Last evening, on Twitter, Literary Agent Colleen Lindsay had a brief Ask an Agent session, and I posed the question to her, "If a client wants to write something you don't represent, do you collaborate in-house or part ways?"

Her response wasn't exactly what I expected. But it did make me stop and think. She said it depends, because sometimes shifting may not be in the client's best interests career-wise.

Many of us, myself included, dabble with more than one genre. Some assume other pen names to accomplish writing in different areas of interest. You'll see a lot of this when authors write erotica -- they like to keep their identities separate, and this makes sense to me since so much of erotica carries an unfortunate stigma amongst other non-erotic readers.

But Ms. Lindsay made me think about how it might be detrimental to a career, and I must confess I hadn't quite ever considered that side of the coin.

Now, I am just musing at this point -- we discussed nothing further so don't run off thinking she said anything along these lines:

I wonder if the same impact applies to writing different genres of Romance? I can't see that being as large of a factor as say writing romance and then leaping into say, horror. In romance, there are basic essentials across all genres. You master them, then switching a genre becomes a matter of understanding the audience's desires, the specifics related to the new genre, and satisfying all those factors along with a plot, period.

I also have to wonder if the career impact becomes more of a factor not necessarily with the desire to switch, and perhaps successfully selling the new genre to a publishing house, but when the final numbers come in. If sales are poor in the new genre -- bad career move. Might impact sales on your first genre from that point forward. If sales are good in the new genre -- successful career move? Or would you then, if your sales were better in the second genre than the first, be pigeon-holed in an area and expected to write what may not be your primary passion?

It's an interesting subject, and one I would urge everyone considering writing more than one "flavor" to give thought. It sure gives me a new perspective on some of the ideas I was tinkering with long-term wise.



2 Responses so far.

  1. Really, it boils down to branding. As an author, you need to build your audience with consistent stories. A reader who loves you wants to read the same thing over and over- think Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz. Once you establish yourself with a solid market or brand-then you can expand into another genre or part of a genre-such as JD Robb or Amanda Quick.
    The first thing a reader thinks when they finish a good book is- do it again!- they go looking to see if you can give them the same glowing feeling (or terrified feeling depending on genre) over and over.

    Think Coke- New coke fizzled-why? People like their Coke just the way it is thank you.

    That's why it's thought that jumping around even in genre is not healthy for your career.


  2. Yikes! This definitely seems like a topic a writer should consider BEFORE they're ever published. I always wanted to be an adult romance author. I'd written a yound adult. And when the market started craving YAs, I submitted mine, and holy guacamole, the thing actually sold.

    I have ideas for plenty more young adult stories in me, but I still want to be an adult romance writer. Yet, now you have me I stuck in YA?

Post a Comment

"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



GoddessFish Promotions

Goddess Fish Partner

Night Owl Romance

Night Owl Romance
For The Latest In Romance Reviews

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Time Romance
Blogging About Romance