All-In-One Author: Successful Strategy or Chaos?
Understanding one’s audience is the key to success on social media, regardless of profession. For me, as a multi-genre author, that can be somewhat tricky.
I write everything from fantasy to contemporary romance to science fiction. And though there are many authors who do this, most write different genres under different pen names. Especially when self-publishing.
I, on the other hand, do it all under one name.
People are often advised against this. They claim it is too complicated, and/or they say you are more likely to succeed with a narrow audience. I am here to say that’s not always true.
Though my books’ genres vary, a lot of the themes and tropes are similar. They all fall within that upper YA/new adult category, they are all relatively clean with only fade-to-black romance scenes, and they always end with a happily ever after. Even if the characters are tormented along the way… There’s always a strong emphasis on family and friends, typically with important sibling relationships. LGBT+ representation is another important theme in most of my books. And all of them focus on characters trying to find their place in the world, whether that’s here on Earth or in a made-up realm.
Being a multi-genre author under one name takes a great deal of balancing. Regardless of the recurring themes, not all readers want all genres. Many of my fantasy readers, for example, don’t care about my contemporary romance books. Therefore, I try to alternate releases, keeping everyone happy.
When asked why I do it this way, instead of using multiple pen names, my answer is always the same: I like having everything in one place. Not only is it easier business-wise, but having started all this as a reader and book blogger, I know there is a lot of crossover in reading preferences, especially in young adult/new adult fiction. And with loyal followers, there is an even bigger chance that they will be open to other genres. For example, I’ve had more than a couple fantasy readers tell me they don’t normally read contemporary romance, but they read mine simply because I wrote them, and they ended up enjoying the books.
It's rare to see an author do so many genres under one name, but I am by far not the first to try to keep everything in one place. A lot of businesses use this strategy to draw in more consumers.
Consider where you do your shopping. Across the United States, superstores have all but taken over. And if shopping online, odds are your first instinct is to go to Amazon. These companies have been so successful because of their convenience. After all, why go to several vendors when you can get everything in one?
Another example is with social media. With the rise of TikTok the past couple years, we’ve seen other platforms incorporate features to create short videos, such as Reels on Instagram and the short-lived Fleets on Twitter. These platforms are trying to create a place for everything while remaining unique to their brand.
One successful social media platform that was able to truly incorporate everything in one is Weixin. What started as a China-based social media app back in 2011, Weixin grew to more than 300,000 global users within three years. This app not only offers ways to text like Whatsapp, but it allows updates and photos, it has a shop like eBay, and it even added a way to find a nearby cab. In 2014, they also introduced a Qiang Hongbao campaign, which users could use in the new year to send virtual Red Envelopes—a common tradition in the Chinese culture. Weixin paid attention to what their audience needed and made it happen.
I only hope that I can do the same with my much smaller following.
This was also my goal with my author services. I wanted to create a one-stop shop for authors by offering editing, proofreading, formatting, graphic design, and marketing services. Though I still have a long way to go, I know there is a need for this in the independent author community, and that’s what’s important. Whether it’s readers or fellow authors, I keep them in mind in all of my business planning.