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Thread: Where to draw the line (pen names)

  1. #26
    E-pubbed author mairi's Avatar
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    I use one pen name (well it's not even much of a pen name since it uses both my first name and middle initial, lol) for all of my books, which include YA romance, YA horror, and erotica. So far - those who read my erotica do buy my other books and vice versa.

  2. #27
    Fantasy Smut? Yes please! Anjasa's Avatar
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    I'm kind of jealous of all you people who can stick so closely to one or two niches. I'm all over the place. I just have so many different desires and kinks and storylines. I think it would drive me crazy trying to have a different name for every story type, personally. If I just wrote straight/gay or something like that, I think that'd be best, but I think I'd really limit myself if I did the same (i.e. one name for fantasy erotica, one for super kinky erotica, one for romance...)



  3. #28
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin kellyrand's Avatar
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    I'm late to this thread, but good question. I've pondered this one too. I publish m/m, f/f and m/f fiction, and I've wondered a few times if I should be using a different name for one of them. I haven't because I worry about having time to market as each of them.

  4. #29
    Inarticulate Herb MumblingSage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulletproof View Post
    Wow. Lots more to think about. Despite thinking I had a course of action, I still haven't released any of the new femdom stories. Now I'm swinging back toward one pen name. I've got some paranormal erotica in the works and I'm realizing that my writing tastes are broader than I realized, so maybe I should embrace that. My covers and titles make the subject obvious, so I'd have stay vigilant.

    My beta said to use the same name for the femdom because he likes the plots. OTOH he also suggested "adding in just one little scene for normal people, where the guy is in charge." Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I realized that his comment sums up the problem w/r/t reader expectations. He always knows what kind of story I'm sending. OTOOH, he probably wouldn't buy the femdom stories. OTOOOH (I'm an octopus), maybe he would, not understanding they wouldn't be, um, as satisfying for him.

    They need to be on sale for the e-reader holiday rush, so I'll have to commit to a decision in the next week or two.

    I know how irritating it is when someone begs for advice, gets excellent suggestions and then goes and acts like an idiot anyway. But you are all making such good points, and I am a cephalopod after all.
    See the bold for why I wish I lived in the parallel universe where FemDom is the norm. *sighs, weeps, nods apologetically to FemSub fans* Although for that matter I can attest you'll have a, if not vast, very hungry market for FemDom, whatever the dudebro opinion is.

    I use 2 pennames myself for my romance writing, and the lines are blurring to a ridiculous extent right now to the point that I would advise against it unless you are very, very clear in what you're doing. Honestly, I'd stick with your one name, make your blurbs very clear (perhaps even advertise with: Look! A new dynamic from the author my readers already love!), and enjoy the windfall from people who like BDSM in all subgenres (would the word 'switches' be appropriate for readers as well as practitioners?).
    Story Addict/Library/Facebook/Fiverr
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  5. #30
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I agree that it's a preference thing. I see both sides of the argument though. It could scare off loyal readers if you begin publishing other sub-genres/fetishes under your single pen name. Multiple pens can be very hard to keep up with though.

    I am currently using two pen names, but I'm thinking of pulling one's books completely off the shelf (they are old and aren't selling very well) and just chugging along with one.

  6. #31
    Smutty McTitters Ann_Mayburn's Avatar
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    I write both Male Dom and Fem Dom and I can tell you first hand that readers expecting Male Dom get pissed when it's Fem Dom instead. :P But then again, I write everything and people still read my books. I just try to make sure that in the blurb and/or --Warning this book contains-- at the bottom of the blurb that this book has xxx elements in it.

  7. #32
    Abnormal Romance Author thethinker42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anjasa View Post
    I'm kind of jealous of all you people who can stick so closely to one or two niches. I'm all over the place. I just have so many different desires and kinks and storylines. I think it would drive me crazy trying to have a different name for every story type, personally. If I just wrote straight/gay or something like that, I think that'd be best, but I think I'd really limit myself if I did the same (i.e. one name for fantasy erotica, one for super kinky erotica, one for romance...)
    You don't necessarily need pen names for each genre. I write a little of everything. Contemporary, historical, BDSM, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, menage, military, etc etc etc. Gay, trans, hetero, lesbian, bisexual. Everything. I put all of my male/male under the name L. A. Witt, and everything else under Lauren Gallagher, though I've got trans fic under either name.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyrand View Post
    I'm late to this thread, but good question. I've pondered this one too. I publish m/m, f/f and m/f fiction, and I've wondered a few times if I should be using a different name for one of them. I haven't because I worry about having time to market as each of them.
    It IS a bit of a pain in the ass to market multiple names. My solution was to have separate names, but keep them connected. I don't make any big secret out of the fact that L.A. Witt and Lauren Gallagher are the same person (though it has become sort of a running joke that my pen names have an ongoing rivalry). They share a website and a Twitter account, and each have their own Facebook fan page. This cuts down on some of the marketing, but I still have to work to get each name visible to her respective readers. There's some crossover among the readers, but not a lot. L.A.'s books out-sell Lauren's by a *significant* margin, so I have to work a lot harder to promote Lauren's books.

    So yes, it's a good idea because M/M, M/F, and F/F are very different markets, but there is extra work involved. That shouldn't necessarily deter you, it's just something to be aware of.
    Lori
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  8. #33
    live every week like it' shark week Bulletproof's Avatar
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    Ooops, I never came back and updated.

    So I kept the same pen name. I've been careful to make the genre obvious from the title, series title, blurb and cover. Stuff is selling, my return rate is under 1% and I haven't been getting random voodoo doll stabby pains, so I guess it's all good.

    (Of course, in a parallel universe Bulletproof is #1 on the best seller lists... all because the pen names were kept separate.)

  9. #34
    My Religion is kindness -Dalai Lama Batspan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulletproof View Post
    Ooops, I never came back and updated.

    So I kept the same pen name. I've been careful to make the genre obvious from the title, series title, blurb and cover. Stuff is selling, my return rate is under 1% and I haven't been getting random voodoo doll stabby pains, so I guess it's all good.

    (Of course, in a parallel universe Bulletproof is #1 on the best seller lists... all because the pen names were kept separate.)
    Thanks for the update. Congrats on the sales and low return rate!

    This was a great discussion. I've been grappling with the pen name issue, too. I already have three online pen names and it's a hassle with the social networking/ promo aspects, so when I started considering another split recently I finally decided not to do it.

    Helpful to read about how others handle this. If I scare a few "normal people" along the way, well, I've been doing that all my life.

  10. #35
    figuring it all out
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    As an avid reader of erotica, I believe using a single pen name helps your readers find you. I have stumbled upon some great writers and ended up reading everything they wrote because they were excellent story tellers.

    Sure, I've wondered if I would like their other work in different sub-genres, like the supernatural stuff, for example. I didn't think I was "into" that style. But, my love for the author's work and knowing her books were good (and worth my money and time), kept me coming back for more...willing to explore new sub-genres because I knew she would tell a great story.

    Occasionally a find someone is using multiple pen names...usually from viewing their websites after I have fallen in love with her work. If they don't have a website or don't mention multiple names, I would never know...and they just lost the chance to get more of my money.

  11. #36
    'Out of the Shadows' HarperCollins SentaHolland's Avatar
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    I write very different genres under very different names. And they shall never meet...
    Senta Holland
    'Out of the Shadows and into the Darkness' - HarperCollins 2013
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Out-Shadows-.../dp/B009UKRIBA

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