I’ve talked about the myriad of mistakes I’ve made in my writing career many times. (Want to laugh at all mistakes? Check out this blog post.) I’ve alluded to wishing I had used various pen names in the past. Today, I’ll elaborate on why I’m filled with regret for using D.E. Haggerty as my author name for every single book I wrote.
Also boughts. First of all, what the heck are also boughts and also reads? On your book page on Amazon the books other readers bought (also boughts) or read (if you are on Kindle Unlimited) after purchasing or reading your book are listed. The premise is these books are similar to your own book. If you write in several genres using the same pen name, your also boughts will be all over the place. For example, this is the also boughts from one of my romantic comedies, Hands Off:
Why do I even care these also boughts are not all romantic comedies like my book? Two reasons: (1) reader confusion. I want there to be absolutely, positively no confusion about what genre my book fits into. Although I read everything under the sun, it turns out most readers are extremely loyal to their genre.
(2) Marketing. This is the BIG one. How do you find targets for your Amazon ads? You start with also boughts. If those books are not similar to yours, your ad will be targeting the wrong reader. Can you say wasted money and no sales?
Similar authors. On your Amazon author page, there is a list of similar authors underneath your bio. Here’s mine:
All of the authors listed here are cozy mystery writers except one. Here’s the thing: I make most of my sales from my romantic comedies. This list is giving my romcom readers the wrong impression of my writing.
Newsletter. Last but not least – my newsletter. Oh, if I could only start all over. Not only would I have multiple pen names, I would have a newsletter for each pen name. I write predominantly in two genres: cozy mystery and romantic comedy. Cozy mysteries are clean reads – no swearing, no sex. My romcoms, on the other hand, are full of naughty-mouthed women enjoying sexy times. Yikes! Need I say more?
What about you? Do you have more than one pen name? If so, do you recommend it?
This blog post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. This is a monthly blog hop hosted by @raimeygallant. Make sure to stop by the other author blog posts in this month’s blog hop to fill up your author toolbox! Just click on the graphic to take you to the list.