Here are some key points I took away from one of her sessions at a recent writers' conference.
The average person switches careers seven times in a lifetime. So why is it surprising when writers switch genres? We all grow and develop as writers so switching genres may be a natural outcome of that growth. Even when you switch genres, you are still you – you still maintain your unique ‘writerly’ voice. There are many examples of famous writers who have written in more than one genre. Often the biggest hurdle is the marketing.
There is a difference between a reasonable shift and a radical shift. Sometimes it’s more about changing ‘brand’. Newspaper and sports teams change their mastheads and logos over time to reflect changing times or be more current. If you are changing brand, do it gently and make sure you inform your audience so that they don’t feel alienated. Very radical shifts may require a pen name, even if your audience knows who the other ‘person’ is, they will not be confused about what you are trying to promote.
1. You will grow as a writer
2. The monotony will be broken
3. You may find many new opportunities and a whole new group of friends.
1. You may lose part of your audience
2. Your brand might be changed
3. Readers might be confused
4. There might be a monetary loss
How to build your audience after a genre switch:
1. Explain carefully your motives: on a blog, in a newsletter, on social media. In other words, don’t be afraid to tell people and explain your reasons why.
2. Work to increase your email list.
3. Work various kinds of advertising and figure out what works for you.
4. Get reviews.
5. Stay with it and focus on the joy, not the money.