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?