Thursday, July 4, 2019

Dear O'Abby - I want to kill my alter-ego

Dear O'Abby,

I write under two names - one for romance and one for YA.  My romance books sell way better, and the name I publish YA under is consistently misspelled and leads people to another author whose name is spelled that way.  So I want to kill off that author name and focus all my energy on the other one.  

Do you have any advice on how to do this? I have an active social media presence under both names and would really like to keep my followers if possible.

X Renamed

Dear Renamed,

It really depends on what you want.  It's entirely possible for you to just stop doing anything with the YA author name.  Leave your website there for people who are interested in your YA books, but don't post on social media accounts with that name and let the whole thing go dormant.  Then you have the option of bringing this pen name back to life if you ever have the urge to write another YA.

Alternatively, if your YA books fit the author brand you've created for your romance books (e.g. your YA books are also romantic) you could re-publish them under your other name and include them in a separate section on your romance author website and delete the other site entirely.  If re-publishing isn't possible, you can still include them and just note those books were published under the name X.

In terms of social media, it may not be possible to keep all your followers if you have separate accounts for each author name and they have their own, distinct group of followers.

It is possible to merge Facebook pages, so if you think the audiences on both pages won't mind, you could merge your two pages into one.  Might be worth letting your followers know beforehand though, so the decision is in their hands.

You can't merge Twitter or Instagram accounts, so if you're active there, you will need to decide which account to stay active on, and which to leave dormant.  If your YA name has more followers, maybe change the name on this account and start posting content that you would previously have posted on the other account and see if that negatively affects your follower numbers.

It's going to be a bit of work, and it requires you to be consistent, but it is possible for you to leave that old pen name to retire.  You don't need to kill them off in any violent way, just leave them to fade into obscurity while your other author brand takes the spotlight.

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