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Diane asks me, “Why did you switch to a different genre with THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE?”
Great question, Diane! I often ask myself this very same question all the time. Lol. The prevailing opinions about self-published authors is that we should stick to one genre and build our audience there if we want to make money at being an author. “Make money” in my books would be over $1000 per month, which isn’t even minimum wage. Still, making $1000 per month is nothing to sneeze at. I make about that much PER YEAR, so that’s a goal for me to get to. Anyway, getting back to the question, every self-publishing expert will tell you that building an audience in your genre is necessary to having a long, money-making career as an indie author. They also say that if you want to write in more than one genre, you should get a pen name for the other genres so as not to confuse your readers.
So why would I switch? Let me tell you, this was a hard decision to make. I saw how I was doing with the Nogiku Series (it only makes me $30/month on a good month) and I wondered if I just was never going to find an audience in scifi. It was totally possible that I never would, the signs pointed to NO, so I had to think hard about where to take my career next. I didn’t want to juggle more than one pen name, so I decided against that (this was probably a mistake). I love writing mysteries (the Nogiku Series is a mystery at heart) and I loved the cozy mystery genre because I’m generally an upbeat writer who likes Happily Ever Afters. Cozy mysteries would be a good fit for me. I went for it and published my first on March 31st!
I’m right at the beginning of this journey! My first cozy mystery book is out and the second one is due to come out on July 7. It has garnered some great reviews and people seem to be enjoying it. Is it selling? No, it isn’t. Is it finding its audience? Not right now. But I feel I need at least three books out to tell for sure, so I’m not giving up yet. Plus there are sales and blog tours and much much more in the future to help gain the exposure my books need. Publishing is a hard business and overnight success is just not real for most of us. What mattered to me was finding the right path for me. Every decision I have made puts me closer to my goal!
Ultimately, the thing I’ve learned in this process is what I enjoy writing! I enjoy writing cozy mysteries and science fiction, so for the foreseeable future, I will concentrate on both. I’ve decided that if I do write outside of these genres again, I will do it under a pen name (which I’ll tell you about eventually if I do it).
So that’s why I switched! And I will soldier on, keep going until I have nothing left in me to give, which I hope is when I’m 90 or more. ;)
Thanks for asking this question, Diane!
PS) I just listened to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast this week and they discussed this very topic! They agree that genre hopping can be bad for your career, but Lindsey did point out that you may want to try a new genre if you’re not succeeding in the one you’re in. Since I’ve only had two months ever where I made around $300, but I tend to make $70-$80 per month (my worst month this year was $30), I decided to give mysteries a try. They did mention it’s like starting over, so the jury is still out on whether or not I’m making progress in a new genre. So I’ll keep going with my two genres: scifi and mystery!