Which is best? Single Genre or Multiple?
Writers are, by our nature creative people. Our imaginations are flooded with ideas for books. While we are lucky to be able to write, unfortunately we also have to make a living. Earning a good income from our books is the dream. Being able to write and get well paid for it is something all authors aspire too. The downside of this is that in order to make a living, we have to sell our books.
It’s not enough just to write a good book, with engaging characters and a gripping plot. The marketplace for the independent author is flooded with books, some wonderful, others not so. Authors of a single book will soon discover it is hard to find readers. The more books which are for sale, the easier it is to sell them. Plenty of books by the same author means more visibility which makes it easier to build up a loyal readership.
There is a lot written in writer’s forums about the importance of sticking to a single genre and building up a fan base for that genre. If an author writes in one genre they will find it makes sense to develop a series and continue with that, adding to the story and potentially gaining a loyal readership eager to read about what happens next. The downside of that is that there is a danger of repeating plots and for the writing to become forced. Readers will tolerate one book that is short of the mark, but once the author goes off the boil they will not keep buying.
Writing stand alone titles in multiple genres also has its disadvantages. The benefits off building up a loyal following for a series just don’t exist with one off books. The author has to hope their covers and blurbs are enough to attract new readers each time. There are authors, both independent and traditional who do successfully write in multiple genres, but probably a whole lot more who stick to the genre they are known for.
Sticking to a single genre and writing to a series can feel like a job. It can be tiresome having to stick to the parameters the genre and series dictates. However, this can be outweighed by the relief of having a satisfactory income from book sales.
An independent author is well used to making creative and business decisions on a day to day basis. The one about what to write is one of the toughest as often the whole business model will depend on that choice. Think carefully before deciding which route to take. There is no right or wrong, writing on a day to day basis, while for many, is a dream come true, it can be a hard slog. There is nothing worse than trying to motivate yourself to write when you are not enjoying what you are doing. Sometimes following your heart is as wise as following your head. If your writing is good enough you will find readers regardless of whether you are writing in a single, or multiple genres.