So many of us reinvent ourselves in the New Year, so we're asking authors who are rebranding themselves - through choice or necessity - how they go about a writerly reinvention.
As part of our special PHS Rebranding Edition, Jenna Kernan is talking about moving between genres and revamping past series...
Jenna Kernan - Genre-Jumping and Series Revamping
There are many reasons to rebrand yourself. Perhaps the market has changed, your sales have slipped, your contract with a traditional publisher was not picked up or you are just plain bored with what you have been working on. All of these are valid reasons to change or cross genres.
When I sold to a traditional publisher in 2003, I had submitted my third historical romance, this one a western. But I had decided, based on market trends, that the historical market was a very tough sell and I was in the process of writing a sexy contemporary when that submitted book, Winter Woman, sold.
I wrote historicals for ten more years but when I saw the sales dropping, I wrote a paranormal series, The Trackers, and was picked up by Harlequin Nocturne. From 2009 to 20014 I wrote for both Harlequin Historical and the Nocturne line. And I felt very lucky to have exposure to both audiences.
I didn't notice so much that I was writing a different sort of story. All my writing includes heart-pounding adventure and heart-racing romance. But now my strong Alpha heroes had changed from mountain men and cowboys to shape-shifting grizzly bears (Spirit Tracker) and vampires who don't drink blood.
I recently got my rights back on this series and they will be available in January '18. My first in the series, Dream Tracker, is only 99 cents! I revamped all the covers and wrote a FREE prequel, Vision Tracker, to the series in an effort to reach new readers with a series that I absolutely love!
But again, in 2013, I saw market trend, and sales, dipping so I switched again, to romantic suspense. Here, I felt that my love for writing action and my propensity for strong male protector heroes who prove an asset.
I never switch solely for the market. But I do react to the market and begin looking for another subgenre where my writing is a good fit and a line that makes me eager about writing stories.
I think romantic suspense is a good fit for me, though the mystery plots have been challenging at times. My newest series, Apache Protectors: Wolf Den, arrives in March with Surrogate Escape and is the third series for Harlequin Intrigue. My timing was lucky with this last switch, as the Nocturne line folded in 2017 along with several others due to poor sales.
There are many reasons to cross genres and rebrand yourself. I'd advise writers to always write what they love, but consider market trends to choose a subgenre that is a good fit for what you love to write or have always wanted to write. Changing genres keeps me interested and gives me new challenges. And that's a good thing.
Jenna's latest release, Dream Tracker, is out now. For more information about her and her writing check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.