one and three months apart. 

If you intend to write in multiple genres, you generally finish one series in one genre, then fast draft and release in a new genre only after the first is finished. In this way, you create a readership in a particular series and genre. You gain followers of your books who will consistently follow you from book to book. Then, once you have a fanbase, you can introduce them to a new series and bring them along to another similar genre, while also gaining new fans in the new genre. 

I recently pulled myself out of a writing slump. Next week, I’m going to be talking about my writing projects, mental health, and give you an update on what’s happening.

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you use a pen name, and if you do, do you have more than one?
  2. Does your writing life create a conflict of interest with your professional life? How?
  3. What kinds of genres do you like to write in? Do they mix well together or do you need to separate them?
  4. What kinds of things do you think are necessary for your author website, and what do you like or dislike about mine?
  5. What questions would you like to see me answer in a blog post or podcast episode?

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