As a reader I enjoy a variety of genres. While I don’t tend to go for romance or horror, action-adventure, contemporary, fantasy and science fiction can be found on my list of novels completed each year.
As a writer, I’ve discovered, at least anecdotally, that readers don’t tend to cross genre boundaries when it comes to my works. Speaking with other authors and listening to author-related podcasts, I am not alone.
Yes, I have a small but solid core of readers that pick up, read and enjoy my works, despite the genre. But for most readers that have enjoyed at least one of my works, they tend to stick with that series. I’ve discovered this through tracking sales figures, especially when I have a new release or my publisher engaged in a focused advertising campaign. The same trend can be found through observing what newsletter recipients click to explore further, exchange of emails with readers, and talking to readers at conventions and other book events that I have attended regularly over the years.
For example, with my standalone science fiction novel, Thunder Wells, readers that picked it up and indicated they enjoyed it, didn’t shift to the Crax War Chronicles (also SF)—and vice versa. Some of the reason is that the storylines are quite different, despite both falling under science fiction, and may even be loosely classified as Military SF. Speaking with readers directly at signing events, for many they ‘like what they like’ and tend to stick with it.
I co-authored two novellas (Rock House and Cavern) with David Wood as part of his popular Dane Maddock Adventures series, and released through the Kindle Worlds program. Both have sold very well. The novellas are best categorized as action-adventure (sort of a pulpish Indiana Jones in a modern day setting). Yet ‘tracking’ reader migration from the Maddock series to my other works, it appears to be a trickle.
That said, I am giving it one more try. My newest release, Monsters, Maces and Magic: Outpost is the first in a new LitRPG series. (LitRPG is fantasy or SF that has a connection to games, either fictional video games, or role playing games similar as Dungeons & Dragons.). A second novel in the series (Monsters, Maces and Magic: Betrayal) is finished and is available for pre-order.
I wrote the new series so that it straddles the newer LitRPG fantasy subgenre and the more mainstream tastes of fantasy readers. In other words, people who enjoy RPGs will recognize those elements, but readers who are unfamiliar with such games will note that those elements play a part in the storyline, but don’t dominate it. My target audience isn’t the ‘hard core’ LitRPG readers that are sometimes hyper-focused on character stats and game mechanics translated into novel form. Readers totally unfamiliar with RPGs will be at home with the characters and story.
Will my new series catch on with readers? I hope so. Will it bring potential readers to my already established First Civilization’s Legacy Series? I hope so. Even if not, providing intriguing stories for readers that prefer only a segment of what I’ve written (and continue to write) is still worthwhile.
Why am I doing it? I’ve always wanted to write stories that, if I hadn’t written them myself, I could still find them on the bookshelf. The Monsters, Maces and Magic series is something that’s been on my mind, possibly even longer than the First Civilization’s Legacy Series.
In any case, I hope you’ll take a look at my works, and find something keen to your reading interests. If you do, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.
Terry W. Ervin II is an English teacher who enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. His science fiction novels include Relic Tech and Relic Hunted (part of the Crax War Chronicles), and Thunder Wells, a post-apocalyptic alien invasion novel.
Rock House and Cavern are his co-authored action adventure novellas (with David Wood), and Genre Shotgun is his short story collection, that includes SF, mystery, horror/suspense and inspirational tales.
His post-apocalyptic fantasy series, First Civilization’s Legacy, includes Flank Hawk, Blood Sword and Soul Forge.
Terry’s newest series (Fantasy/LitRPG) Monsters, Maces and Magic includes Outpost, with Betrayal slated for release in April of 2018. He is currently working on Relic Shield, the third novel in the Crax War Chronicles.
To contact Terry or to learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com, that of his publisher, Gryphonwood Press, and his blog, Up Around the Corner at uparoundthecorner.blogspot.com.