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All Things Writing & Publishing > Using Different Pen Name for Different Genres

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message 1: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 1020 comments What do you think? Should you? Would you? Do you?


 Alex ~They/them~ ~Annabeth Chase and Alex Fierro are the best~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments Idk what my pen name should be. I don't have one yet.


message 3: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Marie

Doesn't that mean that you have to re-market your new brand (pen name) name?


message 4: by E.M. (new)

E.M. Thomas | 86 comments One of the veteran editors I worked with strongly advocated using the same name for all genres. He said that the biggest thing for new writers is building a "shelf" (i.e. a catalogue of books), so switching names would be needlessly starting all over again. He also suggested that hitting different genres with the same name shows dexterity and broadens your fan base. Ultimately, who knows if he's right, although I think there is a lot of merit in what he said.

Long way of saying that's the reason I use the same name for my fantasy and historical fiction novels. I'll add that he thought it especially made sense in my case, since my novels - while technically different genres - would appeal to readers of the other, so there would be a lot of natural cross-over. Had I written a fantasy then a children's book, however, I'm not sure he would have been so sanguine about keeping the same name.

If I end up bailing on the traditional route for my HF, it will be interesting to see what happens when I release it myself.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13804 comments Depends, in my opinion, whether your new genre is compatible with the brand or detrimental to it..
I don't think erotica and children books should sit under the same roof, for it'll rather ruin one brand than help, but neighbor genres could go well


message 6: by M.L. (new)

M.L. If you are going from G-rated to XX-rated, a change of name may be something to consider (I've seen writers do that), but even then it isn't a 'rule.' As far as re-building a brand, that's definitely true, but you write so fast :P I think it would be rebuilt quickly. Otherwise, I would say keep the same name. As E.M. mentions, there is cross-over. I see that in the reader groups.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I think it may depend on your genre(s). Does one have to get new social media/goodreads accounts etc to promote the new title? What about author websites?


message 8: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 62 comments The only way I would ever create a second pen name was if I ever decided to write erotica (which I doubt I would ever do). Other than that, I'm keeping the same pen name for all of my work. Not just for the reasons E.M. stated, but also because I don't trust myself to keep all the different pen names straight.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13804 comments Could be surprising, if most of the known best-sellers were all just one undercover lit institute or just a couple of beach bums typing at their leisure -:)


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) M.L. Roberts wrote: "If you are going from G-rated to XX-rated, a change of name may be something to consider (I've seen writers do that), but even then it isn't a 'rule.' As far as re-building a brand, that's definite..."

i'm writing horror and sci-fi. i decided to brand my horror separately from my sci-fi--not to hide my identity. i've tentatively decided to use Auden D Fujisa for my horror and use my real name for my sci-fi. but hearing about cross-over potential causes me some pause.


message 11: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Hi Alex.

Which genre are "Alien", and "The Thing" in?

Sci-fi, Horror, both.

I suspect that there is plenty of cross-over readers in Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror.


message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Hi Alex.

Which genre are "Alien", and "The Thing" in?

Sci-fi, Horror, both.

I suspect that there is plenty of cross-over readers in Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror."


good points. too bad. i thought "Auden D" was kind of clever. it's an anagram for "Undead".


message 13: by Marie Silk (last edited Oct 06, 2016 02:25PM) (new)

Marie Silk | 1020 comments These replies are great! I keep going back and forth over what I should do. My current series of books is historical fiction which is written formally and has a serious/tragic/suspenseful tone. My next series will be lighthearted contemporary adventure, so I don't know that there will be much cross over. But I guess you never know until you try, eh??

The thought of new social media accounts, profiles, and websites is almost enough for me to say "nevermind" on the new pen name lol. I'm already having enough of an identity crisis in my current situation :D.


message 14: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Hi Alex.

Which genre are "Alien", and "The Thing" in?

Sci-fi, Horror, both.

I suspect that there is plenty of cross-over readers in Sci-fi/Fantasy & Horror."


There is lots of cross over in SF/Fantasy - horror. Fever Dream by George Martin is one of the nominees this month for group read and it's shelved almost equally fantasy/horror.


message 15: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Marie Silk wrote: "These replies are great! I keep going back and forth over what I should do. My current series of books is historical fiction which is written formally and has a serious/tragic/suspenseful tone. My ..."

