Thursday, July 21, 2005

Writing & Selling I

Thanks for the many good wishes left here in comments and sent by e-mail. Amazing counter space can't compete with you guys.

Before I took off to relocate, I mentioned starting some discussions on the business of writing and selling books. Of all the business ventures I've been involved in, publishing seemed the most confusing -- at least on the surface. But it is a business, and like any other, there are a few ways to succeed and many, many more ways to fail.

If you think of writing a book as being the same thing as opening a small shop, you get a better idea of what I mean. To open a shop, you need to sell something that people want to buy, money to fund the operation, advertising, location, and so on. Same thing with a book: you need a great story, a publisher to manufacture and distribute it, publicity, decent print runs, etc.

In comments, Andi wrote: Anything you'd be willing to divulge about writing/publishing in multiple genres would be appreciated. I have so many questions about what to do and not to do, and most things I've read don't cover multiple genres, for some reason.

I think the lack of info is because most writers don't try to write in multiple genres. Lack of interest, fear of the unfamiliar, inability to sell and the desire to become established in a single genre are the reasons against it that I hear most often.

They're not wrong. It's difficult enough to write well in one genre. Knowing a genre is the smart way to write for it. Some agents and publishers don't like multi-genre writers, although I've yet to hear someone couldn't sell solely because of that. If you write at a slow pace, or work a day job and have limited writing time, it's probably better to concentrate on becoming established in one genre.

I pursued publishing in multiple genres mainly because diversifying made sense. I knew going in my chances of success as a pro were slim to none, and wanted some insurance. Multi-genre writing offered more exposure and more chances to breakout. I wrote fast enough to handle the workload, and it also appealed to the easily bored three-year-old in me. I get restless and I want to try different things all the time; why not start off with that as a selling point and see where it took me?

To handle more than one genre, you have to forget about the usual one-writer one-novel one-genre linear mindset. There's nothing wrong with that, btw, it just doesn't help you with the multi-genre juggling act. Here are some of the things that I think help:

1. Write at least two books per year; four would be ideal.

2. Develop a unique voice for each genre you work in.

3. Boost your time efficiency by doing things like parallel researching (using the same research you put together for one novel in a different way for another book.)

4. Work on more than one book at once.

5. Read widely all the time; don't focus on one genre.

6. Unpublished writers: don't try and pitch three books in three different genres simultaneously. Pitch them one at a time to the appropriate editor/publisher.

7. Find an agent who is willing to represent you no matter what you write. The agent should be capable of selling you in all genres, too.

What do you all think of multi-genre writing? Any problems, reservations, roadblocks?

37 comments:

  1. Hedvig3:51 AM

    Maybe I just see it because I'm looking for it, but it seems like more and more authors are writing multi-genre. If not chick lit and YA, then romance and paranormal and historical. Of course there is often overlap, but you can have romance that's straight contemp, but you know what I mean.

    Anyway, I write in several genres. So, sometimes a mystery turns out to have vampires in it. What the heck. It would be ideal to have one agent who could rep everything. That's what I aim for when I'm looking, and it is getting easier to find multi-tasking agents.
    However, when you've yet to sell your first book, you get a lot of advice to drop all but one genre and concentrate on that. Personally, I've got lots of stuff to choose from, so I'll probably go with what sells, at least initially. But it can be disheartening to be constantly told to limit myself when I see a ton of writers publishing in multiple genres.
    One issue that interests me is the choice of whether to stick to one name for all genres. I don't do that. Not many do, I don't think. Yet, that's the advice I've been given, repeatedly.

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  2. zornhau4:38 AM

    What about the problem of compartmentalising different authorial personae?

    Suppose I get established with my torrid bodice-ripping sword & sorcery, and then want to write children's books?

    What would I do abour book-jacket photos and personal appearances?

    BTW I like the parallel research idea. I think that applies to life & writing in general: e.g. my chosen physical exercise is also a form of hands-on research for my stories.

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  3. Hedvig wrote: One issue that interests me is the choice of whether to stick to one name for all genres. I don't do that. Not many do, I don't think. Yet, that's the advice I've been given, repeatedly.

    I wasn't given much choice with the name deal, but there are benefits to using different pseudonyms. Generally they stop reader and shelf confusion, brand your work in that particular genre, and prevent chains from ordering your books based on your net sales (although sellers are getting sneaky and cross-indexing now.)

