Memoir Authors discussion

General > Pseudonym or No? Opinions, please.

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message 1: by Michele (last edited Aug 18, 2015 12:48PM) (new)

Michele | 13 comments I was wondering if I could get some opinions on something related to the publishing of my upcoming memoir.

There are two books currently published under my name, and in one case, with my late husband's as well. Both are on adult subjects (yes, the "S" word), as together we wrote adult product reviews and educational articles for several years.

The memoir I am working on is about how he died as a result of medical negligence, and how I as an agoraphobic with PTSD have learned to adjust after the loss. I'm hoping that others will find it to be a tale of love and resilience, or maybe even find some kernels of wisdom to help them through their own losses. Our involvement in those loose fringes of the adult industry is mentioned in the memoir because not only was it a relevant part of his final days, but some of our website readers gave a remarkable show of support after his death, which bears telling about. However, it does not in any way focus on that part of our lives.

My concern is that the memoir might be judged, and automatically skipped over, by readers who see the titles of our other books on Amazon. Even though neither of them have dirty language or porn-worthy descriptions in them, I know all too well how some people frown on such things.

Now I am wondering whether or not it might be better to publish the memoir under a pseudonym. I'm not ashamed that we were an adventurous couple; if anything, I'd have to say it's part of why our relationship remained so strong for over two decades. But this is the one time in my life when I don't need to get hate mail based on that fact.

On a side note, I have future books on the back burner which have nothing to do with adult subjects at all. Should I be considering a trio of pseudonyms? How would you handle this?

message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Walter (katewalter) | 28 comments I think you should use your real name. The readers who would overlook your book because of your involvement in the adult industry are probably not your audience.

message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele | 13 comments Kate wrote: "I think you should use your real name. The readers who would overlook your book because of your involvement in the adult industry are probably not your audience."

Oh that's a very good point, and one that I hadn't even thought of. Thank you so much for your input.

message 4: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Hi Michele, I also think that you should use your real name, especially because you already have a following of loyal supporters. They will be your first buyers and will probably recommend your book to their friends too. Your audience will grow from there as well as from a new audience who will be people interested in your story. When I find an interesting book, I don't always go and check out what other books the author has written right away. Often this will only happen if I've enjoyed reading the book first. I also think that less people these days are uptight about sex and I really don't think it will deter those who are interested in your story - which sounds fascinating by the way!

You could see how this book goes and decide later about whether or not to write the future books under a pen name. You might not want to after you have already built an audience.

message 5: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments And... you'll probably also find that the sales of your other two books will improve as there will be those who, after reading your memoir, will be interested to read the books you and your husband wrote together!

message 6: by Michele (last edited Aug 30, 2015 01:57AM) (new)

Michele | 13 comments Thank you Leila. You and Kate have both given me a lot to think about outside of my initial worries, and I realize that I was not looking at the whole picture after all.
I'm going to go ahead with the "no pseudonym" for this one too then.

message 7: by John (new)

John Davis (johndavis) | 52 comments I agree. Use your real name. I contemplated using a pseudonym for my memoir because I thought there were things I may not be comfortable being known by people that knew me. It sounds weird that I didn't care if strangers knew them but I was worried about friends. Then my editor said well do you want to sell ANY books??? He was right.

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