For some writers, using a pseudonym gives them the freedom to express themselves and may even help them get published. A children’s librarian who writes dark thrillers can “hide” behind a pen name—perhaps one that is as dark and thrilling as her novels. Or a writer with a name that’s impossible to spell or pronounce may publish under a shorter name—one that pops from an online thumbnail image of the book’s cover.
There are also authors who juggle multiple pen names and write in multiple genres. So how does this play out on an author’s website? The techs at Web Design Relief have the answers you need.
Designing Author Websites For Writers With Multiple Pen Names
For every genre, it’s important to create brand distinction between one persona and another on your author website and social media platforms. Consistent, brand-loyal posts and other targeted marketing efforts (like promotions, contests, or giveaways) should be tailored for each pseudonym.
Here are a few fictional examples of how to handle pen names on author websites:
Author Annie writes in two genres: steamy adult romances and young adult adventures. She uses her own name for the YA novels, and a pen name for the bodice-rippers. With two different audiences and little hope of the two ever meeting, Annie creates two different author websites to keep her brands completely separate.
Author Dan writes nonfiction and fiction and uses several pen names to keep his brands straight. He uses one central author website as his hub, under his own name, but uses separate tabs for each nom de plume. Visitors to his website can easily see the categories of his writing and the pen names associated with each.
Author Pat has been publishing for a long time and has several Westerns under her belt. Now she’s branching out and exploring fan fiction: Her author website is under her own name, which readers are familiar with, and it focuses on her string of successful books. But she’s added a drop-down tab under her fan fiction pseudonym so readers can check out her new work.
Because Dan and Pat have each linked their work under one site, they can also ramp up their marketing efforts by using cross-promotion for new releases, sales, or events or holidays that tie into their brands.
Author Frank has two different author websites. His political thriller site uses his real name (Frank Hatchett)—but for his poetry website, he uses a slightly less abrasive pen name: Francis Halloway. He likes to keep his poetry and his political thrillers separate, but visitors to either site can click a link to go straight to the other.
Author Kate self-published a series of books that received scathing reviews. Now, with more experience under her belt, Kate sets up an author website under a pen name and writes in a new genre.
Author Steve is a new writer who has been building publication credits under his own name, hoping to get a literary agent to represent his science fiction novel. He is also self-publishing a series of horror novellas using a pseudonym to start generating a readership. Both aspects of his literary career share equal space on his website, as both genres share similar design elements.
Learn more about the legal ramifications of using a pen name.
If you’re still on the fence about how to handle more than one pen name on your author website, Web Design Relief can help tailor a site just for you—and all your personas!
Question: Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you choose it?