Support for Indie Authors discussion

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message 1: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Finch | 101 comments Dilemma, use a real name or think of other, interesting, provocative, sounding mouthful...
How does it work with, eg. amazon acc... setting an actual acc using your legit first and last, but publishing under pen name?
Pen-ny for your thoughts!


message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi Frederick. When you set up your account through Amazon or any other outlet, you must use your real name and tax ID info. Beyond that, you can put any name you like into the author field.


message 3: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) And if you copyright it, there is a place for a pseudonym, and for your real name.


message 4: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Finch | 101 comments Does it have to be name that no one has (refering to the ordinary, common names, not the one already used by some author)? I mean, lot of ppl have the same name :)
Might sound stupid, but as I said, it's a dilemma.


message 5: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments You can't copyright a name. So any name will do. But for marketing purposes you really don't want to use a name that's common or too popular.

Use the pseudonym Stephen King and no one will ever find your books because the "real" Stephen King is going to swamp you.

Don't use an extremely generic pen name either because if you tell someone, "Oh, just look my name up!" And there are 1,000,000 other people with that name, then they'll never find you.

But the more important question is why do you want one in the first place? There are threads galore on this topic all over the internet. Here's one by an award winning author, and writing business blogger, that I usually point to:

http://kriswrites.com/2013/10/02/the-...


message 6: by Morris (last edited Nov 23, 2015 09:01AM) (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) I had first decided to use the pen name Eugene J. Douzat. Later someone said they liked my real name better, so I discarded it. I would go for a name that you don't consider famous at this time, especially the same name as another author. I thought my name, Morris Graham, was an unusual combination. Then I did a word search of my own name at the copyright office and found a Morris Graham (not me) and Morris A. Graham both had published works. That is the reason i use the E, Morris E. Graham.

Whatever you do, make it as unique as you can.


message 7: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) If I were to use one, it would be because I know people look at my name and go, "What the heck is that?"

Personally, I think your name, Frederick Finch, sounds and looks quite author-like. If I'm totally mistaken and it's your pseudonym, good choice.


message 8: by Cori (new)

Cori Dyson | 23 comments If I may interject a similar question here, I would like to ask about the use or non-use of first two initials only when writing in science fiction/fantasy genre. Famous example is, of course, J. K. Rowling. I considered C. A. Dyson but I don't like how my initials spell out cad. I had settled on just first and last name, as it appears on Goodreads. Is there still bias against women writing sci-fi/fantasy? I've considered changing my middle initial to something else entirely. Any thoughts/opinions?


message 9: by Morris (last edited Nov 23, 2015 10:53AM) (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) Reminds of the woman detective who gave herself a manly pseudonym "Remington Steele" so she would be taken seriously. Well, you know what happened next, a man showed up and complicated her life/business. I do not know if I am biased by gender of the author, I hope not. My advice, be yourself and make your writing as good and real as you can. But most of all, do it because you love it.


message 10: by Cori (new)

Cori Dyson | 23 comments Thank you Morris! Working on it and love it already!


message 11: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments I don't usually notice the author name until I've decided whether or not I'm interested in the book. You could get rid of the A and just have C. Dyson?

I use my maiden name, which I did on purpose (first published when I was already engaged and knew my name would be changing.)


message 12: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Morris wrote: "I had first decided to use the pen name Eugene J. Douzat."

Okay, I would have gone with Don Douzat or I. Will Douzat or Will U. Douzat... ;p

(Assuming Douzat is pronounced DOO-zat)


message 13: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Cori wrote: "If I may interject a similar question here, I would like to ask about the use or non-use of first two initials only when writing in science fiction/fantasy genre. Famous example is, of course, J. K..."

If there is a bias, and I hate to say it, but yes, there is, the best thing we can do is use our real names or a female pen name. Otherwise, that bias is going to persist.


message 14: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) Christina, actually French, pronounced Doe-Zaht. Eugene J. was my father's first and middle, Douzat was his mother's maiden name. In the end, some of my relatives had done a family tree search and were bragging about a famous author we were descended from. I decided to leave my real name. Who knows, maybe one day my descendants might be proud I was part of the family.


message 15: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Cori wrote: "If I may interject a similar question here, I would like to ask about the use or non-use of first two initials only when writing in science fiction/fantasy genre. Famous example is, of course, J. K..."

What's wrong with CAD? Computer Aided Design is a highly useful thing. ;D


message 16: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Christina wrote: "Morris wrote: "I had first decided to use the pen name Eugene J. Douzat."

Okay, I would have gone with Don Douzat or I. Will Douzat or Will U. Douzat... ;p

(Assuming Douzat is pronounced DOO-zat)"


I like Don Donutz better.

