I am a strong believer that authors should keep genres separate. Don’t ask, I have no idea where I got this from. But what I can say is that I have observed several authors, especially one as successful as Nora Roberts write under different pen-names.
Based on my research on traditional publishers, when an author produces a book in a new genre, the publisher often advises a new pen name. This goes for many famous authors with the exception of a few such a Stephen King. The reason behind these publishers advising about using a new name is that they are not sure the new genre would be well received.
Perhaps based on experience, not many people have had success producing several genres on the same name. We all know that some readers are genre specific. For instance, romance authors tend to be persnickety about the themes they read.
I recalled three years ago when I published a clean romance on my romance pen-name. The single book turned into a series. That was great and well received. My next book was quite the steamy read and guess what happened? I lost more than half of my newsletter subscribers.
I have learned my lesson from that. Of course I still write clean and steamy romances on the same pen name. But when I tried to publish my PNR and sci-fi romance on that pen name they was not well received.
Since then I started publishing every speculative fiction on Diana Flame, and my romance pen-name remains for contemporary romances alone. However, Diana Flame seems to have developed a sci-fi romance fan based and recently (2019) when I published a fairytale romance from a collaboration on that pen name, it tanked. Since I love fairy-tales and medieval romances, I decided to create yet another pen name for these stories.
So what I have done is to add a twist to my pen name Diana Flame which will differentiate between genres.
Diana Legend will be reserved specifically for fairy-tale retelling in the medieval romance theme. All my medieval, epic fantasy and high fantasy stories will be published under Diana Legend as these carry the same theme throughout.
Here is a breakdown of the genres for each pen name.
- Sci-fi romance
- Fairy-tales with a medieval/high fantasy setting
- Medieval fiction
- Epic/high fantasy