Monday, March 20, 2017

Setting Priorities and Deciding on a Romance Genre by @KarynGerrard #Publishing #amwriting


I have been writing for my own pleasure since I started this journey in 2011. I am not a savvy marketer or efficient at self-promotion. I don't write what's popular because I didn't start out at this to make money. Though it would be nice. However, like many, my book sales have dropped several notches the last two years. Do I start writing alpha a-hole heroes (for example) or continue to write what I want? There comes a time in an author's career where you have to examine the dollar figure on the romance genre you are writing in and make a decision.

I have come to that fork in the road. Because I have an agent (Yes, I still have to remind myself I have one!) the next step on this journey is to try and get more exposure (my number one priority) and yes, sell some books. Garner a little recognition.

I have been writing historicals almost exclusively the past three years. Time for a change. The genre is not a big seller, that is a hard truth. Unless you are top-tier like Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath, or Elizabeth Hoyt, or a handful of indies who are historical writing machines (I admire that!), you fall into the middle area which to me is a black hole.

What to do? Shift my priorities. Yes, I have a three contract deal with Kensington for historical e-books, but beyond that? Time to take stock and quit hitting myself over the head over and over.

The Copper and the Madam? (book 3 of Blind Cupid trilogy) Cover art already bought, revisions half done. Yes, I will re-release this probably in the summer. I feel no pressure to do it sooner. Again, demand is not there.

Knight of Christmas? (historical) My one and only book with the now closed Ellora's Cave? I can re-use the cover art, that will save $$$, and it does need revising. I might get it out this fall.

And that, as they say...is that. No more historicals for a while. I will be turning my attention to contemporaries. If I take a cold, hard look at numbers, my few contemporaries have outsold my many historicals. A stark reality. So I will be focusing on a contemporary series I have, getting it ready for my agent to submit and go from there.

Every author has to examine what they want out of this writing thing. Making a living wage? Highly unlikely. I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook lately of authors examining whether they want to continue. Let's be truthful. The bubble has burst. There is no money to be made except the top 1-2% (just like in real life!) It's demoralizing and heartbreaking, but one must accept the reality.

Want exposure and sell a few books? You may want to go the agent route. (But even that is no guarantee) Write the genre you love? If making money is not a top priority, continue to do what you love.
Perhaps you will be one of the very lucky few who get to write what they love AND make some money.

Let's be careful out there~

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