Most authors dabble with the idea of writing more than one genre. After all, writing about vampire mail-order grooms can get old after a while. But there are challenges authors will face when they shift genres, and it’s good to consider these before penning a new 150,000-word tome, especially if they are writing for a profit.
- Research the new genre for a trending sub-genre. This doesn’t mean you have to sell out and write something you don’t like, you just might need to make sure your emphasis is on a particular arc. For example, while general fantasies might not be trending, sword-and-sorcery might be a hit. While general mystery might be meh, cozy mysteries might be hitting the fan with sales (please note: these are only examples). To find out what’s trending in your genre, look it up on Amazon and study the top 100 bestselling books. If you see a majority in a specific sub-genre, tweak your story so it can be considered a part.
- Make sure you understand what your readers expect. If you’ve spent a great deal of time focused on a specific genre, chances are things have changed in the realm of the other genre you are considering. Read through several recent books in the new genre and ask other authors who are writing in the same genre.
- Consider a new cover designer. If you’ve had an amazing cover designer for your romance, that’s all well and good, but they may not specialize in crime thrillers. You may have to make a switch.
- To pen name or not to pen name? If you’ve been writing middle-grade fiction and you’re considering a switch to erotica, you will probably want to take on a pen name. Or you might have a huge fan base with one genre and you don’t want to confuse readers by writing a different genre. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, so be sure to ask your literary agent, author friends, or online forums and Facebook groups for advice.
- Start new social media platforms and a new newsletter. If your genre is extremely different than what you currently write, you might consider starting a different newsletter for only those fans. That way you won’t annoy your existing fans with articles they might not be interested in.This will take time to build, like any newsletter, but be sure to invite your current newsletter fans to join the newest one. As with any author newsletter, it’s always nice to offer a freebie short story for signing up, and perhaps start off with a genre-relevant contest to generate interest.