I’ve read a few posts on this already, but I’m going to throw my few cents into the conversation.
Okay. No cents. Just words.
We have this idea that if we write a book that crosses genres rather dramatically, we will widen our audience to epic proportions.
So, if we write a book set on a space ship in the far reaches of another galaxy, but it’s not about the space travel, it’s about a murder and the intricacies of the legal case, we may think – I’M BRILLIANT!!! ALL THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE SCIENCE FICTION AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE LEGAL BOOKS WILL READ MY BOOK!!!
MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! *rubs hands together in the knowledge we’ve hit upon a brilliant plan*
But in 95% of cases, here’s what actually happens:
Now. Will there be outliers? For sure. Will there be people who love both those genres but hate your book? Yup.
I feel like this is the case half the time with collaborations. I used to think that it would gain me more readers, and gain my writing partner more readers, but after writing a lot of collaborations, I’m not so sure. I think that happens SOME of the time, but I think MORE of the time, the audience shrinks to mostly the people who like BOTH of the authors.
So. If you’re wondering why your epic swash-buckling fantasy with the occasional robot isn’t selling. This might be the reason. That’s a big risk for publishers. Yanno, we’re back to that idea of Different, but not too different… Think of this like hit songs–you know the ones you think that maybe you’ve heard before? But then realize you haven’t? Do that. 😉
And yes, please bring up Firefly. That show is genius. It was cowboys and space, and because the writing was freaking brilliant, and the casting was perfect, it worked. But please know that’s the exception. Not the rule.
Happy writing everyone!!
P.S. Allie adds that Firefly was also cancelled, so just because it’s good, doesn’t mean it will be popular…