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Question: If you were starting today, what genre and sub-genre would you chose, and why? What are the pros and cons?

I'm bursting with all sorts of story ideas, in a variety of genres. My college-age daughters are home for the summer, so they're binge watching tons of stuff from the supernatural to dystopian. Sometimes I watch with them, so I get those sorts of ideas. And as I mentioned in my I'm back thread, my recent cancer battle followed by my wife's cancer battle and death sort of "color" a lot of things, but we also binge watched a lot of Hallmark in her last year, so I have a lot of Hallmark-y ideas.

I probably focus on the above, because I assume they're the most potentially viable, but that's not necessarily true, and I do have other ideas as well. Coming through a period of grief, I've definitely been in that mode where I "get" sad love songs and country music, but I don't want to let that overly impact my decision, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I'd appreciate everyone's insight. Thanks! :)
 

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The honest answer is that if I were starting today, I would probably do the same thing, because I have to write whatever story is appealing to me. Urban fantasy can be very crowded, but that's where my passion is, so I'd do it all over again.

To properly respond to the spirit of your question though, I think going the sci-fi/dystopian route might be a smarter option, assuming you have an interest in that kind of material. Stuff like WestWorld is taking off in part because people are ready for a break from dragons and vampires. At least, that's the impression I've gotten over the past few months.
 

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In your situation, if you want to write from the heart, by all means: Go for it. I'm a big believer that readers know authenticity when they see it.

If it was me returning from a long break, and wanting to be strategic, I'd look at the most successful titles in my back catalog. Continue in that genre. That way I could sell those older titles to fans of my newer work in the same genre.

If none of my previous titles had ever hit it off to the level I desired, I'd go into the genre I knew best as a reader.
 

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I *did* start less than a month ago, I published a book under an unknown pen name and have told almost no one.

Once you're writing in the major genres (romance, crime/thrillers, SF/F) or even the slightly lesser ones (Histfic, litfic) it becomes far less important which genre you choose than your personal execution of the book, your publishing schedule and ability to target the right kind of readers.

My pen name will publish exactly the same types of fiction as my known name, with the exception that all books will be (and will remain) in KU. That's literally the only reason I'm starting it. I've built up a good earnings base and mailing list wide, but want to play in the KU sandpit, too.

So far, I've recouped about half the production cost of the book (priced at 99c) and am yet to spend a single red cent on advertising. I'll start ads when I have book 2 out.
 

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My advice to an aspiring author considering joining the ranks of self-publishing:

1. Write what you already read and love.

Why?

Because you know that genre intimately.

Everything hinges on writing a great book your reader wants to read and that satisfies them. If you don't deliver, you won't have a career. If you don't love what you are writing, it will be all that much harder to do a great job. And you have to do a great job (appropriate to your genre and category) if you want to sell.


 

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sela said:
My advice to an aspiring author considering joining the ranks of self-publishing:

1. Write what you already read and love.

Why?

Because you know that genre intimately. It's in your heart and mind already. It's probably like a template in your mind that you will be able to draw on when you write your own novel. Writing a novel, writing 70K - 100K or more is a long hard slog, even if you write fast and love what you're doing. It's a monster that you have to wrestle, tame and polish. If you don't love it or at least like it a whole lot, it will be all the harder to write, finish and polish.

So, look at the last dozen books you read for pleasure or the books you keep coming back to and thinking of even years later. Think about what you would write in that vein -- what was maybe missing for you as a reader of your favorite books. Then, write your own response to that. Write your own version in the genre and category you already know and love.

2. Do some research once you settle on that genre and category that most inspires you as a reader and which you would be happy to write. What is currently selling? You don't have to write to trend but you should know what your intended reader expects from books in that genre and category. You should already know this as a reader in your genre and category, but make it conscious so you can make sure you deliver what the reader wants.

Think of yourself as a reader of your favorite genre and category. What would make you happy as a reader? You want to satisfy your readers and give them the kind of reading experience that will make them happy and wanting more from you.

Everything hinges on writing a great book your reader wants to read and that satisfies them. If you don't deliver, you won't have a career. If you don't love what you are writing, it will be all that much harder to do a great job. And you have to do a great job (appropriate to your genre and category) if you want to sell.
This is terrific advice. It's hard enough writing novels without adding the complexity of learning the ins and out of a new-to-you genre.
 

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I would write the genre you feel most comfortable with AND the one that you can see turning into a series. Something with a complete story in each installment, but with an overarching plot line that will keep readers coming back for more.

I am sorry for your loss. Glad that you're in a place where you feel like writing again.
 
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Patty Jansen said:
I *did* start less than a month ago, I published a book under an unknown pen name and have told almost no one.

Once you're writing in the major genres (romance, crime/thrillers, SF/F) or even the slightly lesser ones (Histfic, litfic) it becomes far less important which genre you choose than your personal execution of the book, your publishing schedule and ability to target the right kind of readers.

My pen name will publish exactly the same types of fiction as my known name, with the exception that all books will be (and will remain) in KU. That's literally the only reason I'm starting it. I've built up a good earnings base and mailing list wide, but want to play in the KU sandpit, too.

So far, I've recouped about half the production cost of the book (priced at 99c) and am yet to spend a single red cent on advertising. I'll start ads when I have book 2 out.
Are you starting a new mailing list for the pen name?

ETA: Just wondered if you were using BookFunnel (or other sites) for KU sales and the newsletter. :)
 
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