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Genres of Literature – Multiple Genres. How to Promote?

October 22, 2018
mandyevebarnett


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Today’s post is more personal as I am a multi-genre author. I would welcome your comments on how you brand, promote and market when writing multi-genres.

The definition of ‘writer’ is
1. a person who has written a particular text.
2. a person who writes books, stories, or articles as a job or regular occupation.
3. a person who writes in a specified way.

As you can see the definition predisposes that a writer will create narratives in a specific way or genre. However, what if a writer wants to write the ‘story’ not the genre?

As many of you know, I am a multi-genre author, where the story is the motivator not the genre. However, there are some obstacles to this due to the ‘business’ side of writing. Mainly, how to promote myself as opposed to the genre I have written?

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I have read many ‘book promotion and marketing’ articles, all of which target specific audiences for genre. You can easily target one genre, such as romance, thriller, and mystery but how do you cross genre lines in promotion?

One answer is to link your name to an organic and dynamic brand that’s based on you and arouses a positive, emotional experience for your targeted readership – regardless of genre. So in essence you will need to develop a strategy to create a hybrid solution of your own.

Another option is to write a book that will appeal to the fans of your new genre and not the fans you already have. The plot, cover, and blurb should all be consistent with the genre you want to write in. This can be accomplished by adding your own flourishes to the genre.

You have the ability to create your own style, and unique voice by combining recurrent themes, character types, settings, and ideas that make up the familiar elements characteristic to your writing. You can tie a common thread between all the genres you choose to write.

It is much less about genre, and more about what readers have come to expect in your books/writing. It’s in the way you do it–as well as how it’s perceived and interpreted by your audience.
Let’s take a look at how writing in more than one genre is a benefit:
• It requires different strengths and allows you to push your limits and abilities–learn, test, experiment, polish.
• It lets you explore your wider interests without limitation.
• It allows new writers especially to explore various genres before determining the right “fit” for their style, voice and passions.
• It is often not a conscious decision–many writers are compelled to follow the Muse.

So what are the Pros and Cons?
Pros:
1. Writing what you want
It is wonderfully fulfilling to explore new ideas and create something new that challenges you in unique and exciting ways.
2. Wider audience
Writing a new genre may attract new readers, who wouldn’t have found your work otherwise. And hopefully they will check out your previous works thus cultivating a broader, wider readership.
3. Versatility
Being versatile will sharpen your skills as a writer and may attract a publisher in that genre or other new opportunities. Your ability to handle a variety of genres is always a plus.
4. Broader community
While writing in new genres and categories, you will get to know other writers in that genre and extend your writing community in the process.
Cons:
1. Losing readers
This is obviously the biggest con of switching genres. Your current readership may not pick up your new book at all as they consider you a writer in a particular genre and may be more discerning about picking up a title of yours in the future.
2. More juggling
Writing in multiple genres requires more juggling with your marketing and promotion as you need to change from one single cohesive marketing plan into two or more. And if you’re working on multiple projects at once, you’ll have to handle multiple publishing deadlines, contracts, etc.
3. Multiple brands
The worst case scenario is having to start a completely new brand for the ‘other’ genre. You may need to write under a pen-name and devote time to building that platform. It could be you start from scratch in your branding, or utilize your platform in a broader form. To do this you need to find the common ‘theme’. (Not an easy task I might add!)
4. Writing confusion
The other challenge is juggling multiple genres from a writing perspective and requires a lot of hard work and skill to accomplish successfully. Each genre has its own conventions you need to establish and refine using vastly different voices traits and tones, while meeting readers’ expectations.

More recently, many alternative genres have been created, which combine genres into a sub-genres. For example, romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book. This has enabled authors to promote their books in one or more genres.
I have investigated what my ‘brand’ or ‘theme’ is in my writing and after quite some time realized it is a basic theme of love – be it romantic, parental, friendship or some other kind – so in essence I can use that title within the more traditional genre headings.
It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is an underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.

 

My novel, The Twesome Loop is also romance but has an added reincarnation element as well as set in England and Italy, so is it romance alone or do I possibly create a sub-genre: suspense romance? As I am writing, I realized another sub-genre would fit my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom, which is set in medieval England, has a romance and a master plot by a vengeful witch so maybe it is fantasy romance?

Do you write multiple genres?

How do you promote them? Separately or within a broader brand under your name?

 

Does Music Influence your Writing..?

May 10, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Staccato – definition: having shortened and detached sounds when played or sung.

