The Multi-Genre Blues


Happy New Year and I need help!

Variety is the spice of life, right? I’ve always believed so . . . but when it comes to being an author, sometimes variety can seriously complicate developing your author platform.

This month I’m coming to my fellow SoulMate authors for advice. Two questions:

  1. How many of you write in more than one genre? For those who do, how do you handle building/maintaining you email list?
  2. How do you gain more subscribers? I know giveaways are the most touted way, but I’m discovering that many people sign up just to get a free book, then unsubscribe the first time they get a newsletter.

Some of my books are paranormal (or supernatural suspense, as I like to label them), and others are contemporary romance, leaning toward women’s fiction. Last year I participated in a month-long giveaway of one of my contemporary romance titles to gain newsletter subscribers. Wow, did that pay off! Within two weeks I went from 100 to over 1000 subscribers. I was thrilled.

Until I sent out my first newsletter, announcing the release of my upcoming supernatural suspense. The unsubscribe rate was massive, so much so that I received a warning from Mailchimp. So I followed up with a newsletter asking my subscribers if they preferred contemporary romance or paranormal, and asked them to let me know which list they wanted to be placed on. I only received a half-dozen responses, and another dozen or more unsubscribed.

spirit-1775547_640party-1456248_640So, what have I learned? I definitely need two separate subscriber lists, right? One for ghost lovers, one for romance only. I’m thinking of creating two new lists in Mailchimp, then sending out a newsletter announcing that I am dividing my list by genre. If I provide the new signup links in the newsletter, my readers can choose which list they want to be on. Or both.

I’m sure when I do this I’m going to get another massive die-off. But what else can I do? Is this how it should be handled?

As for building my newsletter list, I’m open to any and all ideas. I’ve tried giving away sample chapters, even whole books. I’ve shared personal stuff to make my fans feel more in touch with me as a person. Daily, I post on FB and Twitter two things: a quote on love/romance (for my contemporary fans) and an interesting paranormal blog/article (for my supernatural fans). Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to produce any increase in subscribers.

What do you all do? Is there a magic bullet? What am I missing? Any and all comments welcome and so appreciated!


Claire Gem writes contemporary romance, women’s fiction, & supernatural suspense. You can find out more about her work at her Website or her Amazon Author Page.



About Claire Gem

Claire is a multi-published, award winning author of both fiction and nonfiction. A native of New York, USA, she now resides in Massachusetts, USA with her husband of 39 years.
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7 Responses to The Multi-Genre Blues

  1. Huge problem.I sympathize. I write children’s as Susan J Berger and Romance as Susan B James. BUT my romances cross genres and I am not sure how to handle that. I write time travel-rom-com with seasoned heroines. How’s that for genre-crossing?
    Since your ghosts are definitely paranormal and your contemporaries are not,.you could do a Jayne Ann Krentz and use separate names.
    Or you could use Clair Gem-Ghost Stories and Claire Gem-Contemporary Romance. And i am pretty sure you need two mailing lists.
    Good luck!

  2. Claire Gem says:

    Thanks, Sue. I think you are right about two lists. It’s just I feel I’m going to be trashing the list I have (almost 1000 names!) and starting all over again 😦

  3. Beth Carter says:

    At least you’re ahead of several of us by HAVING a newsletter list! I haven’t bothered.

    Two separate lists sound like a real headache but are probably necessary. As Susan said, maybe you need a pen name for either your paranormal or contemporary romance. Two personas since you write different genres. I also write children’s picture books but that doesn’t seem to be an issue since most moms and grandmas have kiddos. Good luck.

  4. Claire Gem says:

    Thanks for your input, Beth. I’m pretty much stuck with one pen name since I’ve built up quite a FB and Twitter following under this name . . . and I have six books out, only three of which are paranormal. I guess I’ll try the list-splitting strategy…thanks for stopping by!

  5. I can’t even bear the thought of two different lists. I’m having enough trouble with one. Maybe creating a newsletter that is a little less genre specific, and not targeted to any one kind of reader?

  6. Claire Gem says:

    Good advice, Belle, but it doesn’t exactly work when I’ve got news of a new release… 😦

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