If you have been in the writing world long enough, you’ve likely been told that a certain genre is done, over, no one’s buying. So, there’s a good chance, if you’re like me, that you entertain switching genres, trying to catch onto the coattails of the next big thing.
Maybe you already wrote chic-lit when Sex and the City hit it big. Maybe you wrote your first romance on the heels of that mega-hit to try to get in on the craze. If you were lucky, you wrote a good story that got picked up by an agent and/or publisher and was able to ride the wave of sexy-single-girl popularity.
But what if you write historicals? Or young adult? Or science fiction?
Should you switch genres just to chase the dream or should you stick to what you love? If you’re an historical romance writer, switching to paranormal may be a breath of fresh air. Or it might send you sinking like the Titanic.
We are told to be true to ourselves, stick to what we know. But when we are told that what we know, and love, is no longer going to float, what do we do?
My advice is stick with it anyway. If you write historicals and that is where your heart is, then stick with historicals. The same goes for contemporary, category, and young adult, which I fear is going to be the next ‘no-no’ coming down the pike.
I write paranormal. I’ve been told on a few (ahem) different occasions that no one is buying paranormal anymore. With the success of Twilight and subsequent fury over anything otherworldly, vampires along with all other paranormal plots have to be so unique, spectacular, out-of-this-world fresh and new that it can feel impossible to get anyone interested in your book.
But what I’ve found is that this attitude doesn’t always trickle down to the readers, which is who we write for anyway, don’t we? If a reader loves historicals, or a reader loves paranormal, won’t they always love that genre? Won’t they want new voices, new stories to read?
I don’t think readers will be the ones saying that their beloved genre is dead.
Why do I believe this? Because first and foremost I am a reader. I love to read. I mean LOVE to read! I read everyday without exception. There will be no slumber for me unless I have checked in with the characters in whatever book sits beside my nightstand.
And I like to read paranormal. As a reader, I never would have known that paranormal had a big red flag attached to it. No, as a reader, I wait for another really good book to add to my repertoire. I don’t care if vampires are so yesterday. I like vampires and want to read more stories about them.
So what am I trying to say? Keep writing in the genre that you love. There will always be readers for that genre. We readers love a good story and always will. Don’t chase the trends because trends change. And there will be a day when your genre moves from the ‘pooh’ list to the ‘hit’ list and you’ll be there ready and waiting with a fabulous manuscript in hand.
Cheers and good luck!