What kind of a writer am I?
I know that most published authors write in one genre and stick with that genre. There are horror writers. There are crime writers. There are romance writers. If I were so lucky years ago to get that first novel represented and published by a major house in NYC, I would be a crime writer, and both agent and publisher would expect me to produce at least one book per year, and neither would accept a book in any other genre. And the result would be that I would become miserable, and eventually I would quit writing, for I would have many other stories to tell, but I would be blocked from doing so. I consider myself a storyteller, not a teller of crime stories.
Don't get me wrong; I am proud of the three novels in the McConnell Crime Saga. It's just that I have more in me than the crime genre. Outside of that series, I've self-published comedy, something I call pre-dystopia, and historical/satirical. That's the joy of self-publishing. Total freedom to tell any story I wish.
The problem is that it runs afoul of the advice of the gurus of self-publishing. According to them, I should pump out five, ten, or more shorter novels per year. I should create a plot template and use it to factory-produce these books. I should work hard to get a mailing list of readers who will buy my books. They would receive an email once every month or two announcing a new book by yours truly. I would get 25 to 50 of these readers to be ARC readers and place a review on Amazon in exchange for a free book.
But I can't do that. It would be work, which I'm not against; however, it would be just another job. There would be little joy in it for me as I am. I love writing, and I want each of the novels I write to be the best I can write. I want each book to be something that will linger with the reader for a good part of his or her life. A few years ago, I read a few books by a "successful" writer who employs the pump-'em-out model, just to see if that was something I might be interested in doing myself. The characters were flat, the settings bland, and the plot was always predictable. Today I can't recall anything about any of those books.
So I suppose I don't care to write for the kind of readers who would be attracted by such drivel. And maybe that's why I'm not selling as many books as those writers are. I'm simply writing to the wrong audience. I'm writing to that reader who is looking not for simple present-moment escape, but for the reader who hopes for a reading experience that becomes a memory.
Perhaps it's egotistical, but I'm not writing for fans of a particular genre, but hopefully for fans of a particular writer.
Those of you who are my readers, thank you, and look for other genres by me in the future (I'm presently working, very slowly, on a young-adult story!).