Last Wednesday, the lovely Kai Strand asked me about building a new platform for a genre or age group you are branching out into writing. When I started writing romance as Ashelyn Drake, I did so without telling anyone I was Ashelyn. The reason is that I wanted to make sure Ashelyn could stand on her own two feet. To be honest, Ashelyn blew Kelly out of the water in sales! Romance is like that, though.
I set up accounts on social media for Ashelyn and started following romance authors I loved, interacting when them as often as possible. I also looked at their followers because those people could potentially be Ashelyn's fans. I followed those readers and tried to interact with them, too. I joined Facebook groups for romance authors and readers as well. I also promoted Ashelyn on my Kelly accounts (still not telling anyone I was both authors).
Well, last year I decided it was too much to have two separate platforms, and after seeing so many other authors who use pen names joining their accounts, I made the decision to do the same. This is tricky, though. I have one street team for both names, which means some members are only there for my Ashelyn titles or only there for my Kelly titles. The same goes for my newsletter.
You have to decide if you want to keep your names separate, join them completely, or link them but have separate accounts. Whatever you decide to do, check out what your favorite authors in those genres/age levels are doing and who they're following. Don't be a copycat, but learn from them.
I hope that answers your question, Kai. If anyone else has some helpful advice, please feel free to leave it in the comments.
*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.