Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday Tips and Tweaks

Sorry for posting a little late.

This week author Erica Ridley joins us with her tip. Erica Ridley is the USA Today bestselling author of the popular Dukes of War historical romance series, featuring roguish peers and dashing war heroes who return from battle only to be thrust into the splendor and madness of Regency England.

Erica’s Writing Tip is "Strategizing in Advance."

Before I got an agent and landed my first contract, I wrote what I liked, however and whenever I liked. That may be fine from a just-having-fun perspective, but terrible from a business perspective. 

Although no writer likes to be "pigeonholed" or stuck in a corner they can't escape, it is imperative that your book fit cleanly into a specific, reasonably popular genre, if your goal is for readers to not only find your book, but pay their hard earned money for it.

Think hard about what genre best describes your book. A paranormal, gothic, sci-fi Christian western romance featuring a talking cyber unicorn doesn't appeal to all readers--it appeals to no readers. It is far easier to give an existing group of readers what they already know they want, than it is to try and force people to buy something that they don't read or believe they'd enjoy.

Before embarking on a new story or series, ask yourself these questions:

 What is the best genre for your book?
How well does it follow established genre conventions?
Does it fit reader expectations enough not to turn them away?
Is it unique enough to stand out from the crowd?
What do readers expect from other authors/books in this genre?

For example, if you write fantasy, readers are willing to wait longer periods between books... but they expect a rich, complex, meaty book when you do release a title. On the other hand, if you're writing an erotic contemporary romance serial, readers are willing to accept a much shorter wordcount... but they also expect a new installment every 2-4 weeks, not one book per year. 

I cannot overstate the importance of this seemingly simple detail. When I finally stopped jumping all over the mat and picked a single, targeted genre to focus on, my readers (and my royalties) increased tenfold. My readers are much happier and so am I!
Buy Links:

Grab a FREE copy of the first Dukes of War book at:
Apple/iBooks: http://bit.ly/1rHuXmM
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1nyurfB
Google Play: http://bit.ly/ZP3itD 
You can find Erica at:


Thanks Erica, for dropping by and sharing that great writing tip.

Don’t forget to check back next week for another tip or tweak. 


  1. Hi Erica, I really liked the writing tip. All the best with your books.

  2. Great tip, and so important! At the same time I think you need to write what you enjoy, not necessarily what's 'in style' at the moment. It changes all the time, so key for me is being happy with my work.
    Jacquie Biggar