Who do you think I am? I never wanted to be typecast.

It’s not good to acquire a label.

While I nominally write Science Fiction and Steampunk, I also dabble in Fantasy and Cozy Crime. As well as the odd Psychological Thriller.

To be honest, I mix genres in most of my novels and short stories. I don’t really want to be defined as a writer by any single one of my books. And why not shake things up a bit?

The trouble is…,

The unintended consequence of my desire to be different is that it makes marketing my work a little more challenging. For example, I write Cozy Crime adventures set in space. I thought they would appeal to a wide audience. But the diehard Cozy Crime readers don’t like them because they’re set in space. To make matters worse, Sci-fi readers don’t like them because they see them as Cozy Crime novels.

And so on.

When it comes to telling the world about my novels, it’s hard to know where to expend my efforts to get the best results.

And it doesn’t stop there. Personal appearances at writerly events can be tricky. People look at my selection of books and ask me what I write, it’s difficult to know how to put the fact that I don’t stick rigidly to genres in a short answer that makes sense.

I’m pretty sure that it’s my covers causing the confusion. Not that they’re bad covers, I get complimented on them. They reflect all the major tropes of each story or series. I think it’s the fact that when someone sees all my covers together, there’s too much of a mixture of styles in one place, by one author. It makes them wonder what I’m all about.

Instead of Sci-fi, I tend to tell people that I write all kinds of Speculative fiction.

I think that sounds obscure enough to make the questioner demand a better explanation. At that point, I can tell them about the whole genre mashup thing. If their eyes don’t glaze over, or if they don’t walk away, I can find out what they like to read. It’s then easy to suggest one of my titles that might fit the bill.

People who aren’t “Sci-fi” readers but have been convinced by my spiel and have taken the plunge, so to speak, on one of my stories have said that, although they don’t normally like Sci-fi, they do like my version of it.

This only adds to my confusion.

Perhaps I should try advertising my books as

Sci-fi for people who don’t like Sci-fi?

It has a certain ring to it.

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2 Responses

  1. Jack Eason

    The conundrum you face is precisely why I don’t interact with the general public Richard. Either they like what we write, or they don’t.

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