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I recall reading somewhere (I believe it was Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy) that you should either stick with one genre or the other. The reason he gave is that if you're popular in one genre, readers of the other genre won't know who you are.

My answer to this would be to make your every book a bestseller and not rely on your reputation to sell your writing. But that's another matter. :)

Despite this, he does have a point. The fantasy crowd is different from the sci/fi crowd, and I expect publishers are more or less the same; they generally prefer to publish one or the other (if this assumption is wrong, please let me know).

So here's my question: If you intend to write both fantasy and sci/fi (or any two largely different genres), should you publish with the same publisher you've been using for your first genre (or try to), or should you use a different publisher that publishes in the new genre?

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I don't think there are many genres as closely connected as Fantasy and SciFi, and many of the top publishers produce both. That said, there are pros and cons of working with different publishers.

Working with the same publisher, you have a better chance of them wanting your career to succeed - if you're lucky, they may start promoting YOU as an author as opposed to your individual book, and that can be a benefit to your overall sales. The publisher is more likely to be understanding about your scheduling conflicts - they wouldn't likely push for a book in the same month as another book is due if they know the other book is for a different department of their company. You also have a better chance of developing meaningful relationships within their organization, since you can concentrate your efforts there.

On the other hand, it can be nice to have your eggs in a variety of baskets. This is especially important if you end up working with smaller publishers, as they may not be as stable as the larger ones; if you have books with just one publisher and they go under, you've taken a serious hit, but it's greatly reduced if you have books with multiple publishers. You also have the chance to learn from a wider variety of experts and to tap into the strengths of different companies.

My personal preference has been to go with multiple publishers. But I think there are arguments to be made for both sides of the issue.

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