Should Authors Stick to One Genre?

As the 2016 election kicks into high gear, the supporters of each party will become more vocal and fierce.  This isn't a bad thing.  It's great that we are free to express our opinions in the U.S.

Much like the election or the 24 hr news cycle, there is another topic that is hotly contested, finding readers and authors on both sides of the aisle.  I am referring to genre-specific authors.  Should an author stick to one genre?  Must they?

A large benefit to sticking with one genre is the trust that develops between reader and author.  Readers come to know the author and trust the author to give them an experience worthy of their money and time, which is even more valuable.  Not only this, but an author refines her craft as she continues to write in that genre and improve, futher enhancing the author-reader trust cycle.

On the other side, the sentiment is that an author shouldn't be pigeonholed into writing one genre.  The argument is that the fans are of the author and will stick with the author (or at the very least won't reject the author for following their passions if they want to write in other genres).  I fall into this category.  If I am going to plop down and spend a few hundred hours writing, it'll be something I am going to want to do, when I want to do it.

Just like in government, a comprise could work to appease both camps.  A pseudonym is a crafty solution.  J. K. Rowling did this after Harry Potter, and Nora Roberts does this as well.  Once fans understand that the pseudonym indicates the different nature of the literary work, it seems that all is calm, people can sleep, and the world is right.


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