Author Branding (and how to tank it)

Author Branding (and how to tank it)

author branding and the importance of writing within a genre

The industry wisdom is that an author–particularly a budding one–needs to write in one genre only in order to establish a brand and build a loyal readership.

But what if your ‘brand’ is something other than a specific genre?

I’ve been thinking about this because however hard I try, I can’t seem to stay in one lane. My writing journey has been:

Adult fantasy series
YA fantasy series
Middle Grade short stories
Adult sci-fi

….and the next two ideas I have lucking at the back of my brain are a historical novel and a middle-grade sci-fi.

On-brand? Not by conventional metrics, no. But they are all united by something beyond genre, something that I believe will generate a loyal readership: theme. All my books are uplifting, thought-provoking, and inspiring. I think all of them, although written for different age groups, will appeal to each of my readers. I mean, I started reading adult books when I was about ten, and as an adult, I still read books aimed at ten-year-olds. I’m not alone in this (please tell me I’m not alone in this!).

So, is it essential to write in one genre, as long as you’re writing books that will appeal to the same readers?

Obviously, I’m leaning towards ‘no’, but it is a genuine question: do weigh in if you have an opinion or relevant experience. I think this would be a useful conversation for lots of authors. And useful for readers, too, to question if you should stick to the familiar genres you always gravitate to, or allow an author you trust to lead you off on a tangent to some strange new world…

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