Monday, January 30, 2012

Promoting a Pen Name

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

delicious and suspiciousI wrote a post on January 10th about the benefits of being a being that you can write whatever you want to write, under different names. It’s a fantastic way to get the opportunity to experiment with other genres or styles while not disappointing readers who might be accustomed to particular types of books.

The downside is actually promoting those different names.

This post is for those of you who write under two names—but want to link your pen name to your real name (in case you have readers who want to take the leap to another genre or series with you.)

There are some things that I’ve done that seem to work well for linking two names:

Having both names as my Blogger profile (I comment on my own blog and others’ blogs as Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams)

Email signature: My email signature includes the two names that I write under.

Facebook: I make sure that both names are on my Facebook page.

Website: The fact that I write under two names is prominent on the home page.

Amazon Central author page: This is probably one of the most important places to include both names.

More painful, time-wise, for pen name promo:

Having a separate Facebook page for the pen name. Which I do have. It doesn’t get updated often, but readers sometimes contact me there.

A separate Twitter profile for the pen name: It didn’t take long to give this idea up.

Separate Goodreads account: I’m bad to keep up with Goodreads, even with my real name.

Something to try for promoting your pen name:

Be on a rotation for a group blog—as your pen name. This is something I did for several years (as a once-a-week blogger on a food blog for my culinary mystery), although lately I’ve run out of time even for that. But, if you can spare the time, being a regular on a group blog that focuses on the genre you’re writing can be a way to reach new readers.

Do you use a pen name or have you thought about using one? How have you promoted it?