    What are the benefits of writing under one name? Any one-namers out there want to support that argument?

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  4. Zornhau wrote: What about the problem of compartmentalising different authorial personae?

    Personally or professionally?

    Suppose I get established with my torrid bodice-ripping sword & sorcery, and then want to write children's books?

    I think getting heavily established in one genre (say putting out more than two books) makes it harder to jump into something different, especially if the established genre is working. The publishers and your agent are probably going to try to keep you where you're successful.

    The type of representation you choose factors into this. I made it very clear up front with my agent that I was going after more than one genre. I showed her the range of my work so she could see what I was doing, and we talked strategy. The more prolific you are, the more rope publishing tends to give you, too -- once you've shown you can sell in more than one genre.

    What would I do abour book-jacket photos and personal appearances?

    You could do what I do -- refuse to make them. :)

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  5. zornhau7:01 AM

    >You could do what I do -- refuse
    >to make them. :)

    But then I don't get to taunt David Gemmel for posing with an axe he does not know how to use!

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  6. I actually didn't plan to write multi-genre, it kind of happened when a science fiction idea refused to be transformed into fantasy. I read both, and I have ideas that fall into one or the other. I have already started submitting them under different pseudonyms, and I think I have a different voice for each (no one else has commented, so it's hard to guess at).

    I never thought about doing parallel research - that's a great idea! *-* All of the time I've invested on researching pirate ships can actually be used (with a little tweaking) for my current book on a water planet. I'm going to sit down tonight and make a list of everything I've looked at so far and see what I can pair up between the two.

    Thank you for the advice; I really appreciate it. *-* It's given me a lot to think about - like getting myself back on track with the first book of the year so I can tackle the second during NaNoWriMo.

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  7. Zornhau wrote: But then I don't get to taunt David Gemmel for posing with an axe he does not know how to use!

    Better make sure of that before you taunt, pal.

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  8. PBW said:
    4. Work on more than one book at once.

    Thank you! I've been told by many that this is not a good idea; that I'd lose focus on one story by mixing my writing time with another genre. I've always said, not so!

    I decided to try my hand at a Young Adult novel after writing comtemporary romance for eons. It was a refreshing, if challenging, break from my norm. If anything, I think it has strengthened my ability to write both.

    As an aside, I had to choose a pseudonym for the YA book as there's already (a rather successful) Nancy Bond writing for children. :) I like the idea of separating the identities for different genres anyway.

    As always, a great post!

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  9. I just wanted to thank you for all the posts you've had on writing. They've been helpful and informative. I think there's a lecturer/professor of writing in you wanting to get out! ;)

    Thanks again!

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  10. What are the benefits of writing under one name? Any one-namers out there want to support that argument?


    Well, I'm not a one-namer, but I do write in multiple genres and have been considering whether to use separate names for each. One of the bennies of one-namers would be crossover readers. If for instance, I establish myself as a paranormal romance reader and then write a paranormal horror, it's possible some of my readers would pick up the 2nd book if they realized I'm writing it (vs an unknown psuedonym).

    Just one possible benefit.

    As for multi-genre writing, I can't imagine NOT doing it. As Andi I think said, the stories just come, and sometimes they can't be adapted to fit the same genre I wrote my last story in. And since I'm just starting out, and not living off my (nonexistant) sales, I have the benefit of still playing in as many genres as I want ;-)

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  11. Elizabeth11:26 AM

    Speaking just as a reader, I like different author names for different genres or voices. For example, I know what I'm getting with JD Robb vs. Nora herself (a ton more grit). My .02.

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  12. I write science fiction and mainstream fiction. My problem is finding an agent that wants to represent both, not one and begrudgingly a second. Most agents don't do mainstream fiction and sci-fi at the same time. (My best fiction novel is on your agent's desk right now, btw.)

    I've queried seven agents and gotten bites from three. But I understand it might take fifty or more before I land one. I'm not sure that there ARE fifty agents that want to represent both. At least not fifty with a proven track record. (Yes, I've checked the basic web-listings and trolled hundreds of agent entries to find the seven I queried.)

    Do you see a problem with having two agents? I'm afraid that they would each want 80% of my time. Possibly more.

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  13. Just a wild guess, but then I'd think your sword research for the Jessica Halls showed up in Sword Dancer :).

    The parallel research is a good idea and one I'm going to have to put into use.

