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As many of you know, my debut Beyond the Red is a YA Sci-Fi. What less of you know, is the book I just recently sent off to my agent is a NA Paranormal, and the book I’m revising now is a YA Fantasy. I also have a YA Paranormal in the drawer that I hope to one day revive, though whether or not that’ll happen remains to be seen.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is I write in several categories and genres.
Oftentimes, I’ve come across posts about creating an author brand. The examples given usually involve authors who specialize in a single genre, and I’ve seen some (but definitely not all) insinuate that it’s in an author’s best interests to focus on a single, cohesive audience.
I totally get that, and I’m not trashing that strategy. I think it can be a totally viable, and strong strategy for genre authors, like Sarah Dessen, Gayle Forman, Jodi Picoult and John Green, for example. You know exactly what kind of book to expect from those authors, and their fans are indisputably loyal.
All of this talk of branding, however, sometimes gets interpreted to mean that authors can’t (or shouldn’t) write in multiple genres. And I don’t think that’s quite true.
While I think the strategy for an author who writes in multiple genres is naturally going to be different than an author who focuses on one (including the fact that not all fans of author genre A will read author genre B), that doesn’t mean that an author can’t be successful writing in multiple genres and categories.
Of course, I’m a little biased, so let me give some examples:
- Tahereh Mafi: YA Dystopia & MG Fantasy.
- Lauren DeStefano: YA Dystopia & MG Paranormal.
- Lindsay Cummings: YA Dystopia & MG Fantasy.
- Veronica Rossi/Noelle August: YA SF/Dystopia, YA Fantasy & NA Contemporary Romance.
- Jennifer Armentrout/ J. Lynn: YA Paranormal, YA Mystery, NA Paranormal & NA Contemporary Romance.
- Ted Dekker: Adult Thriller, Adult Fantasy, Adult Christian Fiction & YA Fantasy.
- Holly Black: YA Paranormal, YA Urban Fantasy & MG Fantasy.
- Ally Condie: YA Fantasy, YA Contemporary & YA Dystopia.
- Eoin Colfer: YA SF, MG-YA Fantasy (series), YA Fantasy, YA Steampunk, YA Paranormal, YA Mystery & Adult Mystery.
- Libba Bray: YA Paranormal, YA Fantasy & YA Humor/Contemporary.
- Cassandra Clare: YA Urban Fantasy & MG Fantasy.
- Cora Carmack: NA Contemporary Romance & NA Paranormal.
All of these authors have published (or have book deals) in multiple genres and/or categories, and I’m sure there are loads more—these are just the ones I was able to think of quickly.
It’s not often discussed, but I think especially today, writing in multiple categories and genres is becoming increasingly more common. Which, for writers who love writing in different genres and categories, is possibly the best news ever.
So whether you write in one genre or five, I encourage you to write whatever your heart desires. After all, ultimately, it’s not the genre or the category that sells a book—it’s the passion behind the story itself.
What do you think? Is it smart for writers to write in multiple genres or categories?
Is it smart for authors to write in multiple categories or genres? Writer @Ava_Jae weighs in her thoughts. (Click to tweet)
Do you think writers should write in multiple categories or genres? Join the discussion on @Ava_Jae's blog. (Click to tweet)