View Full Version : Genre Hopping

09-09-2015, 02:38 PM
So here's the thing, I've written three novels but each one falls under a different genre (horror, fantasy, sci-fi). Would it be strange to self-publish all three under the same author name? Or will readers question the obvious "genre hopping"? I'm a bit eclectic and tend to write what grabs my imagination.

I could see the fantasy novel turning into a series so I don't want to hurt my chances for attracting more readers.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Limericks?

09-09-2015, 05:09 PM
Very interesting question, and one I've been considering myself. My thinking at the moment, for what it's worth, is that I will follow up my sci-fi debut with at least one (or possibly two) in the same genre. After that, I figure that it's okay to branch out a bit more and have a good chance of bringing your audience with you.

The difference between the genres you mention is, at least, not a big step for people to take. Most who read one will enjoy books from the other two, just don't go jumping into period romance or sport drama! There are plenty of examples of people doing sci-fi and fantasy series alongside one another...

There's also the notion that a lot of books are genre hybrids anyway, so you can bridge between books in that way. You might find that there are ways to connect your books that blend the genres into something consistent throughout.

09-09-2015, 08:50 PM
Pen names are probably worth using if you're writing in diametrically opposed genres (Christian fiction and erotica, for example*). Otherwise, I think they're more work than they're worth. Keep in mind you'll have to set up a whole new identity (social media, marketing, website) for each pen name.

*Edit: although I've discovered that there is such a thing as "Christian erotica" on Amazon. Live and learn.

09-09-2015, 10:34 PM
The three you've mentioned share a lot of readers. Even if they were a bit more distance (like historical romance versus a medical thriller) you'd probably still have enough crossover for it to boost sales under one name.

Plus, if you genre hop, you could end up with as many pen names as you have books, which wouldn't be sensible.

09-10-2015, 07:18 AM
I see your point about extra work trying to maintain another persona in the form of a pen name. It's hard enough trying to get your books out there without taking on multiple identities I imagine. I'm probably putting the cart before the horse if you'll excuse that dusty old adage. Thanks for the input.

Now I'm off to find some Christian Erotica...I mean...err...

09-10-2015, 10:52 AM
I think as long as the genre of each book is clear, you don't want to use a pen name. I've seen some super-successful writers say they use a pen name for each genre, but for us mere mortals, we need the extra exposure each new book brings.

09-10-2015, 09:46 PM
I'm with Polenth. I can see an SF writer going into horror or fantasy and vice versa. The genres carry a lot of the same structure and elements. I'd keep the same name unless you start getting complaints. After all, in terms of branding it's got to be easier to build one brand than 3 and if someone likes one of your works and wants to check out another you don't want to prevent them.

Be wary of multiple pseudonyms.

09-11-2015, 03:47 AM
Actually, I've also heard of some people who have multiple pen names, but list them all on their main website. I think the idea is that those fans who want to cross genre with them will, and those who don't can just follow a pen name. As others have said, it sounds like a lot of work for not much benefit, but it is an option.