Writing

Genre Swapping. Can readers handle it?

What happens if an author switches genres?

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One of the very first pieces of advice I read when I embarked on the self publishing journey just under a year ago was to stick with one genre for at least three books. It seemed like sound advice. Until I thought it might be fun to write a different genre. (Which it was.)

This summer, around July, I found myself bored. I had just finished Three Finger Jack and had stuck it in a drawer for it’s required two weeks of stewing. Not really sure where I would go next in that series, I sat down at the computer and began writing a romance. Not sure why, but light-hearted and hopeful in the time of Covid seemed like a good plan.

Now my Cowboy Christmas Romance is almost ready to be released, and I am thinking about that advice. I only have two Paranormal fiction novels out. The thought claims that my readers would be upset or angry if they picked up another novel of mine, and it wasn’t the same thing.

Well, here’ s my dilemma. Readers aren’t that stupid, are they? And do all readers other than myself really stick to one genre? I mean, I love a good ghost story. But I read light romance before bed. I listen to mysteries in the car. I devour nonfiction on Saturday mornings while Kris is sleeping in.

I would be an angry reader if I picked up a third book in a series and discovered a genre change. But if the author I liked explored a new genre, in a separate series or new standalone, I wouldn’t be upset or confused. I might be excited to read the genre knowing I enjoyed that author’s previous work.

I am working on the second in the Deadly Ghost Stories series. It won’t be ready until sometime early next year. Will I turn off my readership, which is relatively low, by publishing a Holiday Romance? Or will I find new readers, who, like me, enjoy reading more than one genre?

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