When writing in multiple genres, how much variation can you realistically have before pen names become necessary?

Like, I figure lit-fic and historical fiction would be similar enough for it not to matter.

Contemporary fiction would depend a lot more on tone and content.

Genre stuff, erotica, and YA would almost certainly need an alternate pen name under most circumstances.

I’m not sure about nonfiction though. Unless it were a memoir or an instructional relevant to fiction writing, wouldn’t it be a bit awkward for a random nonfiction book to be listed alongside a bunch of fiction?

Is this a pretty accurate understanding of how people handle pen names?

And people who publish under multiple names, how is working out for you? To me it feels like so much extra work to build a brand for each one. Is it worth that effort though?

Or, on the flip side, does anyone publish various different genres under a single name? How does that work out?

Source: reddit post

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