I’ve written a bunch of books. They were all passion projects. Unfortunately, not everyone shares my passions. The zombie books sold and continue to sell. I might be summering in Rio if I had stuck with one genre. That doesn’t mean I wish I had only catered to one genre and made it more lucrative. The details are a little more refined than that. Let’s make it simple. If I were starting again, here’s what I’d do:
- Pseudonyms only. It makes no difference to the final product but psychologically it’s less stressful on the post-production end.
- One genre and, of course, one author page per pseudonym. That separation helps Amazon algos sell books without muddling the reader pool. Readers are more specific in their wants than many authors. If they want zombie fiction, they don’t want my crime thrillers and vice versa.
- Build out the series into longer strings of books.
- Write shorter books, fewer big bricks.
- Focus more of my energies on the series that sell and earn the time and privilege of my artsy passions later.
- I won’t stretch out a story longer than it takes to tell it. That wouldn’t serve the readers. However, I wouldn’t be against writing more stories in the same universe and tying it all together. (Just did that with Dream’s Dark Flight, a stand alone that fits with the Dimension War Series.)
- Write more of what readers actually read instead of what I want to read. I know the typical advice is to write what you want to read (and it is important to know your genre.) However, I’m a writer. I finally figured out (since working under pseudonyms) that I can write in just about any genre and make it interesting for myself.
There are many other things I’d do differently, of course, but that would be a good start. Now I’ll retcon and reverse engineer that plan. Or build a time machine. The time machine is coming along pretty well.
~ I’m a writer across several genres, darn it. Couldn’t beat the ADD. I just started a podcast in which I go deep on life management issues. The podcast is complementary to my latest book, Do the Thing! It’s about managing stress, pain, time and energy. Find out more on my author page at www.AllThatChazz.com.