Jennifer Lyon

Monday, May 22nd, 2017
What Do You Think?


I started my career in light, fun and sexy mysteries. I loved those books.

Then I wrote standalone romantic mysteries.  I loved those too.

Then I wrote paranormal. I LOVED those!!

Then I wrote the Plus One Chronicles and now the spin-off Savaged Illusions Series, OMG I love these books too.

And this is what happens when you have too many passions as an author.  We push ourselves as a writer, strive broaden our skills and hopefully improve our emotional depth. But we will lose some of our readers.

This is something I’ve struggled with all my career as a writer.

Here’s a marketing truism: If you find one genre and voice that you’re good at, and stick with that, then you will win the hearts of readers, and keep building. But if you follow your multiple passions to write in multiple genres, and you don’t write fast enough, then you will lose some readers and dilute your sales. For example, people who read only read paranormal aren’t going to read your contemporaries.

And here is another truism: Readers have the absolute right to choose which books they want to read. I don’t care if they loved your historical romance, they do not owe it to you to at least try your amazing fantasy. It’s the reader’s time and money, and they choose how they wish to spend those resources. Period.

So what does a writer do?

Tell me what YOU think?


8 comments to “What Do You Think?”

  1. Diane Sirkin
    May 22nd, 2017 at 2:46 am · Link

    I agree with you that we all have the right to read whatever genre we like, but I always try to read as much of an author’s work as I can…if I like the author and his or her writing :wink:

  2. B.E. Sanderson
    May 22nd, 2017 at 6:24 am · Link

    Yep, readers definitely have the right to read whatever they want. And writers have the right to write whatever they want. Unfortunately, sometimes those two rights clash. :shrug: I have to write what I write. Just like I get bored with reading in only one genre, I get bored with writing in only one genre. I need to switch it up or the writing comes off flat. Which hurts my sales, for sure, but I can’t help that. The thought of only writing one thing makes me sad.

    Whatever you write, Jenn, I’ll be reading it, so keep at it.

  3. Silver James
    May 22nd, 2017 at 9:54 am · Link

    You are dead-on with the truisms, m’friend. I agree. Readers read what they love. As a multi-genre author, I hope my readers will at least dip their toes into one of my books that might be out of their comfort zone. Like B.E., I read cross-genre. I write cross-genre. I try to juggle reader expectations, editor/publisher expectations, but in the end, I have to listen to my Muse. She’s the one coming up with the ideas, keeping my writing fresh and interesting, and guiding me through the dark forest of writer’s block.

    As you know, I read everything you write–because I happen to love your voice but you alway write what I read–whether funny-sexy mysteries, sexy romantic suspense, sexy paranormal, or the really sexy contemporary direction you’re in right now.

    Readers and writers have to do what is right for them. And I’m patient. Eventually, you’ll tell the stories I’m waiting for. So yay! :)

  4. Jenn
    May 22nd, 2017 at 11:25 am · Link

    Diane, I do the same thing with authors I love–I’ll read almost anything they’ve written. However as an author, I want to always keep that distinction clear in my mind–readers get to choose without authors laying a guilt on them.

    Thank you for chiming in and I hope you’re having a great Monday!

  5. Jenn
    May 22nd, 2017 at 11:29 am · Link

    B.E, it’s a conundrum, isn’t it? I love that word, LOL! I agree with you that each writer needs to choose for herself. Putting food on the table is important, but then, so is feeding our souls to keep the joy alive in our work.

    I love opinions, so thanks for sharing! Happy Monday!

  6. Jenn
    May 22nd, 2017 at 11:34 am · Link

    Silver, wait you have a guide???? I’m always trying to find my wait out of that dark and demonic forest without falling into a bolt hole or running off the edge of a cliff :-)

    Teasing aside, you make a good point about going with our creative energy. Plus, for me, a lot of my thoughts now are learned with the benefit of hindsight. If only our vision going forward was a clear as the view behind us. I hope that made sense.

    And thank you so much for the vote of confidence! Much appreciated my friend.

    Happy Monday!

  7. Viki S.
    May 22nd, 2017 at 2:57 pm · Link

    I am a multi-genre reader as well. I must say I don’t care for BDSM or M/M-F/F. The author makes a big difference though.

    As for – what is a author to do? I say stay true to yourself. Write what you want to write because if you don’t the work won’t be as good. You won’t be happy. All in all if you’re truly happy with your work I think things eventually balance out. Unfortunately it may take a little while.

    I hope you are having a nice afternoon.

  8. Jenn
    May 22nd, 2017 at 4:18 pm · Link

    Viki, another truism: Things may balance out OVER TIME. I love that, especially in the current pressure-cooker-to-produce market. Thanks for sharing.

    I should have realized you didn’t care for BDSM given some of our conversations. For me that genre depends on the author 100%.

    Hope your week is off to a great start!

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