July 15, 2014

A Branding Nightmare - Tracy Krauss

Our prompt this month suggested we look into writing in a different genre. While variety is the spice of life, I'm afraid I am going to have to pass. I'm already scattered enough as it is. (At least it feels that way.)

For those who don't know, I already write in several very different genres. My two primary genres are romantic suspense novels and comedy stage plays. The novels are for a Christian audience while the plays are for a secular high school audience. I've also delved into Science fiction in a recent collaborative series called COLONY ZERO. Add to that my devotional book 'LIFE IS A HIGHWAY - Advice and Reflections On Navigating the Road of Life' and my illustrated children's book THE SLEEPYTOWN EXPRESS, and I would say I've got enough variety already, thank you very much!

Herein lies my problem. As a published author, it is difficult to brand oneself with such a variety. I recently read an excellent post by Russell Blake entitled 'How to Sell Loads of Books.' (I highly recommend you read it if you haven't already.) He says you need to stick to one genre if you are going to try to brand yourself. (And branding is highly recommended if one wants to sell books...) He also recommends using a pseudonym if you are writing in more than one genre. Even if you 'tell' your audience that you and your pseudonym are one and the same, it helps with branding. 

Hm. Unfortunately, this advice has come rather late for me. I've already got several things going, all using the same name - my 'real one'. One of my problems is, I enjoy writing both fiction and plays and I don't want to give either one up. I suppose there could be worse problems to face in terms of one's writing aspirations. I should be happy that I have so many titles under my belt, right?

I know there are several other writers within our ranks with a similar 'problem' and I wonder if they have any advice on the topic. This is a dilemma that has come up in more than one discussion forum online and I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Tracy Krauss continues to write plays, novels, novellas, blog posts and too many other things to list in her home in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Maybe one day she will figure out what kind of writer she really is...


  1. Hey Tracy, i think you have branded yourself well as a multi-genre writer. that in itself is an accomplishment few of us will attain.
    continue what you are doing!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Bryan. I need it today!

  3. Thanks for your honest questions, Tracy. I've heard similar advice, and I struggle too, because I have such diverse interests.
    Right now I'm trying to focus on being obedient to God and trying not to worry so much about the "right" way to do things.

  4. Hi Tracy, I only wish I found it easy to switch writing styles. Sometimes I wonder if I'm writing the same old thing even though I'm sure it isn't. God gave you a gift. He didn't summon you to use a part of his gift so I say....out of just a hint of envy....use it all. As long as you are content than I see no reason to change.

  5. I know what they say but I know writers who have used different names to separate their different genres and ended up having to out themselves to sell the books.

  6. It's kind of like farming - you have to diversify in order to protect yourself from loss in one or more areas. I'd say you are well covered in case one genre doesn't sell well! Also, I sometimes think these "experts" don't know the future - or the past - C.S. Lewis was a multi-genre (is that a word?) writer of fiction and non-fiction, and he used his own name.

  7. I've just been reading the same advice: To market yourself, you need to find your niche and stick with it.

    How horrifying. Keep writing about caregiving? The Lord has finally released me from that focus in my life. I don't want to dwell on it now, for the sake of a following.

    This reminds me of sermons that say 'Pray before you read your Bible', followed by another preacher who says, 'Always read scripture before praying'.

    God does not work with formulas.

    With God, I think we can drop the worldly rules and trust him to be our Agent. At least, that's the direction I'm going to go, unless He tells me differently.

  8. Tracy--I'd say you have a God-given gift. That certainly isn't true of all writers so I would say ENJOY the uniqueness of you and thank Him for each opportunity He gives you to speak goodness into the world.


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