Monday, February 23, 2015

Publish it? Change it? Or Put it Away?

These three questions run on a constant loop in my head regarding my next book. 


Because, I'm a relatively new Indie author just getting started in the publishing world, I have a tiny fan base (if I even dare to think that's true) and I don't want to alienate the few I do have. 


Because I've written a novel (call it #3) outside my light and fluffy romance genre. 

My two published books (let's call them #1 & #2) fit nicely in that category, as do the two others I've written since book 3 (#4 & #5). And I intend to keep writing light and fluffy romance. 

So what do I do with this book (#3), that was supposed to be the same as the others, but turned into a novel dealing with sensitive and dark female matters taking place on a college campus? 

Do I move forward with publishing it as planned so I can keep to my two novels pubbed this year schedule? Do I put it out under the genre women's fiction rather than romance? Which one will it fit best in? Even my critique group doesn't agree on that. Will my few readers accept a book written outside my usual genre? Should I care?  I didn't worry about readership loyalty before I got into this business. I just want to put out well crafted quality novels. If people like them, so much the better. I don't often check out the reviews of my books or my sales, those aren't why I got into writing. 

Should I change it to fit back into sweet romance? I've brainstormed an idea that will work to do that. But that would change my publishing schedule to one book this year instead of two. Does that matter to anyone but me? 

But on the other hand, perhaps the world needs the book as written. 

Then there's the idea that I'm not sure I'm okay with people I know, esp. my family (not my kids, they're too young) reading this book. They may wonder if any of it's true, what demons I'm hiding, etc. None of which is true. But I wonder if people will look at me differently and not in a good way. Like the "she's got issues" way. Does it add anything of value to the world? 

Should I shelve it for now? Forever? It's been through my critique group and a round of edits. After one more round of edits and a few beta readers, it's good to go. Do I put aside all the hard work I've done on this novel? 

I know plenty of authors who write across multiple genres, several of whom write for this blog. But, then they are pretty consistent at doing so. If I write just one book outside my normal genre, should I use a pen name? Is there a benefit to that? 

The decision is a hard one and entirely mine to make, that's part of the beauty of being an Indie Author. But I would love some advice. Good, bad, ridiculous, I'll accept it. 

What do you think? 


  1. There's no question--publish it! But do it under a pen name and that way your fans won't be confused as to your genre.
    That's my two cents :-)

  2. I agree with Stephanie. If you change it, then you won't be true to the story your characters obviously want told. I would pick a pen name and put it out under that, but still let your fans know it's you, just a different genre. As for what people will can't please everybody. :) If they view you differently that's their problem. Sometimes the stories that are hardest to tell are the ones that most need to be told.

  3. Sounds delightful, Lisa! Publish it under a pen name; it could be your best work and attract a slew of new readers/followers. If not, what have you lost? Then, get on with your next story! Good luck!

  4. I agree with the above consensus. However, if your critique group can't agree, maybe a few beta readers could give more feedback as to its genre. Unless you can come to that conclusion yourself.
    This post goes well with mine for this week about reasons for putting manuscripts on the back burner.

  5. Personally as a reader, unless it's non-fiction, I don't automatically think if an author has written something that there's some dark secret from their past lurking behind the plot. I think publishing it under a pen name is a good idea too so you can keep your light and fluffy stuff separate from this different, but important group.

  6. If you think your current readers will be turned off you should use a pen name, but unless you are going to publishing more books similar to that one, then it will likely languish and would be better under your own name. I personally don't mind when authors cross genres, as long as the description is clear. I only use a pen name because the first forty of my novels were religious fiction that children as young as 11 or 12 would read, and now I'm doing dark urban fantasy that I'm not writing for kids or for very conservative readers. However, I feel my readers are still able to enjoy them, so I'm upfront about the pen name. I just wanted them to understand that it is very different. However, it takes a lot of work to maintain to personas and I'd recommend avoiding when possible. If you feel it's so different, but don't plan on writing more like it, perhaps try using most of your real name as the author pen name so you can still market together. Because one book alone is hard to market.

  7. Oh, and this is likely only the first of many such dilemmas! Good luck!