Monday, November 25, 2013

Finally Just One Me (kind of)

About three months ago I shut down my Maggie Faire blog and asked people to follow me here.  That was the beginning of a journey to combine all of my writer personas into one place.  I'm now doing that with my social media as well: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and with a new Website.  It is surprisingly not easy to do this when people know you as one particular author name. And I've only been publishing novels since 2011. I can't imagine how hard it must be for people who've been doing it for a decade or more.

Websites are the easiest. You create a new one and then point the other ones to the new one. It doesn't matter if someone goes to or or They now all end up at my combined site.  Of course websites are completely under your own control. Other than dealing with your Internet service provider, or the needs of the software you use to build the website, you don't have to ask anyone's permission to change everything.

Social media? Not so easy!

For those who may considering undertaking this let me share what I've learned so far.

Facebook - The good news is that FB allows you to have ONE page name change and an associated username to go with that.  Of course it comes with a couple of caveats: it has to still match "essentially" what you were doing before, and you have to request it through your SETTINGS on the page. It worked for me because my page was about my writing before and it is still about my writing. Before I made my request, I changed my profile to show all three names I write under, and asked for my FB username to be maggiewrites (fortunately it wasn't taken yet). FB support approved my request and made the change within 3 hours! I was suitably amazed.

FB also allows you to make a ONE time request to combine pages into one. Same caveats as the name change apply PLUS you must have less than 200 likes. If they approve it, they will automatically move your LIKES to the new page and inform all the people they move.  My request is still in for that (that can take up to 14 days).  I already put  post on my Maggie Faire site letting them know what I was doing and requesting people to move themselves.  But I know only a very few will do that.

The advice FB gives is to move from the page with the least likes to the one with the most. The downside is, once they do the merge, the page with the least is deleted along with photos, posts, and other things like that.  Again for me, not a big deal. Maggie Faire was still building and not yet at 100 so it is the obvious choice to delete. Maggie Jaimeson is well over 400 so that is the one I kept and changed to represent all three personas.

Twitter - Twitter does allow you to make a change to your account name. Again you can do it through settings. So, I went from Maggie Jaimeson to Maggie Author and changed my background picture and profile to talk about all my writing under different names.  Twitter DOES NOT have a way to combine accounts. Again, I'm not too worried. Maggie Faire was still building, so I've tweeted and posted and asked people to come over to the combined twitter account. I'll just close it down at the end of the month.

Goodreads - I really didn't think I could combine names at Goodreads because you claim your books by them being associated with the author name on the book, hence I had three accounts there too.  However, I contacted them and they did combine it for me.  I'm going to quote the exact wording so I don't get it wrong. "Since you write under three different pen names, it might help to note that when adding information for a book written by an author with multiple names, we'll have to enter the name as on the front cover as the primary author. This has caused your books to display two pen names."

I can live with that, as long as I remember. It also sets me up for when/if I decide to simply write everything under Maggie Lynch. That is when I have the status of Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling and people will follow me no matter what I write (smile). Of course when I achieve that status I can pay someone else to do all this technical stuff.

I'm already feeling lighter now that there is technologically only one me to worry about.The only social media outstanding for me is Pinterest. Pinterest does not have any functionality to merge accounts; but you can point to the pics in another account and take them into yours. That may be the best I can do for that one. It's lowest on my to-do list.

It's great to be represented as one me, instead of three different people. I can still write in different genres. I hope I haven't confused my readers. It will be wonderful not to have to worry about updating in nine different places. Whew!

Let me know what you think about all my new digs. I'm still futzing with the gallery on the website. It's not acting in quite the way I expect.  But I'll get there.  Feedback is always appreciated!


Collette Cameron said...

I love this Maggie! I've thought about using a different pen-name for a different genre I want to write but the thought of trying to keep up with all the social media is a huge drawback.

Jessa Slade said...

Great information! And a good warning for writers thinking of splitting their efforts. Welcome home, all you different Maggies!

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Thanks Collette and Jessa. It does feel good, but I have a feeling the new website will be an ongoing headache for a few more weeks. I keep missing certain aspects of the other websites and then have to make a decision if I want to include that or not.

Next website change I'll be stinking rich and hire it out. :)