In general, people stick with the familiar. We like routines and predictability. A little excitement from time to time is a good thing, but too much change sends most of us running for the hills, right? What I’m wondering if the same is true in your reading or writing life? Are you a genre hopper?
Personally, I love to read almost everything and, most of all, I love to think about new ideas. Typically I’m drawn to Science Fiction and Fantasy, probably because (in my opinion) there is the greatest potential for new ideas within this genre, but honestly, if a story is good, I couldn’t care less about where it’s shelved in the bookstore.
As far as my writing goes, I do my best processing when I write out what I’m thinking. I write to express my own ideas, to tell my own stories, so I think it’s only natural that some would be fiction, others non-fiction, and for me a healthy dose of science fiction and fantasy because I like to write about possibilities. All of that is well and good, except that I’ve never thought about selling any of those stories before.
When branding, marketing, building an audience, and finding a publisher all come into play it’s much more difficult to be a genre hopper, or so I’m told. Readers have certain expectations, publishers have certain expectations, and too much change will send them running, right?
I don’t know.
If you take a look at what’s happening with music, a lot of artists are now considered “cross-over” musicians. With iTunes, listeners tend to choose individual songs over entire albums or specific artists. Also, musicians are able to reach a much larger audience when their songs are played on a variety of stations.
Could the same happen with books and authors?
I’m curious to know what you think, or what you’ve observed in the changing market.
As a reader, are you vehemently loyal to one genre? Are you irritated when your favorite author writes something outside his/her typical style? Or do you read everything and enjoy a change of pace?
How about as a writer? Do you tend to stay within one genre or do you like to branch out?