In my opinion, I think you'd have lots of cross-over.


message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) But then again seanan McGuire published her Newsflesh series under her Mira Grant pseudonym and other works under her real name? Anyone know the reasons?


message 17: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 0 comments I used to have 2 pen names in the past - one was an Indian name for my cultural-themed books, the other was a mainstream/non-Indian name for my non-cultural books (I wrote espionage and rom-coms under that one).

Found it utterly trying to keep up 2 personas. There was also no crossover, because no one knew the two names were the same person. I was just starting back then, and thought I needed different names for different genres.

Then, as I got to writing more and more books, a thread started to build. There were similarities between my books, never mind that it was PNR, espionage, or romantic comedy. That thread was - I always had some element of family in there; family was paramount, even for the worldly assassins I wrote.

I then ditched the pen names, electing to use my own name for all my books. Do I have cross over? Yes, because readers know the genre might be different, and the tone might be more aggressive (lots of kills and yes, sex, in my espionage books, with a fast pace ... whereas my rom coms are lighter, sometimes slower, almost no sex or if there is, it isn't overly descriptive).

It is lots easier to keep up one single persona, and since I use my own name, I don't have to "hide" who I really am, too. Like, my FB friends list has my friends, fellow authors, readers, fans, family members, even my 83-yr-old auntie. I share about family life - keeping my family up to date, but this also provides a little in into my life for my readers and fans, getting us closer.

In short, going for my own name was the best writing decision I ever made!


message 18: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Zee wrote: "I used to have 2 pen names in the past - one was an Indian name for my cultural-themed books, the other was a mainstream/non-Indian name for my non-cultural books (I wrote espionage and rom-coms un..."

great info! thx!


message 19: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 0 comments Alex G wrote: "Zee wrote: "I used to have 2 pen names in the past - one was an Indian name for my cultural-themed books, the other was a mainstream/non-Indian name for my non-cultural books (I wrote espionage and..."

Glad if it can help :)


message 20: by Segilola (new)

Segilola Salami (segilolasalami) | 405 comments depends on the genres.

I write children's books as Segilola Salami.

I dabbled in paranormal erotic romance as Elizabeth Salawu.

There would be a lot of problems if, in future, a youth goes searching for my books and picks up an erotic novel if I didn't use a different pen name.


message 21: by Segilola (new)

Segilola Salami (segilolasalami) | 405 comments Marie Silk wrote: "These replies are great! I keep going back and forth over what I should do. My current series of books is historical fiction which is written formally and has a serious/tragic/suspenseful tone. My ..."

I think you should consider what the worst thing is that could happen if you don't create a different pen name. see my previous post above. if it is nothing hazardous, then I wouldn't bother if you don't really want to.


message 22: by Steven (new)

Steven Moore Marie,
After perusing the comments above, I can make one that's a bit unique: the biggest mistake I EVER MADE was not using a pen name. Here's why: go to your browsers and google Steve Moore, Steven Moore, or even Steven M. Moore.
If your real name is so common that it can be confused with hundreds of other people, some of which are more famous (or more infamous) than you, starting out with a pen name is a good idea.
For me, it's too late to change: for what it's worth, some people know me as Steven M. Moore, the author. To change now wouldn't be a good idea.
r/Steve


message 23: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 13 comments I agree with Zee--no matter what you write it's going to have elements of YOU in it, and if I'm a fan of you to begin with I would at least read the preview chapter of the new genre book to see if it was something I'd still enjoy. But if you wrote it under a new name, I'd probably never get that far. You've done so much work promoting your original name--use that success to help propel your new ideas forward! :)


message 24: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) I write poetry, horror, weird westerns and crime thrillers and never thought to use different names other than my own. I've entertained the idea but never really considered it.


message 25: by Steven (new)

Steven Moore Justin,
Because you're name's not so common, I'd do just as you're doing...unless you're writing non-fiction. Hmm. Although a political treatise these days might be considered horror? ;-)
I admire your ability to do poetry. Love the stuff but I'm not good at writing it. N. Scott Momaday taught me to love it, but I don't think he was any good at it either.
Good luck on all your endeavors.
r/Steve


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