    As to the multiple names, I personally think using multiple names is a good idea if you have unique authorial voices rather than only unique timeframes and storylines. The shock to readers expecting voice A and getting voice B may overwhelm their enjoyment and turn them away from your books in that genre. Also, you do a good job of linking your names, at least to your Internet saavy audience. Do you know how that has made a difference in folks finding you?

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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  14. I'd love to pub in more than one genre.
    The problem? It's hard to get pubbed--period. And if you see yourself making advances in one area, you tend to stick to that (at first, anyway).
    I've only been e-pubbed so far, but most of the people I know who are newly print-pubbed say their editors AND agents INSIST they stick with one genre initially.
    Something about readers not being able to walk & chew gum at the same time, I think...

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  15. I'm a Historical Fiction writer at heart. :)

    After I finished the first draft of my first novel, I tried to write in the Fantasy and SciFi (Space Opera) genres, but it didn't turn out the way I wanted and I managed to edit most of the Fantasy/SciFi elements out of my worldbuilding. Nay, I stick with Historical Fiction, I've enough plotbunnies in my breeding farm.

    The only forays into other genres I do in the occasional short story; those are Horror or Dark Fantasy/Paranormal for the most.

    I also work on three novels at the same time, because they require about the same research (Roman Britain / Late Roman Empire). Two of them are loosely connected anyway.

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  16. I'm struggling with this idea right now. I could probably support myself nicely doing straight crime and under the same name. I think it's easier for a crime writer to write something more mainstream than it is to jump in from other genres.

    I'd often thought about writing something set in the Old West, but the trouble is publishers can only see that two ways: A Western, which would feature a cowboy on the cover, even if there were few or no cowboys in it. (Maybe DEADWOOD will force a change. Not holding my breath.) Or it's considered historical (ie - historical romance), which might actually mislead readers.

    Also, there are those wondering why I don't write science fiction (aside from the fact I got burned out on it. Thanks, Rick Berman!). If switching from science fiction to, say, crime is difficult, the opposite is often true. Could you go into science fiction from something more mainstream? I know James Patterson did it, but Patterson is now an industry. If there's a genre he and his monkeys haven't touched, I'd be hard pressed to say what it is.

    So I have to think about that longer.

    First, I have to finish my current project.

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  17. I think some people are better suited to multi-genres than others. I've written Romance, Kid's and YA, SFF, and Mystery. I always end up with some form of mystery because the "inciting incident" always seems to end up being a crime of some sort. I have ideas for more than one series and stand-alones that are cross-genre--mystery/fantasy, or in different subgenres, like police procedural and cozy. I think it's easier to build a career working in related genres, but I know that if anything becomes really popular, the business will urge me to stick with that. But my muse is a 4-year old with brown pigtails, red overalls and a white T-shirt. Red tennies with wheels in the soles. :) She gets bored writing the same characters over and over. I could easily see myself doing what Conan Doyle tried to do with Holmes and kill off the main character in a series because I was tired of writing it and want to move on.

    I think writers, being creative, have multiple ideas and multiple ways they express those ideas. But the businesspeople will try to push us into a particular box because they want the sure thing. I think we writers have to be as creative in business, as we are at the keyboard. I think it's important that we not let desperation to be published cause us to make decisions that will, ultimately, prevent us from reaching our goals. In order to do that, we have to know what our goals are and have a reasonable, but flexiible, plan to reach them.

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  18. Oops, forgot to sign my previous posts. It's Linda, for anyone who doesn't know who Mama Rose is.

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  19. Sandra wrote: One of the bennies of one-namers would be crossover readers. If for instance, I establish myself as a paranormal romance reader and then write a paranormal horror, it's possible some of my readers would pick up the 2nd book if they realized I'm writing it (vs an unknown psuedonym).

    Good point, Sandra -- I saw the opposite of this happen when the publishers changed my romance pseudonym from Gena Hale to Jessica Hall. I had thought there would be some sort of changeover publicity, but nothing was said except by me, and a midlist author can only reach so many readers.

    Elizabeth wrote: For example, I know what I'm getting with JD Robb vs. Nora herself (a ton more grit). My .02.

    Agreed, especially if you write in radically different genres/voices/styles.

    F. O'Brien Andrew wrote: My problem is finding an agent that wants to represent both, not one and begrudgingly a second. Most agents don't do mainstream fiction and sci-fi at the same time.