I have the great pleasure of having a sister in law who sings like an angel. She and a friend sung at my wedding and had the whole congregation spellbound. She and my brother now have three children who excel at music too.

Music was an important element in my childhood with my parents introducing my siblings and I to the classics but also tolerating our modern music. I was the heavy rock type into Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Status Quo and the like. The boy bands and baby faced singers did nothing for me although my school mates were obsessed with them. Each to their own I suppose.

With an eclectic taste in music now which ranges from rap to rock to contemporary, I prefer classical when writing. Do you have a favorite type of music when you write? Does it reflect your genre?

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I found this article which links fantasy and music – very interesting. As well as the fact my fantasy centers around a travelling troubadour who spins his tales to the lords and ladies around the medieval English countryside. It must have been wonderful to hear the stories sung.

http://suddenlytheyalldied.com/2013/04/14/paperback-writer/

Toady…do childhood memories inspire?

March 8, 2013
mandyevebarnett


 Toady – definition: a person who flatters another in the hopes of receiving favors.

The-Wind-in-the-WillowsMy first thought when I read this word was Toad of Toad Hall. It was a favorite book when I was growing up – Wind in the Willows. Fascinating animal characters in a natural environment. Then the realization came that my current project is about animal characters in a forest helped by woodland sprites. Is there a sub-conscious link to my childhood do you think? I hadn’t thought of Toad and his friends in more decades than I care to mention but maybe they linger in the depths of my mind. I had thought I was writing this particular story because my parents were always very keen for  my siblings and I to understand and appreciate the natural world around us. Possibly it is a combination of the two. I have passed on my parents legacy to my children and my current project, Ockleberries to the Rescue is partly inspired by the stories I told them when they were little. Their favorite outing was always a wildlife park preferring them over zoos. The animals have so much more space to live in.

Could our current themes or genres be influenced by childhood memories and favorite books? My pal, Vikki at The View Outside discussed favorite books from childhood in a recent post so I thought it only fitting to put it here. http://the-view-outside.com/2013/02/15/the-influences-of-childhood-books/

When you consider what you write now is there any link to your childhood? It may not be so startling obvious as mine is in regard to my current project but what are the underlying traits in your work?

First Article for Strathcona Connect

August 24, 2012
mandyevebarnett


With so many sporting activities available within our community, it seems easy to forget that there are other pastimes to enjoy. One creative outlet is writing. Whether it is prose or poetry, fiction or non-fiction, short story, novel or memoir, this particular art form crosses every age group, ability, topic, interest, and theme. Some are brave enough to share or publish their work, while others are content to file it away, either as a legacy for their family or for more personal reasons.

The act of writing is not only cathartic but also a thoroughly enjoyable pursuit. However, it can be a lonely activity if you allow it to be. We are extremely fortunate, therefore, to have a renowned writing group within our county. The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (www.wfscsherwoodpark.com) has grown from a small group in 2001 to, not only a large number of local members, but also many virtual ones, across Canada, in the USA and Australia and expanding all the time. With such a broad spectrum of contributors, covering every possible writing style, their membership can find constructive critique, support and encouragement.

The foundation’s web site is a vital link not only for their virtual members but also as a place to share pieces of work and have comments made upon it. The group’s motto- “Supporting writers…any age, any stage of their writing career” is the basis for their continued success and mandate for garnering a sense of community.

The group is very active and holds several meetings each month, year round. The main sharing meeting is held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Sherwood Park library in the Birch room at 7 pm with a smaller meeting on the third Tuesday, also in the library at 7pm but at varying locations. For those members wanting a more structured workshop type meeting, there are two ‘Writing Friends’ events each month on the second and fourth Thursday in the library at 10 am. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings as membership is not required for ‘come and see’ visits.

The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County has been a partner with the Sherwood Park library for many years and has enjoyed creating cooperative events to further literary and literacy programs within the county.

One such event is Words in the Park Book Sale and Fair, which is held each fall focusing on local authors and literary endeavors in Strathcona. This year’s event will coincide with the LitFest week with author readings and workshops available on Oct. 27, 2012 from 1 – 4pm in the community centre and library complex at 401, Festival Lane, Sherwood Park.

If you have dabbled in the written word or have drawers full of novels, take a look at The Writers Foundation of Strathcona, you will be pleasantly surprised.

http://strathconaconnect.ca/strathcona-county-gets-writing-p219-96.htm

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