Friday, May 10, 2013

A Flexible Persona for the Hybrid Author

The debate over whether to publish via Traditional, Indie, Digital, Print, or Self has ebbed and flowed over time.  In fact, authors are now encouraged to have a HYBRID publishing career strategy. Don't You just LUV how fast the advice changes?

An author can write in multiple genres under the same name but a "Hybrid" author publishes in multiple formats, through numerous publishers (Big Five or independently), and still only has one Author Persona with one website. This phenomenon is not new.  Nora Roberts has worked with numerous publishers. Her J.D. Robb pseudonym was created for a different genre of books, However, her publisher was not going to give up the loyal Nora Roberts readership. This gave readers the choice to BUY both genres, knowing they are written by the same author. Jayne Ann Krentz is also Jane Castle, and Amanda Quick.  Her readers are now loyal to all three pseudonyms.

A SEPARATE PERSONA is only needed if you write books/stories that should not be cross-promoted to readers.  For example: erotic novels should not be cross-promoted with YA or inspirational books. You can also choose unique pseudonyms to differentiate your Sci-Fi-Vampire-Bunny heroes written by Persona #1 from your kick-butt-heroine series written by your Persona #2. But having separate names, identities, and websites is only important for how you connect with readers who BUY your books. It has nothing to do with HOW THEY ARE PUBLISHED.

And, no matter how Hybrid or Green you may be - Authors need to market and promote their books to readers who BUY. To find those readers, review our PERSONA PAGE. We were delighted to see some of those same points for finding readers posted at Passive Voice (3/17/2013) as reposted via Robert Bidinotto (3/17/2013)
1. Narrowly define your target reader audienceDo they share a demographic profile (age, sex, ethnicity, background, etc.)? What are their values and interests? Who are their heroes? Write a profile of your “ideal reader.”
2. Next, find out where they hang out. What books and magazines do they read? What movies do they like? What online sites do they frequent? What groups to they belong to? Compile lists of these things; you’ll want to target them later.
3. Now, think like that reader in all aspects of your marketing. No, this doesn’t mean pandering to readers as a writer. But in every marketing decision and action, ask yourself: How would this be perceived by my target reader? Never view marketing decisions as aspects of your artistic self-expression. Marketing is simply the effective communication of values. It means connecting your work with the values and interests of your targeted customer.
. . . .
6.  Don’t be dull! Carefully craft compelling promotional copy on your Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online product pages.
From Therese & Morgan: The Author Persona is you, a professional writer selling books to readers. The Hybrid Author is a terms used by editors, agents, and publishers who want to ride the wave of your success with another and/or different distribution channel. We recommend considering all channels to boost your career!  Also note that the more Personas you have, the more websites, social media, and marketing work you have to do.  Each Persona will need a home base (website) and means for contact (email and/or social media).  So be mindful of your career strategy and required time investment.

We hope you review the original linked articles, as written, and the reader comments as there are multiple viewpoints and suggestions!


  1. Your comment: "Also note that the more Personas you have, the more websites, social media, and marketing work you have to do." This is so true. I have two personas--one for my YA books and one for my adult books. Why? Because my adult books have sex and my YA books do not. Yes, I know teens know about sex. However, a lot of their parents don't think their teens no about sex. :)

    For these two personas I maintain separate websites, Google+ pages, FB pages, twitter accounts, GoodReads pages, LibraryThing pages, and Windtree Press author pages. That means a minimum of 14 places I have to keep updated regularly. Oy! AND I have to pick and choose which persona is going to respond to other blogs and posts, because it matters how each author name is connected on the web.

    My personas are both me, but a different side of me. My Adult, Jaimeson, persona features more of my academic, counselor, analytical personality which is where my somewhat "issues-based" romances come from. My YA persona indulges more in my let's have fun, let's talk about every day life in a light, positive way or explore the paranormal side of me. This is still developing as I've been focusing on getting chapters out there first.

    I do regularly cross post from Faire to Jaimeson because I know there are adults who also read YA. I rarely cross post the other direction though anyone can easily figure out they are both me. Is it worth it? I don't know. Some days I wish I had only one to worry about. Other days it is quite refreshing to share a different me. :)

  2. Therese and Morgan,

    Target marketing is a term I keep hearing. I'm going to work with specialist Lynn Jordant in an attempt to use my Facebook Author page to target 'red hot romance' readers (once I figure out who they are) and bring them to my Facebook page where one hopes they will realize they want to read my books.

    I view this as inviting readers into my romance world, where they can relax, smile, stay awhile and read a story.

    Once they are there, I invite them to sign up for my newsletter.
    I'd also like to be more specific about asking the questions like favorite movies, songs, etc, because I agree that commonality enhancs the story experience.

    learning all the time! Thanks for your great column, where you gather expets and info.

    Cathryn Cade

    1. Hey Cathryn!
      You will always be our special friend because of what you shared with us, in our early days. You were a new novelist in a new digital world, and we were working to refine and enhance our primary message to benefit friends like you. I remember Lynn Jordan as a hoot, and savvy in romancelandia, as well as being highly techno savvy. Say Hi, to her, for me!

      One thing Morgan and I do is - we make a point to step back and reassess our beginning. What was the passion that drove us in those early days? Why did we start meeting monthly, why did we put together that first workshop? How blessed we are that we chose that "101" focus. It pulls us back to the basics, the primary passion, the first story.

      A novelist's career is built on the stories they tell, and how they are written. Everything else is marketing....

      We will meet again, an not just in blogsphere... :D

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