Discussion: Should authors stay in one genre or should they branch out?




This tweet by Alexandra Bracken made me think… There are a few authors I try to buy every book from. But those books all fall into the same genre. I don’t think one of ‘my’ authors jumps between genres?

I’m one of those people who make lists if they can’t decide. So have a list!

Authors branching out – Yes please

  • more great books in different genres
    • just concentrating on one genre can be boring. I have to jump around a little because only reading M/M crime novels? I’d be falling into a reading slump
  • maybe a reader is tempted to try a to them unknown genre, because an author they love has a book in said genre


Authors branching out – Ugh, no

  • just because you can write romantic YA fantasy doesn’t mean you can write about a cold-hearted murder with a big mystery part
    • I think talent has some part in this, but another part is research. Some authors don’t even do enough research in ‘their’ genre – I often notice this for example in bdsm novels
  • maybe a reader fell in love with a dystopian writer and if they don’t like the new contemporary romance books, they lose good books

Like always there are pros and cons (big surprise there!), but I’m inclined to don’t branch out. If I pick up a Fitzek novel, I want a book that makes me doubt mankind (seriously, he has some brilliant sick ideas).

I love the Harry Potter series, but I never felt the need to read The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. If there were another fantasy series by her?  I think I’d buy it as soon as I am able to.

That being said to me there are genres and subgenres. I for example don’t really care what (sub)genre Abigail Roux or Aleksandr Voinov writes, as long as it is LGBT related I will read it. Going from contemporary bdsm romance to historical is branching out, but somehow I don’t feel like it. If they were to write about futuristic straight romance on the other hand… that I would define as ‘really’ branching out. I’m not making any sense, am I?

What do you think? Should authors branch out and if so how much or should they stay in their genre?


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6 replies

  1. It honestly really depends. Like, using your JK Rowling example, I really didn’t have any interest in reading “A Casual Vacancy”, but I’m madly in love with her Cormoran Strike series (book three is out this month *happy dance*). I like when authors write under pen names to differentiate their works, like Nora Roberts/JD Robb… or in the m/m genre there’s Lori A. Witt, aka LA Witt, aka Ann Gallagher, aka Lauren Gallagher, depending on what genre she’s writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Different pen names for different genres are a great idea. This way the reader knows what they can expect and don’t have to go through each of an author’s books to find the ones they’ll definitelly like. I’m always debating if I should read something from LA Witt’s alter egos…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, totally agree! If Stephen King writes a book, I expect it to be horror. If it’s not, I feel a bit of betrayal. (Although his pen name ALSO writes horror, which is weird.)

        I recommend Witt’s other genre novels. Same strong characters and intriguing writing, but different relationships and themes.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I am afraid of. But at the same time I’m afraid of each book being like the one before as well, haha. They are some authors I had to stop reading because everything was the same. It’s a fine line for authors.


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