Changing Genres, and The Effect on Authors
Okay! Most of you readers know me as Clarbojahn, Children’s book author, or Clara Bowman-Jahn, author. Some of you may know that in addition to writing picture books I have started a memoir, “Spiraling: My Battle With Bipolar Disorder or the more tame “Spiraling, My Journey With Bipolar Disorder”. What happens to my brand with switching genres?
Erin Bowman, no relation but same last name, but who blogs over here at Publishing Crawl , says “Remember: Labels are a result of bookstore and library shelving. They are a necessary evil of the industry. But readers just want good stories. So go write good stories, genre be damned. “
This particular article was such good advice for me but only in relation to brand. Not in relation to genre. I have to go with the quote above that came at the end of the article and talks about labels.
Now are we all set about what we mean about brand? Brand as in our author name and not the books or rather the product of our brand? Like Nike the brand puts out products like their sneakers and gym clothes that could be restated as saying they are their books.
So when I ask if switching genres can hurt me as an author I mean to ask if it can hurt me writing memoir since my readers know me as a children’s author. I think it can. People will ask. “Really? Now she wants to write memoir?” After they have invested me as a children’s author.
I feel like I have to start all over again branding myself as also being one who can write memoir. People have to trust me as someone who can write in two genres. And I do have to learn the craft. Just like I took courses in children’s picture books now I need to take classes in how to write memoir.
Last winter I took a class in Write your Memoir in 6 Months or wymi6m with memoir author and teacher, Linda Joy Meyers and publisher guru and writing coach, Brooke Warner. Along the way during that time I also took classes in well known memoirs of “ Wild,” “Glass Castle” and “Eat Pray, Love” and now I’ll be taking one in “Angelle’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt.
Plus going to different blogging sites and taking a class in scene writing to learn the craft of fiction writing. so yes, I feel like I have to earn my reader’s trust. Trust that I can do the job of writing in two genre’s.
What about you? Do you think I have to earn my reader’s trust to write in two genres?
And another more central question I ask is since the memoir audience will be different than my picture book audience, should I publish under a different name? Should I publish my memoir under Clara Bowman-Jahn, the name I go by for my picture books or as Clarike Bowman-Jahn, the first name being the one I went by during the ten-year period of my memoir? Similar yet different.
I really will appreciate your input here. So go ahead, Make me smile!
A post on writing in two genre’s a while ago is here:
See you at Perfect Picture Book Friday! On Friday. At you’ll have to be sure and come back here next Tuesday for a book review and visit from Darlene Foster’s “Amanda In Alberta, the Writing in the Stone.”
And for my two picture books? Here you go! You can get them from http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/categories/Children%27s-Titles/