In the current publishing environment, many mid-list authors have taken hits. Some mid-list authors can and do keep writing, enjoy healthy sales, and have great careers while rarely hitting a bestseller list. This is a great and rewarding path. However, in recent times, market changes and the closing of fiction lines in particular have left some mid-list authors without a home. Or perhaps simply in a career slump.
For the purpose of this post, I am defining mid-list as the large group of solid performers who have not yet broken into the ranks of consistent bestsellers. A number of authors fall into this category.
Please consult your agent for advice tailored to your career, but here are some options to think about:
1.) Change genres. This is not the same as chasing the market, but could put you in an area where there is more opportunity. If you do change genres, I recommend writing a complete book to be sure you enjoy your new genre, and consulting your agent about marketing possibilities.
2.) Use a pen name. This has the disadvantage of putting you in a starting position, but it also gives you a chance to reboot. This is a big decision that will need to be handled with skill and finesse, so be sure to consult your agent and editor before making this move.
3.) Become a hybrid author. Get the rights to your back list if you don’t already have them and publish those titles. Augment them with fresh new works. This is not a drastic move, but please fill your agent in on any plans to be a hybrid author to keep him in the loop.
4.) Seek a new publishers. With your agent’s assistance, you may find a new home with fresh ideas and a new attitude.
5.) Stay the course. You may be strong enough to weather the slump. Keep writing!
Have you noticed any of your favorite authors making new moves?
Are you thinking of changing your career path?