Crossing the Line: Authors Working With Different Genres

by | Jul 6, 2023 | Literature | 0 comments

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

To a writer’s eyes, the world is an oyster brimming with literary inspirations. Wherever they look, there’s a story waiting to be written. Hence, there’s no question why some authors juggle different genres, but is this the right track?

It’s a default for writers to be ambitious, aspiring, and aim for bigger goals. There’s nothing wrong with the desire to create a lot – the more, the merrier applies, especially to literature. Authors working on their first novel might already plan their next and another, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Readers want nothing but to have more material to read.

But often, this aspiration for great things happens to a fault. After all, there’s only so much a pen can write before it bleeds ink, dirtying one’s worktable.

Author Rotha Dawkins is known for writing in multiple genres. The two books she has under her name are different in style; people will find it hard to believe the same woman wrote them. However, by some magical circumstance, Rotha delivered – Treats & Tales, a wholesome story about dogs, and On Call, a tragedy-stricken story about firefighters. Two very different books yet written by the same author have individually surpassed readers’ expectations, giving authors a glimmer of hope for mastering different genres.

Is it possible?

Brand-Wise, Is It Good to Write In Different Genres?

Authors writing different genres have both an advantage and disadvantages.

The more books authors publish, regardless of genre, gives them the upper hand from the ease of sales perspective. Case in point: the more they dabble into different genres, the bigger their audience becomes, leading to more sales. Likewise, limiting their genres leads to limited audience reach. Authors can think of it as opening a store and choosing between selling various products or a single item. Which route would give them more income?

However, as much as it’s beneficial sales-wise, an author with multiple genres can encounter problems regarding their marketing strategies and brand reputation. With different genres, there’s a possibility of divided performance, which makes cementing the author’s reputation tricky. It’s tough making a name if one genre sells, but the others flop badly. Regardless of the genre’s popularity, readers can easily associate this contrast with inconsistencies in the author’s skills.

It’s unfair, but it’s a logical correlation.

Specializing or focusing on a singular genre is beneficial in growing a loyal following. Case in point: readers can associate their names with the genre, thus becoming their first choice when looking for new books under the classification.

All this tug of war between benefits and detriments makes it confusing for authors to choose between specialization or experimentation. However, it doesn’t always have to be a gamble. Working with different genres doesn’t automatically make branding a life-or-death situation.

Making It Work for an Author’s Branding

An author’s branding isn’t an extremely stringent process revolving solely around the author’s genre specifications. Whether the author chooses a single or different genre, there will always be a marketing strategy that will work in their favor. With multiple genres, authors must also adjust their marketing initiatives. This is the only way genre doesn’t adversely impact their branding.

Perhaps, this is the secret to Rotha Dawkin’s success.

How authors succeed in the field depends on the effectiveness of their reputation, their book covers, the magnetism of their books, and so much more. There are multiple factors influencing this success which focus less on the genre they’re working with. Their reputation measures everything they do, how they deliver results, and how the audience perceives them.

Hence, working on different genres isn’t the problem. It’s how these books appeal to the readers. If the author’s name and popularity fail whenever they shift to work on another genre, they can’t automatically credit this to the shift of genre. Instead, they must look into the book’s quality or if the story meets the audience’s expectations. After all, an author who kills it while juggling multiple genres is also a reputation authors can uphold.

The choice of genre isn’t the problem. It’s how authors create them.

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