It’s tough establishing a new identity. I know a few of you Wranglers have pen names so you probably know what I’m talking about. My children’s chapter book, SUPERBEETLE, is scheduled to release next month on March 11. My publisher alerted me to this a couple weeks ago and it’s been a mad scramble to establish my alter ego’s social media presence in time for the launch. SUPERBEETLE has been in the works for a few years now. There have been hiccups along the way, things out of the publisher’s control, and at times I wasn’t sure if my children’s book about an eight-year-old girl visiting Taiwan for the first time would ever see the light of day. Now that it’s finally here I’m totally unprepared (but thrilled, of course!).
I’d reserved a domain name a while back and had a “coming soon” page on the website. I figured I’d have plenty of time to update it but suddenly that time is now. I’ve spent the last couple weeks tinkering with it and now I think it’s finally ready for the public. Let me know what you think if you get a chance. SUPERBEETLE
You may be wondering why I’m creating all this secret identity / alter ego nonsense. I posted about using a pen name a while back and received lots of feedback and good advice. I decided to go with S. Michele Chen as my pen name for this children’s book (my first initial and middle name). My previous works are all published under Sarah M. Chen and it’s definitely the darker side of crime fiction. As a friend of mine said, if she checked out my website for additional books to purchase for her children, she would be scared off by titles such as “Hardboiled: Dames and Sin” or “Fast Women and Neon Lights.” I don’t blame her, hence the alter ego.
I checked a few other writers who write dark crime fiction and children’s books / young adult. They have a separate presence on Twitter, Amazon, and two separate websites. I decided to do the same. It’s too hard to do another Facebook page. My own author FB page doesn’t get the reach I think it should (unless I boost it for $5) and I often neglect it for my own personal profile. So I scrapped the separate Superbeetle FB page.
But I think Twitter is important and a great way to gain followers I normally wouldn’t elsewhere. So I set up a new Superbeetle Twitter account today and it was a headache. Apparently if you link two Twitter accounts to the same phone number, the most recent account has full control which I didn’t like. My primary Twitter account is still going to be my original one so I had to figure out something else. I ended up putting Superbeetle under my mom’s cell phone number (she was very confused about what I was doing but went along with it – thanks, Mom!). Now I can truly keep everything separate (separate text alerts, etc.).
Then I set up my own Amazon author page for S. Michele Chen. In time, I’ll do GoodReads as well.
Next is researching how to approach schools, reviewers, libraries, and children’s bookstores. My publisher would love for me to speak to classrooms and I have no idea how to go about that. I have a couple contacts with children’s bookstores so it’d be great to do a signing / reading. At the very least, hopefully they’d carry my book.
I feel like a newbie author all over again which is both exhilarating and unnerving. Any other writers out there who had to go through this same process?
S. Michele Chen is the author of SUPERBEETLE, a story of eight-year-old Hong who visits Taiwan for the first time. She’s excited to meet her grandmother…but there are two big problems: 1) There is a GIANT beetle in her grandmother’s bathtub. 2) Her grandmother’s market is on the brink of closing! Can she save her grandma’s market while staying away from this scary SUPERBEETLE? Hint: maybe the beetle isn’t so scary. Perfect for readers ages 6-9. https://superbeetlebook.com