Write/Publish in Different Genres or Age Groups?

I have been thinking a lot recently about how difficult it may be to publish (sell) books in different age groups, by the same author.
For example, I have already started writing an adult paranormal romance trilogy. I have finished the first book (im just editing it again) and started the second book. Then I also have a 5 book YA series I want to write, though I have only barely started. And I have a childrens books series that I have started.
I understand the difficulties have writing books in different genres, because then you have to build an audience in each genre, but doing  YA and adult books, if they are both paranormal romance, shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

I asked a literary agent, (Natalie from Adventures in Agentland) and this is her take: 

Hi Theresa,
Many authors do write in multiple genres and age groups; HOWEVER, it is usually important to establish a pen name for each age group (even genre) a writer writes under, AND brand that pen name. Meaning, if an author wants to branch out s/he will need to continue to write in each age group. The following from one doesn’t transfer to another, so it’s basically starting over when an author branches out. If your goal is to query all at once and see what sticks…while that can work sometimes, it can also land you with an agent who doesn’t represent what you ultimately want to settle into, so I would suggest finding what you are most passionate about and focusing on it. Down the line, say, three or five books in, if you want to branch out, that’s the time to consider it.

So… should I create a Pen name?
Wait until I publish one of my series, and then hope that I can publish the next series later? We will see…
Good luck to everyone out there that is having this same issue I am!


  1. I feel like establishing yourself in one genre can really help you when you want to jump into another later on. A lot of authors (Gena Showalter, Rachel Vincent, Kresley Cole) started in adult romance, and are now branching out into YA. Some fans will follow the YA series, even if they are adults, because they are loyal to the author. And on the other side of things, readers who newly discover the author via the YAs may later decide to read the existing adult series. For that reason, I don't think the pen name is absolutely necessary, unless you don't want or expect overlapping fandoms. I do think you should focus on just one age group initially, though.

    1. I suppose my biggest concern would be for the children's books. My YA books and/or adult books would be with my real name, but fit children's books too? I just don't know.

    2. Yeah, maybe a pen name for the children's books would be best. I wouldn't expect your adult fan base to overlap with your children's book fans, and you don't want to confuse people.

    3. Yeah. That's what I was thinking

  2. For now you should focus on one age group. Worry about additional age groups later. After you have an agent, then worry about a pen name. You could always create one in the meantime, find something child friendly and easy to say and spell and go with it. It could even be as simple as using "Resa Jones" for your children novels. Your agent can help you decide if you should actually use a pen name or not.

    1. Yeah, I was thinking Resa Crocker for my childrens books, and then Theresa Jones for everything else :)

  3. That's a very good question and I can appreciate your dilemma. I have no advice beyond write your stories as they come regardless of target audience. There's no law that says books have to be published and marketed in the order they were written.

    All my best to you in your decision.

    1. Yes, but I have SO many stories to tell, Jeff! Currently I am writing in 3 different series in 3 different age groups! :/
      I will continue to write them, just because that is what I love to do, but it may make it more difficult for me to sell any of them if I have an audience that is expecting a certain kind of book, but is then dissappointed when it isnt the kind they expected.

      That being said, I have to first HAVE an audience to upset them. haha

      So- first things first. Finish writing them and try to get them published :)
      Ill go from there


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