[su_quote cite=”Ryan Casey”]Listen, people are clever. If you put a new book out, chances are they’ll read the blurb/see the cover, and decide whether they want to buy it or not.[/su_quote]
I had a conversation this evening with someone I care very much about. This person is invested in me and my nascent writing career as a self-publishing author. We were talking about how I can market myself and sell my books. One of the questions was whether an author can publish work in multiple genres. It’s a good question, and one that I want to think about. I have every intent of writing in any genre that I wish. The two books I have published as I write these words are erotica. Specifically, they are BDSM psychological conditioning thrillers with elements involving unethical acts, criminal acts and plot themes that involve murder. Mixing all these elements is not easy, and I am sometimes disturbed by the things I am writing about. But, they’re thrilling and engaging. That’s what my current audience feedback says, in any case.
I see no reason that I shouldn’t be able to build an audience of erotica readers who will also be interested in self-help, modern fantasy, science fiction, horror, poetry collections and post-apocalyptic novels down the road. My friend and adviser thinks I might be limiting myself or hurting my personal brand if I’m not careful how I market. And, because I value the person and the advice I’m receiving, I’m mulling this over very carefully.
What do you think? Once you like something by an author, how likely are you to try out a title in a completely different genre? Let me know your thoughts, either in a comment or using the contact form if that’s your preference. I love interacting with my readers, and however you arrived here, I’d like to thank you for your interest in my work.
Seems to me that’s the very reason that many authors choose, or are encouraged by their publishers, to write under more than one pen name, even if it’s widely known by the reading public that it’s still the same writer.
The thing is, once a reader has enjoyed something by a writer, they tend to expect a certian experience when reading that author. And unfortunately, reader expectations have a lot to do with ratings and reviews, particularly in reader dominated forums such as Amazon and Goodreads, where they really influence other readers purchases. If fans of previous work expect a similar genre/style, then get something completely different, it can create almost a sense of distrust amongst a fan base. I’ve seen it happen with more than a few times. And the reviews suffer, even if the matieral is quality, just because expectations weren’t met, despite whatever genre it might be labeled under.
Perhaps, if you combined elements of those other geres, but still kept the main focus on what has been successful for you? Obviously, some things meld together better than others. SciFi and horror or post-apocalyptic for instance. But I’m not sure that going from BDSM erotica to self-help would be a successful venture.
My cent and a half, anyway.
Thanks for the perspective. I’m curious to see what happens. If I need to rebrand and market myself under different names, I will. For me, this journey is partially about complete honesty, something I’ve struggled with a long time. I want people to accept the work and me on my terms. If they don’t, I suppose I’ll have to adjust to put food on the table.
You have talent. Enjoyed the few things I’ve read here.
Good luck to you in your endeavors!
Thank you for letting me know you have enjoyed reading what’s here.