Sometimes, writing in a genre that is over-saturated with a flood of books by indie authors can make it difficult to make any money or get recognised. The book gets lost, and so does the author. But how can an author stand out? Tracey Lynn Tobin asks a question related to this.
Question 44: Would you ever consider writing in a genre outside your scope if you thought it would give you a better chance of exposure/financial gain?
I’ve thought about it sometimes. I mean, YA and romance seem to get a lot of attention. But that’s not me, it’s not my style. I can’t even fit a romantic subplot in Jasper, much less design an entire book around one. I think if I attempted, it wouldn’t be as successful, and therefore wouldn’t earn me the attention I’d be after in the first place.
Tracey Lynn Tobin
The genres in which I feel comfortable are horror, fantasy, and supernatural, with the addendum that I feel okay writing for either adult or young adult audiences. Those are all the areas on which I feel I have a strong enough grasp to write well. They are also difficult genres in which to make a name for yourself right now because the market is so over-saturated. So yeah, I’ve definitely considered writing in other areas just to see if anything comes of it, though of course it’s not just that easy. If you know very little about a particular genre you would obviously need to do a lot of research before attempting to write in it. You’d have to learn the nuances of the genre and its audience and find beta-readers who could help you determine whether or not you’re hitting the mark. It would definitely be a lot of work, but depending on what kind of an end-game you’ve got in mind it could also be totally worth it.
On a personal note, I’ve – on multiple occasions – considered playing my hand at short romance e-books. Romance is hardly my favorite thing to write, but I feel I have the knowledge and skill to do it justice, and I’m curious to see how such a thing would sell in comparison to my zombie apocalypse novel.
I have written in various genres. I write mostly for children, but for my own amusement I have attempted thrillers, mysteries, and humor. They were just short stories that I shared with a couple friends. Would I attempt to write a book in a genre other than children’s to gain exposure or financial gain? Probably not. I enjoy the genre I write in and don’t really feel confident enough to try others. My 100 word short stories aren’t for children, but 100 words is easy. A whole book? Now that’s a whole other kettle of fish.
H. Anthe Davis
I have no desire to ever write a non-fantasy/SF work for any reason. Sure, financial gain is great, but I hate literary fiction — going through creative writing courses in college severely burned me out to anything I couldn’t throw sword-fights and dragons into. I don’t think I’m clever enough for mysteries. I could maybe do a full-on horror, since there’s a fair amount of horror in my SF/F already, but… I dunno, I just don’t like the real world, so I don’t care to set anything in it. And I have plans for fantasy/western and fantasy/romance here and there, but more as side-stories to my larger projects. Monetary pressures don’t really work on me; if I feel I HAVE to do something, I am infinitely LESS likely to do it, because I am stubborn and spiteful, even at my own expense.
S. R. Carrillo
Sure! Anything that gives me the chance to stretch and develop my strengths as a writer, I’m up for. See, the thing about genre is that I don’t necessarily write inside of any single one of them and I’m ever so interested in so many different ones that I would welcome the challenge. If exposure and financial gain tag along for the ride, then so be it. It’s not what I’m chasing after, though.
I won’t rule out “ever”, but I write what I like to write so I’m going to lean toward probably not. While I’m all for stretching myself with writing, my best stories come from the creative place where I’m comfortable writing, which is likely not the place where the big money and exposure are.
Of course I would, if I thought I could do a good job. I think trying new genre’s is exciting. Staying in a given genre could lead to stagnation and boredom. As a writer, I don’t want to be limited to one type of writing. I like trying new things.
Paul B. Spence
I suppose that depends on the genre. Something besides science fiction, sure — I love thrillers and fantasy, too. I’d never write romance, though.
D. T. Nova
That depends on how far outside, how much better a chance, the size of the project, and whether I had a good idea.
For something like a novel, I doubt I could actually finish one that I didn’t really want to write.
Gregory S. Close
I hope to write in several genres, regardless of my anticipated or potential success. Aside from fantasy, I plan to eventually publish in science fiction, literary fiction and children’s fiction, to name a few. If I thought I had a better chance of exposure or financial gain in any one of those fields I would just do it that much faster.
I would consider it if it was a genre in which I thought I could write well. But enjoying what I write comes first, so it would have to be a genre which would be close to what I already write and enjoy. I could not become a Romance or Horror writer, for instance. I don’t much enjoy such stories, I don’t understand how they are built, etc.
Related, I am certainly getting very attentive to how to present what I have published and will publish in ways that get them more exposure. In fact, I just wrote an article about how I’ve been fine-tuning my keywords in Amazon to increase exposure and sales of my first book, which has helped me move into the top 10 and top 15 on a couple of Amazon’s best seller lists.
Linda G. Hill
I wish I could choose a genre, but my characters tend to lead me back to the same thing over and over again. For instance, I’ve tried to write romance. Just romance. But I can’t seem to keep violence out of them. I grew up on Stephen King. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. But seriously, I have no idea why. I’m not a violent person. Perhaps it’s just the way I see the world. What it comes down to is what I always say: I can’t help what I write.
Jay Dee Archer
I haven’t really been interested in writing outside of science fiction and fantasy. At the moment, I’m writing science fiction, and have another science fiction title in the planning stages, but I do have a couple of fantasy ideas, too. But outside of that, I don’t think I’d want to write another genre, unless it were alternate history. However, I could see myself writing non-fiction, as well. Young adult is possible, but only if it’s fantasy or science fiction.
But for profit or recognition, I don’t think so. I’d only write it if I felt like I could do it any justice, while also enjoying it. I only want to write what I like writing. If I wrote something in a genre I felt uncomfortable writing in, I’d feel like it was a sub-par book. I only want to do my best, and that means writing where my passion lies.
How about you?
If you’re an author, could you switch genres for financial gain or more exposure? Let us know in the comments below.