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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Looking for opinions/suggestions from those who write under two or more pen names.

Do you maintain separate websites/email lists/social media accounts for each name? Or did you choose to create a micro-publishing company and "house" all of your names under one entity? If so, how do your social media outlets and email newsletters work? Are these all under the micropublisher account?

I want to test the waters with a pen name(s) and would like to keep things as simple and streamlined as possible so that I have time for the actual writing. :)

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts/ ideas.

Be well,

1,298 Posts
I have written under 7 different pen names, though only 4 are currently active.

Originally, I was intending to do everything under my own name, but I learned a big lesson the hard way. I had a reader leave a glowing 5* review on one of my books. In that review he/she said they were off to find another of my books to read. The second book that person chose was a different genre entirely, and that same person left a scathing 1* review with a comment to the effect that he/she could not understand how the mind that conceived book A could possibly go on to write book B.

Those two books are still in the portfolio of the same author name, but that was when I realised that if I was going to skip around genres until I found the thing I wanted to concentrate on (which still hasn't happened) I would always employ a different pen name for the purpose. Essentially your pen name becomes a kind of brand promise, and readers - and hopefully, fans, if you are lucky - will come to expect certain things from you.

Once I had a couple of pen names on the go, I realised what an absolute nightmare it was going to be with social media and email lists. After initially creating a couple of separate accounts, I decided to abandon that idea in favour of promoting everything via a single publishing imprint. Actually, I think that creating separate social accounts may be against the terms of service for most, if not all, social media sites.

The publishing imprint is still not a perfect solution for me because some of the stuff that I write under one particular pen name would never be written by another pen, and I am still not sure it even belongs on the site. If I sound like I am a bit schizo here, well perhaps I am - or then again, perhaps I am not (I am definitely in two minds about it). But I often refer to my real name in the 2nd person as if it is not me.

In summary, as a writer, though I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring different genres, it certainly has complicated the marketing. The irony of it all is that my original pen name is the one that's now doing the best. Anyway, I hope all of this helps you a bit.

Good luck with your project.

7,878 Posts
I have multiple pen names, they are separated for most everything. But, I also have a "publisher" site which corrals those pen names, though I don't do anything with it any more.

How you run your business is up to you. Some pen names can be "open", some can be kept hidden. You should do newsletters for each one, and have at least a static site readers can check out for other books. You can spend a lot of time on social media, or not. What works for you, despite what some will insist you must do, or fail.

57 Posts
I write in two genres, and I use two related-but-slightly-different pen names. I started out with the "two initials and surname" pen name just because I liked how it looked better than "first name and surname," so most of my social media is under that name. Then when I started writing in the second genre, I went ahead and did the "first name and surname" because it was simpler than coming up with something entirely different, and it basically got nestled under the original pen name. So I promote both genres from the one social media account, and so far nobody has complained or seemed confused. I do have a micro-publisher name I use for both genres, but that's pretty much something to put in the "publisher" field on KDP and not much more.

But the two genres I write in are pretty compatible with each other. If I started writing in a genre that was extremely different--horror, for example--I would make more of an effort to keep that pen name entirely separate, because I wouldn't want readers to expect the same sort of gentle stories I write under the other names and then feel that their trust has been betrayed.
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