    This can be a real headache, especially with the current state of the market. Most agents tend to specialize in a particular genre (or so I've been told by other authors.) It makes the viable agent list all that much shorter for the multi-genre writer.

    Do you see a problem with having two agents? I'm afraid that they would each want 80% of my time. Possibly more.

    I've never met a writer with more than one agent, so I'm not sure how that would work. An agent who can't represent you and all your work isn't worth the 15%, in my opinion.

    Margaret wrote: Also, you do a good job of linking your names, at least to your Internet saavy audience. Do you know how that has made a difference in folks finding you?

    The internet is the only way I've been able to communicate my various pseudonyms and genres to the readers, so it absolutely has made a difference to any reader interested enough in me to Google my name or stop by one of my web sites.

    The frustrating part is when you realize internet-savvy readers only constitute about 10% or less of your readership.

    Raine wrote: I've only been e-pubbed so far, but most of the people I know who are newly print-pubbed say their editors AND agents INSIST they stick with one genre initially.

    An editor and/or agent can suggest anything, and it's good to listen to their advice. It's also wise to get along with them. However, they can't insist on or otherwise make you do anything. Remember that, and pick your battles.

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  20. Gabriele wrote: I also work on three novels at the same time, because they require about the same research (Roman Britain / Late Roman Empire). Two of them are loosely connected anyway.

    I'd call that very linear parallel research. :)

    Jim wrote: I'd often thought about writing something set in the Old West, but the trouble is publishers can only see that two ways: A Western, which would feature a cowboy on the cover, even if there were few or no cowboys in it. (Maybe DEADWOOD will force a change. Not holding my breath.) Or it's considered historical (ie - historical romance), which might actually mislead readers.

    You might try the saga approach -- what John Jakes did with American History via his Kent Family novels. They were treated like mainstream, if I remember correctly.

    Linda wrote: I think we writers have to be as creative in business, as we are at the keyboard.

    Yes, no matter how much it hurts. :)

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  21. PBW wrote:
    I'd call that very linear parallel research. :)


    Yep, it's fun. I have two books taking place about 408-415 AD, one in Britain with a few chapters in Rome (The Charioteer) the other foucssing on the Goths, their siege of Rome and the first years in Gaul (Endangered Frontiers). Ciaran, the MC of The Charioteer, is a Dál Riatan clan chief north of the Hadrian's Wall who becomes first a hostage and then a slave of the Romans, turns out to be a talented charioteer* so his owner brings him to Rome. Ciaran escapes during the siege and returns home to find that his rival has taken over the rule of the tribe and Ciaran's betrothed. He tries to regain his position, but his Roman owner - Ciaran technically still is a slave - has followed him back to Britian. I've a detailed outline for this one and the first chapters (here's a snippet)

    Endangered Frontiers is the story of the half-brothers Aurelius Idamantes and Alamir, one a Roman officer, the other raised by the Goths. Both novels share the siege of Rome, Constantine's rebellion and the assasination of Stilicho, as well as some minor fictional characters. Of this one, I have more chapters already written, but less of an outline, and I need to rework the plot a bit.

    The third book, Storm over Hadrian's Wall takes place during the time the wall is built (122-25 AD) and involves the conflict between the Romans and the northern tribes. It's in the planning stage (character bios, outline, etc).

    I keep finding details I need to back up with research, and for whatever NiP I look someting up, there's a good chance I can use some information for another NiP as well.


    * Charioteers were big stars then, like football or basketball stars today.

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  22. 4 Work on more than one book at once.

    I wish I could do that, but for me I fear it would be dangerous. I've discovered that once I hit about the 40K word mark my brain cues up the next book. But I already have a rotating selection of 10-12 in my head. If I started working on more than one at once I could soon end up with more stories than I could write.

    As for multi genre, well I agree that it's almost impossible to avoid. Right now my first book was pubbed as dark fantasy, but the next should be sci-fi/horror. and another in my head is verging on cyberpunk. then back to general and fantasy and more sci-fi.

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  23. PBW said: I think getting heavily established in one genre (say putting out more than two books) makes it harder to jump into something different, especially if the established genre is working. The publishers and your agent are probably going to try to keep you where you're successful.

    How can you change this around? It seems like a very limiting prospect for the writer.

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  24. I attended a workshop once given by Eileen Dreyer (Kathleen Korbel) where she mentioned that her agent (Stephen Axelrod) suggested writing at least three books in one genre and establishing yourself there before making a switch to another. Just throwing that out there ...

