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General > Real Name or Pen Name???

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message 1: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Giles (sabrina-giles) | 15 comments Hi, I was wondering what you all thought about using your real name vs. your pen name. I'm asking because I'm currently using my pen name, but I feel like I may have made a mistake in doing that. I just want to see where everyone stands on the subject and to get some diverse advice before I really make my decision.

message 2: by Joel (new)

Joel Bresler I used the pen name 'Bic' for my first book, but everybody kept mispronouncing it.
It depends on whether you want to create a writing brand that's distinct from you personally, or want to keep the books public but your personal life less so. Plus, a pseudonym can get away with things a real person might not dare try, and some original and creative fiction may thus ensue.
If you're writing a series, a nom de plume might be a fun way to go. You can always write other things under your real name.

message 3: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina Giles (sabrina-giles) | 15 comments Hmmm... That is an interesting idea and I'll definitely think about that. I agree that with a pseudonym I could do more daring things than I would under my real name. In that respect, I could actually keep Alexis Cain an active part of my writing life, just make sure it's separate from my other name. I like it!!! ^_^

message 4: by Quanah (new)

Quanah Edwards | 65 comments I started out writing with a pen name, but ended up using my real name. I now kinda wish I kept the pen name because most of my writing isn't erotic, but my 2 books are.

message 5: by Fritz (new)

Fritz Nordengren Hi, what a great and fun question. I hope you gets lots of ideas. With a name like Nordengren, I thought about it. And in the end went with my own name. I can think of a couple of what-ifs. What if your pen name work became hugely successful.... would that change or influence your choice? Working the other way, some very famous people have issued work under a pen name after they achieved fame...and how might that impact your fan base?

Alexis Cain has some wonderful built-in tension: Alexis was a comic poet and Cain committed the first murder. Very cool.

Shakespeare wrote:

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

But then again, Shakespeare didn't have a publisher telling him to build a brand or an Amazon Author Page.

message 6: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Smith (adrianjsmith) | 25 comments I use a pen name. I don't expect to ever get famous lol though it wouldn't affect my pen name. I write some topics that are "colorful" so I don't want people to know my real name, also it's rather unique and uncommon so it's harder to hide.

Secondly, my job would not approve of my writing. While some people would be supportive others would not and I could easily lose my job and career. The pen name helps protect me against that.

There's no issue concerning copy right when it comes to pen names even though some people think that. The publisher does need to know all legal names so that you can actually get paid! Lol.

message 7: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 100 comments I use a pen name, it's one of my middle names and actual last name so that I still am connected to it. I'm trying to become a teacher, and stuff so I thought a pen name would be nice. I'm weird as a girl I eventually want to get married and would change my name so I didn't want any issues with that either. I really went back and forth on using one or not, ended up with a pen name that I could connect with.

message 8: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Smith (adrianjsmith) | 25 comments I connect to my pen name! Lol it's not just random. My initials if born a boy would have been AJ Smith. My last name is the same and I wanted an androgynous first name. =P

message 9: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra Lawson I have to admit that I found myself really torn on this issue because my real name sounds like a pen name. Well, maybe it just sounds like the name of the head cheerleader, or a topless dancer. I went with a pen name because I thought Candy Bright was a little too fluffy for a paranormal romance writer. I use my maiden name and that an old coworker used for me.

message 10: by Lauryn (new)

Lauryn April (laurynapril) | 44 comments I decided to go with a pen name for two reasons. First my real last name is long and impossibly hard to pronounce. And, second I wanted to keep my writing a separate from the rest of my life. I write YA Paranormal Romance so no worries about telling my family and friends about that. But, I didn't want to have any fans I may have commenting on my personal facebook page, or through my personal e-mail which I use to connect with family and friends.

message 11: by Ubiquitous (new)

Ubiquitous Bubba (ubiquitousbubba) I use a pen name. I know it's shocking, but Ubiquitous Bubba was not the name I was initially given at birth. I believe that name was, "You Idjit!"

Anyway, I use a pen name for privacy reasons. In my day job, a hobby/side job as a Science Fiction/Humor author is considered unprofessional. I keep my author identity isolated from my "professional" identity.

The folks at Google+ consider this to be a Crime Against Humanity. No one else seems to care.

message 12: by S.J. (new)

S.J. McCoy (sjmccoy) | 3 comments I am getting ready to publish my first novel - a contemporary romance - and have decided to go with a pen name.

I'm finding it hard getting started because, in my attempt to maintain two separate identities, I have to start from absolute zero in the online social world. I'll get the hang of it I'm sure.

Interesting to hear everyone's rationale. Thank you.

message 13: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 100 comments SJ I get it, people look at me like I'm crazy when I say I have two facebook profiles.

message 14: by Adrian (new)

Adrian Smith (adrianjsmith) | 25 comments Omg yes. Two face books and three twitters and two good reads. People think I'm crazy!!!!!

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Leigh (jedijessicuh) I never wanted to start from zero in the online social world when it came to my novels. How would I possibly market to my friends and family, and them pass it on to their friends and family, if I didn't tell them that it was me who wrote the books? I'm sure it's possible and that other authors have done it with ease, but I like the recognition of my friends getting excited about my debut novel and asking when it's due, if they can get it signed, if I'll give them spoilers, etc.

I don't know how to premarket without using my name and credit as a person as a foot in the door. I don't usually solicit things to my friends or family, but this is something worth soliciting to them. Since my novel is science fiction, I also have nothing to hide. I know that some romance and erotica writers don't want their family or friends to know they write those kinds of things. For me it's not like that. There's no sex in my novel so my mom won't get all grossed out when she reads it.

message 16: by Jill (new)

Jill O’Bones (jill_h_obones) | 8 comments I use a pen name, privacy is the main reason. Even though we are one and the same, I want to keep my life and Jill's as separate as possible, there are some who wouldn't be thrilled about my hobby, and I could end up losing my job.

Another reason is that I want my stories judged for the story, not by who wrote it.

I do have another pen name if I ever decided to publish the drafts I have wrote in the general romance genre. But Jill will be the one who writes the fantasy, horror, and sci-fi stories.

message 17: by Ron (new)

Ron Heimbecher (RonHeimbecher) | 42 comments I currently have half a dozen pseudonyms ... one of which is a dog ... so I can tie a specific personality to a genre. I also have fun with my pseudonyms being characters in stories by other pseudonyms...


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