WHAT’S IN A GENRE?
I’m never quite sure what to say to this. I’ve written or co-authored seven books now and the themes have been all over the place. From the slightly comedic, satirical and faintly semi-religious nature of The
Second Coming Trilogy, through the out and out suspenseful horror of The Photograph, to the action-packed, suspenseful romance that is Just A Drop in the Ocean, I seem to not know my place in the book kingdom.
Part of this is down to my own experimenting with different styles, different situations and different messages. I wanted to test my own abilities, as a writer, to explore new areas and to really stretch myself. I’ve written books in the third person perspective, from the first person perspective and even alternating perspectives. I guess, what I’m saying is I don’t want to be hidebound or categorised into a specific box, such as; “Oh that Leishman character, yeah, he writes cosy mysteries or suspenseful thrillers, or whatever the case might be.
The question then arises, is that good for me, as an author?
If we’re talking about sales, then the answers is probably a resounding NO! Readers generally want to categorise their favourite authors. If I love to read Mysteries or Thrillers, then I want my favourite authors to be writing Mysteries or Thrillers. It’s no secret that the most successful authors have found their niche and stick to it, making their readers happy. In marketing terms, it’s called “building your brand”.
But, if we’re talking about growing as a writer, about satisfying my personal needs as a writer, then experimenting, pushing the boundaries and trying out new things and new styles, is what I want and more importantly NEED to do. This may, initially be at the expense of “building my brand” and sales, but ultimately it is about making me a more complete, fulfilled author and a HAPPIER person.
At the end of the day, that’s got to be the number one reason I write – IT IS MY BLISS!
- Grant Leishman
Mainstream fiction is harder to market than genre fiction, and that is why I'm interested in helping the ethical mainstream fiction author find readers. I share this same dilemma of having written a story worthy of writing, rather that having forced a story into the confines of genre fiction.
Mainstream fiction is original fiction. Whereas authors who write to genre strive the write a novel that is different to another, while the same in basic structure to a known successful formula, us mainstream authors break ground. I could not tell you of a book like my own. The authors I love most do not write genre fiction.
The author's name usually sells mainstream fiction. So, how does a new author gain name recognition? We get there through promotions such as those I run from this and other websites where readers are good enough to sign up to enjoy a few introductory free reads.
As readers discover good mainstream authors, they love them. Most books found in the general fiction section of bookstores are mainstream novels.
Readers, you can help our mainstream authors by inviting your reader friends to join our reader's newsletter and leaving a review on every book that you read and love.
Cheers, Kathryn (Ryn) Shell
Australian Rural-lit and historical fiction author and artist Kathryn Shell