1. Hollowly
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    Hollowly Member

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    Second book in different genre

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Hollowly, Dec 17, 2010.

    Okay. So I know it's hard enough getting your first novel published. But is it just as difficult getting an unrelated second novel published in an different genre, or to a different age group? :confused:
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    generally speaking, yes... unless, of course, your first was a runaway best-seller, so your name alone will pave the way...
     
  3. Hollowly
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    thanks for the input. I have several very different works and was just wondering.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just use a pen name - I know several that write varying genres - none are on the Times bestseller list. One writes erotica and young adult.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    It may depend on the publisher of your first novel. If they publish/focus on SF, Fantasy and Horror, and your first novel was a fantasy, and a success, odds are they'd be more open to a second work, even if it isn't in the exact same genre a piece submitted by a complete unknown.

    With that said, the best way to sell a second novel is to write the novel so that it is the absolute best it can be. If it's mediocre, or worse, its chances of it finding a publisher are dismal—or worse.
     
  6. HeinleinFan
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    Well, yes and no. It's hard to produce a book that's good enough to be published. And some people worry -- needlessly, in my opinion -- about whether switching genres will make life harder.

    The thing is, it will make it harder for your first publisher to market your second book. So what? Just sell the effing thing elsewhere. Many pro writers -- ones who make writing their career -- end up writing a heck of a lot of books during their lives, and many writers don't restrict themselves to a single genre. Nora Roberts writes SF and Romance. Stephen King writes thrillers, horror, mainstream fiction and fantasy. Lois McMaster Bujold writes both fantasy and SF. Kristine Katheryn Rusch writes sf, fantasy, mystery, and romance. Ursula K. LeGuin wrote SF and fantasy.

    If you're looking to be a pro writer, then you'll either be writing on the side and holding some other day job, or you'll be writing full-time. You presumably won't be writing the same story over and over again (assuming you don't want to be another McCaffery), so at some point you'll likely find yourself writing out of your "preferred genre." That's fine, there's nothing wrong with pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

    And when you do write a novel that's different from your previous work, the world won't end. You'll probably end up selling it to a company that specializes in that genre, and believe me, as long as you're on track for your next book for the first company (the one that published your "preferred genre" books), they won't care about what you do with your time.

    Here's a more concrete example. Let's say, just for argument, that you're a mystery writer. Every year on April 15th, you send an 80,000 - 90,000 word novel to your editor at Awesome Mysteries, Inc. But this year you finished a second novel, a paranormal romance. Your editor at Awesome Mysteries doesn't want it; she specializes in mysteries.

    So you send it to someone else -- an editor at Acme, which publishes fantasy, sf and romance in three separate lines. The editor likes it, but suggests that you should use a pseudonym so you don't wind up confusing readers who want a mystery, pick up your romance novel, and come away dissatisfied. All you have to do is choose a pseudonym and then continue writing as normal. Your editor at Awesome Mysteries won't care because romance and mysteries aren't really competing much for readers. And now, if you write another romance or fantasy book, you have a second "name" as an author, and over the years your readership will grow.

    The reason it's hard to get an unrelated second novel published is because you have to submit your novel to editors you don't know yet. It's hard, but it's part of being a writer. If you can get a first novel sold, you can get a second one sold too -- and at some point, you'll have to; even pro writers go through times when their series get dropped, or their latest novel doesn't earn out, or their sales figures aren't high enough and they have to start using a new pen name.

    In other words, it's a bit scary to have to send your second novel out into the world, trying to catch a strange editor's interest. But that's life. It's one of the costs to having a job that involves sitting in a comfortable chair for eight hours a day making up worlds, instead of digging ditches or dealing with customers or running the rat race. It's not something to be afraid of. Heck, it's probably a good sign that your brain comes up with a wide variety of ideas; it means you'll still have things to write ten or thirty or fifty years from now.

    Good luck with your writing, and with that second novel.
     
  7. TWErvin2
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    One thing to add is that if you have a good agent that represented your first novel, sold and negotiated the deal, why wouldn't the agent be able to seek an appopriate publisher for the second?

    It is true that some agents narrow their focus of representation, but I know one author who has an agent that normally only reps nonfiction, but represented her first fiction novel to a major publisher and three after that--and counting.

    Just write the best novel you can, and find the best agent/publisher you can for the first novel while you're writing the second--and doing the best darn job you can.
     
  8. Hollowly
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    That was something else I wondered. I thought most agents specialized in certain genres and I might have to to get another. But that's an easy enough question to ask them. I remember reading a long time ago about Stephen King using the Bachman name because he was coming out with more than one book a year and most authors didn't do that then. Is that still a bias now? Because The first books I have are children's books and I know some children's authors turn out tons of those a year, (R.L. Stine). thanks for your input guys! :)
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it was never a bias for established, well-published writers... and as for new writers, how would agents/publishers know how long it took for the querying/submitting author to write the book, if the writer didn't tell them?

    so this is a non-issue, imo... and not a valid reason for using a nom de plume...
     
  10. Newfable
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    Best advice on the issue.

    Plus, when in doubt: ask! New writers looking for a publisher have to "prove" (loose term, I know) to the publisher that they're worth publishing. Once they've been published by a publisher, most of the time I'd imagine (with a dash of business sense), if the first novel was good, then publishers will be open to answering questions for the author, and could give any sort of advice on publishing with them or another publisher concerning a change in genre.
     
  11. Hollowly
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    I guess sometimes it really is just as simple as asking. Glad I asked here aswell. Thank you.
     

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