Mmm, donutz!


message 17: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments Yeah, choose whole names if you go for a pseudonym.
Trust me, signing emails 'TL' is really weird! :-/
I'm sure JK Rowling/EL James must have the same issue though.


message 18: by Colin (new)

Colin Lever | 51 comments I am in dilemma on this issue. I am about to publish a novel, a romance but I think it would sell better under under a female pen name. What do you think?


message 19: by Miss (new)

Miss D. | 14 comments I used a pen name, and having an issue on good reads because another author also used the pen name Miss D! Trying to get it resolved. I am the author of Corrupt- Rise to Power, but NOT of Squatters... Be careful choosing a pen name. I used it because it's the name I'm called by inmates at the prison where I work which is what the book is about...


message 20: by Miss (new)

Miss D. | 14 comments Okay guys, they said they fixed it. NICE!


message 21: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) Cori wrote: "Is there still bias against women writing sci-fi/fantasy?"

I should hope not. Geez, I hardly pay attention to the name of the author when I pick up a book. Cover, title, blurb, and not always in that order. But I guess that's just me. I have about the most generic name for an author.


message 22: by Miss (new)

Miss D. | 14 comments I sure hope not as well! Scifi/fantasy is very popular. And who better to write it?...


message 23: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Colin wrote: "I am in dilemma on this issue. I am about to publish a novel, a romance but I think it would sell better under under a female pen name. What do you think?"

I take the same issue with this as I do with women who use a male name to write in sci-fi and fantasy. Gender bias won't go away if we keep feeding it.


message 24: by Miss (new)

Miss D. | 14 comments True Christina. Very true.


message 25: by Jens (new)

Jens Lyon | 47 comments I wrote a blog article about how I chose my pen name. It's called "Google Says I'm Dead & Other Reasons Why I'm Using A Pen Name."

https://jenslyon.wordpress.com/2015/1...


message 26: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Loofbourrow (pattyloof) | 19 comments My take on it is that if you're writing in a very different genre or have a situation where you would NOT want readers to become confused (say you write children's books and also erotica) then you should use a pen name for one of them.


message 27: by Reese (new)

Reese Hogan (reesehogan) | 47 comments Cori wrote: "If I may interject a similar question here, I would like to ask about the use or non-use of first two initials only when writing in science fiction/fantasy genre. Famous example is, of course, J. K..."

Cori, I think you're in a lucky situation where you don't have to worry about the male/female bias and your name, and that is because Cori can belong to either a male or female. So my suggestion would be to just use that. In choosing my pen name, I purposely chose something gender-neutral. People will assume whatever they assume, and only the ones who choose to research further (e.g.. if they like your book!) will know the truth.


message 28: by Reese (new)

Reese Hogan (reesehogan) | 47 comments Jens wrote: "I wrote a blog article about how I chose my pen name. It's called "Google Says I'm Dead & Other Reasons Why I'm Using A Pen Name."

https://jenslyon.wordpress.com/2015/1......"


Also, Jens, I agree with this 100%. I, too, have a generic name that would drown amongst all the others of the same. Just as we try to choose book titles that stand out among the millions of books out there, I think it's worth thinking about finding a name equally as unique, if possible.


message 29: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Finch | 101 comments Woow... this thread just goes and goes :)
The reason why I chose a pseudonym is for my name sounds ordinary, I'm not from the English speaking region and I like my privacy. These 3 reasons, however may sound meaningless or stupid, are actually enough to consider the use of the pen name.


message 30: by P.D. (new)

P.D. Workman (pdworkman) There can definitely be a bias against female names. I use my initials, P.D. Workman. One reason is that URL for my name was already taken. Another is the female author thing. Many of my favourite authors use initials.

Funny enough, some people ask me whether I'm related to P.D. James. Ummm... noooo...


message 31: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments P.D. wrote: "...some people ask me whether I'm related to P.D. James..."

Well...we're all related to one degree or another, so if I were you I'd respond: "Yes. Yes I am."

If they ask you what the relation is, just say you have the same mitochondrial great-something grandmother.


message 32: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) P.D. wrote: "Funny enough, some people ask me whether I'm related to P.D. James. Ummm... noooo... "

Ha! They're not thinking that whole initial concept through, are they? Everyone who goes by "A.J." is related!


message 33: by R.W. (new)

R.W. Andrews (goodreadscomRWAndrews) | 5 comments I write both Fiction and Non Fiction so hence the Pen Name. It basically allows me more freedom with my persona in the fiction genre without creating any confusion with my readers of the Non-fiction books.
As a matter of fact I am working on a book that will be a totally different genre than my other fiction books and have been considering a new pen name for that. If you write any form of fiction having a "non de plume" can add to your writing pleasure IMHO.
People who know me personally would never think RW Andrews & I could be the same person. LOL


message 34: by Adelaide (new)

Adelaide Hipwell (adelaidehipwell) Hi Frederick,
As others have said, pen names are easily used with Amazon's platform. I just wanted to respond to your follow up comment - your reasons are NOT meaningless or stupid. They're quite sound reasons. If you value your privacy, the use of a pen name is probably not adequate protection, however. If someone really wanted to try and figure out your identity, they probably could. I guess you have to decide how vigilant you want to be.


message 35: by Kat (new)

Kat I use a nickname and my real last name in Germany for translation works, because it sounds more catchy and author-like than my first and last name.

For my English writing I will use a pen name, because my real last name is already unusual in German, but really difficult to spell and pronounce for English speakers, especially if they are readers and don't have the benefit of hearing the name spoken during an introduction.


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