Multiple Personalities

  • By: Jessica Faust | Date: Jan 11 2011

I was checking my Twitter account recently and thinking about the multiple personalities of authors, those who write under two (or sometimes more) names, and wondering what that means for social networking. Obviously if you write under both Jane Doe and Janet Buck you’re going to need two different Facebook accounts and Twitter accounts so that readers of Jane can find Jane and readers of Janet can find Janet. But does that mean you need to also update two different statuses each time you update one, or can you simply link all of your accounts together and only post once for all accounts?

My theory? If your fans are only fans of one of your personalities, then go ahead and link all of your accounts together, but if your fans are fans of both personalities or tend to be attracted to both personalities (let’s say you write the same genre under both names), I think you need to handle them separately, as if they’re two different people. Otherwise you’re going to end up taking over everyone’s Twitter or Facebook with the same status two, three, four, or however many times it posts.

What do you think?


15 responses to “Multiple Personalities”

  1. Your post made me smile. Some days I DO feel like I have multiple personalities. (Laughs) I juggle multiple Twitter accounts (many for work, a personal one and one for a fictional character from one of my books), multiple Facebook accounts, a work-related blog, a writing blog, several websites and the list goes on. So, yeah, it's a bit of a dance. Some days I tweet from one account, RT from another account, link from this to that and, ugh!, it can be challenging. Oh, and I also manage a newspaper and magazine staff. So, yeah, it's a challenge. Using Hootsuite helps, though, because I can manage all of the Twitter and Facebook accounts from this one interface. Peeps who are also managing multiple accounts can check out cotweet, too. I just started playing around with this tool. Anyway…. Have a super day.

  2. Avatar Sherri says:

    In my circle of friends, the authors with books in more than genre use different names for each, but then use their main name as the umbrella for all the others. As a reader, I'm able to keep them all straight, but it bothers me. I'm not sure why. I don't have to worry about this yet, but I always envision myself keeping my identities completely separate. I don't know how this will work in a practical sense. I know I won't be able to keep up with two Facebook accounts.

  3. Avatar Fawn Neun says:

    Trying to find time to go and be my pen name is driving me a bit batty, I admit. My pen name is very much a different person and sometimes I just can't connect with her. It's maddening.

  4. Avatar Gary Baker says:

    Perhaps all writers should have a Kilgore Trout. My own version is Mitis Green and, even though he gets more fan mail than I do (damn him), he's a very useful tool to 'talk' to or have around to express rather dodgy opinions. I gave him his own twitter, facebook and blog but found them impossible to keep up.

  5. Avatar Colette says:

    I don't have different names, but different projects with different audiences. And yes, some days I feel a bit schizophrenic!

  6. Avatar Jill Thomas says:

    When I read the headline I thought you were talking about the normal multiple personalities of a writer…how scary is it that I think that's 'normal'?

  7. Avatar tericarter says:

    I can barely keep track of the Real Me on my multi-tech-accounts. I can't imagine dealing with this.

  8. 'Remus Shepherd' is my psuedonym. I've published (non-professionally so far) under both my names. I'm not that plugged into social media, but I have a Twitter, Facebook, and Livejournal account, some of which are under my real name.

    In general, I don't double-up on social media. I get an account either with my real name or my pseudonym, not both.

    The media exist for different purposes. Twitter is for short creative thoughts. Livejournal is for longer essays and links. Facebook is better for keeping in touch with family than fans, at least for me.

    I don't have to advertise my fiction over every media I use. Some of them are just for me and my friends or family. Maybe I'm missing out by not hawking my wares everywhere, but I like having some corners of the net to myself.

  9. Avatar Sommer Leigh says:

    I feel kind of uncomfortable with the idea of multiple pen names for authors having multiple social networking sites and…maybe it's just me, but I'm kind of ok with my authors jumping genres and keeping their own name. I'm more interested in THEM if I follow their twitter or facebook or blog, I don't want to read a fake person's life and opinions.

    When an author's other pen name is open knowledge, is there really a point to having one?

    I guess I am uncomfortable with the idea of reading about a fictitious personality's fictitious life.

  10. Frankly, I don't care. Wait, I do care. A lot. And a little. None at all, actually. Is that two status reports? I don't care. Yes, I do. Nope.

  11. I just don't understand how they can dedicate all that time to having the multiple networking sites. Seems like a lot of work to me.

  12. It seems an excessive amount of work to have multiple sites for each pen name. To avoid that, maybe the writer could set up one site that can be found by searching for any one pen name? Lynn Viehl writes under five or so pen names, but has one blog and is transparent about having all those different pseudonyms.

  13. I can see writing under different names if writing for different age groups, as mature as much YA often is.

    I can also see setting up a couple of different websites or separate twitter accounts or FB pages, but I can't imagine trying to manage multiple social media fleets. At least, not without an assistant.

  14. Avatar Jamie D. says:

    I have three names I write under – my own, and two pen names that I mainly use to keep the genres separate. I have 1 facebook profile, but 4 pages – one for each name, plus my business name. I have 4 twitter accounts that I manage using Tweetdeck (where I can see and interact with all groups at the same time). I have blogs for each as well – the blogs deal with genre-specific writing under each name. Or fans of all three can just follow my business blog to get info on all my projects.

    It's really not as complex as it sounds, but I like the delineation, personally. It is more work some days than others, but I devote specific days to specific genres/pen names, so not too bad.

  15. I post separate status updates for my two writing names. On Facebook, sometimes they comment back and forth to each other, particularly when we're fighting over who gets to work that week. It's fun.

    I use HootSuite for Twitter, which actually makes it easy to update different pen names across different social networks. However, usually I post as myself. I'm more to apt to post as my pen name if I'm working on one of her projects.