Switching genres

Remember that WAY back when I started this blog, I warned you to do what I say, NOT what I do?  Well, I should remind you of that, because I’m thinking of doing the UNsmart thing again.

It’s like this.  Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I wrote short mysteries.  I even sold some to Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen’s mystery magazines–not so easy to accomplish.  But cozy mysteries were dead in the water, so I decided to try writing urban fantasy.  It was a hot market at the time, but of course, by the time I finished mine, the market was glutted.  Which is why it’s tricky to follow trends.  But from someone who knows–because she’s learned the hard way–trying to sell a genre that editors have decided is passe’ is a hopeless task.  EVERYTHING’S stacked against you.

Which leads me to my unsmart move.  I seem to be drawn to write whatever isn’t popular at the time.  I didn’t give up on urban fantasy even when my agent said it was dead.  She let me try it as a self-published author on Amazon.  She hoped if I hit the right niche, I might get lucky, so I tried three different series.  I even tried novellas and novella bundles. And then she suggested I try to write a contemporary romance.  So I did.  But I went for smalltown romances with a cozy feel.  And guess what?  Kensington took them for their e-book line, but the market for them is limited.  Who knew?  I sure didn’t.  My editor liked them enough, though, that he asked if I’d ever be interested in writing a mystery for him.  Now, I really like writing mysteries.  BUT…the other thing I’ve learned on this journey, is that it almost always takes time for an author to build an audience, and you don’t build an audience when you keep changing genres.  BUT…I really like writing mysteries.  When I asked my agent about it, she recommended that I write what calls to me the most.  And she warned that cozy mysteries are still dead, but that my particular editor still likes them. So if I like working with him, which I do,  then I could give it a shot.

So…I’ve started work on a mystery.  And we’ll see what happens.  It’s still early on. Nothing’s nailed down yet.  BUT if you’ve paid attention, I’ve given you THREE genres you might want to avoid if you’re a new writer and want to sell to a big publisher:  urban fantasy, sweet romances, and cozy mysteries.

Since I apparently am no good at picking the right markets with appeal, I did a quick search and got this:  https://medium.com/applaudience/fiction-trends-to-watch-for-in-2017-and-beyond-408fef67c07f#.mizi0o1vl

And from Kirkus Reviews:  https://www.kirkusreviews.com/proconnect/word-on-the-street/

Whatever you’re writing, good luck with it.  And enjoy the process!

webpage: http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter:  @judypost


15 thoughts on “Switching genres

  1. Since urban fantasy romance is what I enjoy the most, I’m working with that. But my husband keeps telling me that by offering other genres it could draw in more readers. I’m still debating what I might exolore, but I’m thinking some kind of romantic story would be involved. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are your books on Amazon? I couldn’t find them. You have good reviews on Goodreads. I’ve been told that most writers don’t build an audience until their 5th or 6th book. You’re so close to that, why not go for it before you change to something else? Will your book coming out in April be on Amazon?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Each of my books are free (all the time), so Amazon won’t carry them. My books are available at most other online retailers, and mobi files for Kindles are available through Smashwords. I’m on Smashwords’ Most Downloaded Author list, which is really cool. I don’t really do a whole lot to promote my books, but I have a lot of faithful readers and friends from WordPress and Instagram. Not everyone is into the fiction genre I use, but that’s okay. I just like to share what I love. 😊 If things stay on track, the next book in the universe (which will be from another heroine’s perspective) will be released in October. 😊 I plan to do at least one more main series novel after that…. So we’ll see how much it takes off. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been good at following trends. I just write what I like and hope to find an audience with it. And I’m excited you’re venturing into the mystery field. Although I don’t write cozy mysteries–WELCOME! I for one will be looking forward to your first release. Wishing you the best with the change!


  3. Thanks. I love mysteries. I read a lot more of those than romances, so feel more comfortable with them. It’s been a long time since I’ve written one, though.


  4. Your urban fantasy is how I found you. In fact, they are on my reread list. I’m not a romance reader, sorry. I skipped those stories. But I love a cozy mystery. Looking forward to reading.


  5. It’s my opinion that your foray into various genres will make this new mystery project of yours a winner. You’ll build into it the elements you found successful in your Mill Pond series and your urban fantasies. You’re a fine wrier, and you’ve paid your dues. Now you’ll win over a new audience plus your “old” audiences will follow you into this venture. Congratulations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We missed you at Scribes yesterday! I’m rereading your This Red Earth, and damn, I love your writing! I’ve tweeted about it a few times. I so hope you find an audience some day. I’m a fan!


  6. I read on some random post, one should never, ever switch genres. Which leads me to believe it’s a great idea! How in the world are we writers ever supposed to follow all these rules? Especially when there are so many?
    I love your Urban fantasies and your romances. So glad you’re taking on a mystery. You go girl!


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