Genre Hopping: Genius Idea or Fatal Mistake?

Genre Hopping: Genius Idea or Fatal Mistake?

Frogger poster

Remember when J.K. Rowling wrote a detective novel and it was the craziest leaked secret ever? Well, it turns out that she’s just one drop in an enormous bucket of authors.

Genre hopping is becoming more and more popular among modern authors, not least because it can help you earn a boatload of money. According to the “write, publish, repeat” model of writing we talked about once before, the more books you make the more money you can potentially earn from writing books. The more you write, the more you potentially earn.

Writing a bunch of books can get boring, though. So lots of authors like to switch up the genres they write in, such as hopping from nonfiction to thrillers. Some go even further, taking on an entirely new author name so that they can appeal to a new group of readers.

So that’s a good case to start genre hopping! But is it right for YOU? Here’s how it’s done best:

try something new

Genre hopping works if the genres are very different. Are you a fantasy writer looking to write about your latest trip to Bora Bora? Great! Add some color to your writing portfolio. But reconsider it if you’re an acupuncture expert looking to write with authority about meditation. Shake it up! You’ll be wishing you listened to us when your reputation as an acupuncture expert is sullied ten years from now because you wrote about some other health subject with just as much authority (you’ve been warned).

David Steinberg funny

Use a pen name only if you’re willing to put in the work. What good is an author without their website? Or their Twitter account? All authors need an online presence, even fake ones. So don’t go there unless you’re prepared to go all the way. Pen names are fun, and can certainly be helpful. But isn’t it better to have fun and reap the benefits of your effort?

rainer maria rilke quote

Genre hopping is a fresh start, for good and evil. If your last book was panned (or just barely made a ripple), you can make a successful new start as an author in a whole new world. you can go forth to the reading public and ask for a second chance. As long as you treat it as a 100% fresh start, there’s no reason why genre hopping can’t work for you.

Have you ever considered genre hopping? How do you feel when your favorite authors try writing in new genres? Tell us in the comments!

1 thought on “Genre Hopping: Genius Idea or Fatal Mistake?

  1. Some good points. Especially, the need to commit to s second online personal for each pen name. A middling famous author may be able to get away with multiple series under different names but beginning authors and super-famous ones may have more complications.

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