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  25. I always sort of wondered why you had so many pseudonyms and wrote in so many genres. If I may ask -- why DID your publishers ask you to change names? Apologies if it's covered elsewhere, but inquiring minds want to know.

    I'm not sure my brain thinks in multi-genre beyond speculative fiction. I wish it did, it would end the whole, "So when are you going to write a REAL book?" line of questioning at family get-togethers.

    Assuming I ever establish myself as a novelist, I can only see myself writing under a pseudonym if I wrote under contract (movie, game, comic book tie-in), or if I was told that "Shaver" won't sell books. And god knows, when your last name is the same word as an intimate bathroom implement, it might not.

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  26. Welcome to the club, Stephanie. If I hear "when will you write a real book" one more time, I'm going Mediaeval on someone. :)

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  27. On working on more than one book at a time, Phoenix wrote: I wish I could do that, but for me I fear it would be dangerous. I've discovered that once I hit about the 40K word mark my brain cues up the next book.

    Multitasking novels isn't for everyone, and if it messes with your process, it can be counterproductive. In all things writing, always go with what works for you personally.

    On getting heavily established in one genre making it harder to jump into something different,Jordan wrote: How can you change this around? It seems like a very limiting prospect for the writer.

    Don't limit yourself. If you haven't published yet, plan and be ready to diversify. If you're already established, go after more. Breaking into another genre may be harder for an established author than selling the first novel was, but if that's what you want, nothing should get in your way.

    Alison wrote: I attended a workshop once given by Eileen Dreyer (Kathleen Korbel) where she mentioned that her agent (Stephen Axelrod) suggested writing at least three books in one genre and establishing yourself there before making a switch to another. Just throwing that out there ...

    With all due respect to these workshop folks, I think establishing yourself in one genre when you want to write in others is the problem. By the time you're established, you're labeled as something: a SF writer, a romance writer, a crime fiction writer, etc. Labels are hard to shake off even when you go out with a multi-genre plan. People still refer to me as a SF author because I published SF first, and my first two SF novels were out a year before my first romance hit the shelf.

    Stephanie wrote: I always sort of wondered why you had so many pseudonyms and wrote in so many genres. If I may ask -- why DID your publishers ask you to change names? Apologies if it's covered elsewhere, but inquiring minds want to know.

    They told me I had to use another name when I went into romance, and I went along with it because I figured the publishers knew better than I did. I was also a scared, stupid rookie who would have done (and did) whatever they asked me to.

    The next time I was told to think up a new name for the next genre, I protested a little, but they assured me it was also necessary and gave me good reasons: chains ordering to the net, shelf confusion, getting a fresh start, keeping my personas separated, etc. Being the obliging soul that I am, I went along with it again.

    Every subsequent pseudonym after that was basically the same situation: I protested, they persuaded me to go along with the program (usually by saying, "well, you already have four/five/six names, what's one more?") and I got another new name.

    I'm tired of the name game, though, so I don't want any more than these, what, seven? Or eight. Maybe. I keep losing count.

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  28. I'm in Gabriele's camp -- I write ancient historicals and have more than enough fodder to keep me busy for many, many years. I actually started out writing short stories in different genres (fantasy and gritty urban sci-fi), but found the work I produced wasn't convincing. And unconvincing fantasy meant I got rejections by the wagon load. Once I wised up and switched to novel-length ancient historicals(which I loved reading since I was a kid), everything went smoothly -- I even did the unthinkable: I sold the very first book I wrote (Men of Bronze). Luckily, the niche I found isn't over-populated and it has a loyal base of fans (fans who will crucify a dabbler faster than you can say "ABC's 'Empire' sucks!").

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  29. Wow. I've been doing everything that you suggest, and still can't sell anything. (GRIN) I have always made up pen names, because I've always disliked my "real" name. Got several ready to go.

    I don't really see what would be wrong with having more than one agent. If agent A doesn't want to rep fantasy/SF or YA novels, then let 'em sign a paper to that effect and take their 15% for the mystery and suspense or whatever. Then get somebody in the SF pocket to rep your SF/fantasy. It's 15% to one in each case. Wouldn't cost any more to have the two agents. I hear that this is the way it's done when you are not a powerhouse, or when your agent is not Donald Maass or another powerhouse. So why would that not work well? Just wondering, based on comments.

