Diversifying Your Portfolio: It’s not just for money anymore

So lately I’ve been thinking about diversifying my writing portfolio. (In other words, writing in more than one genre.)

Why on earth would I be thinking that, you ask? Here are three reasons.

Reason Number One: Because Paranormal is dead.* People gorged on Twilight and True Blood, and in the harsh light of the morning-after vampire hangover, have sworn off all creatures of the supernatural variety.

Except for zombies because apparently those are still cool and sexy? This still confuses me. Somebody please explain the appeal of the zombie.

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Um…yeah…

Reason Number Two: If you can write and sell romances to one niche audience, thrillers to another, and cozy mysteries to a third—then you are insanely talented and you should go do that. Even if you do end up going with a traditional publisher (full disclosure: I hope to be one of those people one day), you might end up working with several different-sized publishers for different books. You might release in e-book and/or paper book, depending on what makes sense for that book. You might traditionally publish your more market-friendly genres, and independently publish your collection of lighthouse-themed haiku. All options should be open.

Reason Number Three: Because I’m a human being. (Oops, was that a big reveal? I hope it wasn’t.) Being a human being (that sounds awkward, but you know what I mean), I like to read different kinds of books. For example, there’s teens versus government conspiracy a la Michele Gagnon, Kelley Armstrong and Malindo Lo. Humorous romantic mysteries like those by Gemma Halliday and Liliana Hart. I also enjoy a good true-life polar or mountain-climbing disaster.

The point here is that I read in multiple genres, and it makes sense that I might try writing in different genres too.

*By the way, I don’t believe in Reason Number One. The market is glutted, and publishers aren’t buying new paranormal, that’s true. But readers are out there and everything comes around again eventually.

What are your thoughts? Do you write in multiple genres? Let me know!

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What’s so great about the Kindle?

*Author’s note: This is not meant to be a diatribe against or an ode to Amazon and the way it A) is destroying life as we know it or B) is our ultimate salvation. These are just my thoughts on a little thing called the e-reader.

Can we now enjoy reading without the risk of paper cuts and toes stubbed by falling hardcovers? Have e-readers set us free? Or are we slipping even further into the depths of domination by our new masters, the screens?

On the one hand, I think it’s great that we decided to use magic to make our books appear on our devices, thus saving paper and the gas used to deliver the books to the stores. Of course, there’s also the environmental impact of producing the e-reader, plus our seeming obsession with continuing to buy e-readers. The iPad was the greatest thing since sliced bread until… the iPad 2. So where’s the magic to dispose of all those iPad 1s no one can be caught dead using?

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Then there’s the hands-on experience of using the e-reader (or some would say lack of experience). No physical pages, no smell and feel of the book, no cover art. It’s difficult to grab an e-book off the shelf and press it into a friend’s hand, saying “Read this, you’ll love it!” If you do that, you may end up buying a lot of Kindles.

Despite the downsides, I have a Kindle, and I’m a fan. Here’s why:

It’s midnight. I finish Book One of a trilogy, which will not be named, but happens to end on a cliffhanger.

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Three clicks later, I’m starting Book Two. Not that staying up all night reading is ideal for anyone, but isn’t that the kind of excitement we authors want to inspire?

Until I move out of my two-bedroom apartment and into a country mansion with a personal library, collecting e-books is much more practical than buying physical books. I can’t really fill every room with books. The kids insist on having a place to sleep.

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