Monday, October 16, 2023

Should I Use an Author Pen Name?

Nom de Plume

A pen name.

Cambridge Dictionary.

The nom de plume is a time-honoured tradition and has been used by literary geniuses such as Mark Twain, George Eliot and George Orwell.  

Why Use a Different Pen Name?

There are a number of reasons why an author might choose a pen name over their own, lets take a look:

  • Your name may be difficult to spell or pronounce.
  • You might not want close friends and family to know what you're writing about.
  • You might want to keep your life private.
  • You may decide to change genres.
  • You may want to be taken more seriously as a writer.
  • There may be a lot of authors with the same name as you.
  • You may need a different name if you have a day job.
  • You may want a name that will stand-out more.

Nonfiction Authors Should Stick With Their Own Name

Nonfiction writing requires the writer to connect with their audience, and enables an author to bring about real solutions to everyday problems, and most of all requires trust.

Pseudonym's Don't Work for Nonfiction Author's

Nonfiction writing is a profitable business, and enables writers to make more money from their books in different ways, such as: audio, affiliate marketing, podcasts, the list goes on.

All of these things are money makers for a lot of authors, and can't be utilised under a false name.  Nonfiction writing requires the writer to be upfront and centre in order to give their work the credibility it needs.

I Hate Bad Reviews

Every author receives bad reviews, some more than others.  But a really well-written book will receive more good reviews than bad.  And people will take more notice of the good points than the bad.  The fact that you've written a book that gets a bad review means that you've made someone think.  

Once you find the right audience, that's when you'll know you're speaking to the right people.  And bad reviews will not feel like a dark cloud hanging over your head.

I Want To Be Incognito

You're never going to please everybody when you write a book.  That's why it takes an element of risk, of putting yourself and your reputation on the line.  

When You Started Writing What Was Your Reason?

Being a nonfiction author myself, I wanted to show people that writing is for everybody, and not just those fortunate authors signed up to a publishing house.

Some Genres Work Well With a Pen Name

Fiction allows you not only use your imagination but also different pen names.  A lot of authors in erotic fiction, particularly, favour that approach.  Well known authors such as J.K. Rowling not only uses only her initials but also works under a different name for her crime mystery series.

Throughout history both men and women have used a pen name, and sometimes this was to protect their families from links to their public persona.  

In today's digital world, information is everywhere and everybody wants to know the high end of everything.   Sooner or later people will discover who you are no matter how much you try to cover your private life.  

The Choice is Yours

If you do choose to create your own nom de plume make sure you've thought long and hard about the pros and cons.

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