    Shalanna Collins
    (yep, that's not my birthname)

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  30. PBW said: I'm tired of the name game, though, so I don't want any more than these, what, seven? Or eight. Maybe. I keep losing count.

    Well, it could be worse. You could have a blog for each one. :)

    Thanks for the edification!

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  31. The suggestion of writing two or three books of different style, voice, and subject matter is one I strongly endorse. I've never attempted more than three at once -- two desktops computers, and a laptop, all up and running with different books in progress on each. There is an inspirational overlap from one to the others, and turning from a horrific true crime case to a tongue in cheek mystery or a light hearted look at popular culture is stimulating and fun. As for multiple agents, that gets weird. I'm in a situation where the books I write -- fiction and non-fiction -- are represented by one agent, but the books i write in a particular mystery fiction series are represented by another agent because I am not the original rights holder to the primary character. The Estate already had a literay agent. So, I have two. Not sure what they do, but I have them.

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  32. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Breaking into another genre may be harder for an established author than selling the first novel was

    Why would that be? I recognize the limitations - many readers won't follow you to a new genre, and may not like your new-genre work if they do. Still, you've demonstrated a track record of writing sellable books, whereas your first novel had to escape the slushpile. I can see how a genre-switch would be harder to sell than another book in the same genre, but wouldn't it still be easier than a first sale?

    -- Rick Robinson

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  33. Scott wrote: Once I wised up and switched to novel-length ancient historicals(which I loved reading since I was a kid), everything went smoothly -- I even did the unthinkable: I sold the very first book I wrote (Men of Bronze).

    Plus you got the artwork for your first novel on the cover of PW, also an unheard of, causing much grinding of teeth among historical fiction writers. Why do we like you so much, Scott? Lol.

    Shalanna wrote: Wow. I've been doing everything that you suggest, and still can't sell anything. (GRIN)

    Keep at it. Some people (hint: Scott) have wonderful support and success right off the bat, but I think most writers are like me (ten years of straight rejections, six more years of battling their way up from the midlist.)

    On my surplus nomdeplummage, Stephanie wrote: Well, it could be worse. You could have a blog for each one.

    I have a roll of duct tape here, Steph, and I'm not afraid to use it.

    Burl wrote: As for multiple agents, that gets weird. I'm in a situation where the books I write -- fiction and non-fiction -- are represented by one agent, but the books i write in a particular mystery fiction series are represented by another agent because I am not the original rights holder to the primary character. The Estate already had a literay agent. So, I have two.

    Have you experienced any work conflicts or other two-agent problems you'd be willing to share with us? You're the first writer I've met with two agents, and I know a lot of writers out here are curious about handling more than one agent.

    Rick wrote: I can see how a genre-switch would be harder to sell than another book in the same genre, but wouldn't it still be easier than a first sale?

    There are exceptions to everything, but if you're doing well in the first genre, you'll likely be pressured to stay there. Publishers would rather put out what they know works versus what would be a new venture. If you're not doing well in the first genre, the same publisher would naturally be reluctant to put you out in another genre where you might also not do well, while different publishers will be looking at your established numbers before they make you an offer.

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  34. PBW wrote: Why do we like you so much, Scott? Lol.

    Because you have 27 more novels than I have and you can always pelt me with them if I get out of line? ;)

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  35. Thanks for posting this PBW! I write in both contemporary and paranormal genres and I love the diversity of writing in both. I've also written a couple of light suspense stories, too. I think it's great to diversify yourself as a writer. It shows you're flexible. Plus, for me, when I'm done with a contemporary novel, I'm ready to get back to my vampires/werewolves/shapeshifters so I can spread my wings and not be bound by the 'it-can't-happens' of real life. As for writing suspense, it gave me a healthy respect for the necessity of plotting..because I'd always considered myself a panster writer. :)

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  36. Jules9:56 AM

    On the subject of psuedonyms, I think using one that's similar to the original must be beneficial: For instance, having read books by Iain M. Banks, I became curious about the ones by Iain Banks I saw on another shelf and picked one up.

    I imagine similar things happen with other people's books when they publish with two very similar psuedonyms. How many S L Viehl readers have seen a Lynn Viehl book and thought "I wonder...?". Probably a few.

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  37. Great discussion! I'm late of course =\ but I love Raine's walk and chew gum analogy. I'm definitely playing in different genres as well as um straddling (combining?) though personally I just can't work on more than one manuscript at a time =( I've tried.

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