Pen Names


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    Jenna Terese

    Hi, all! As some of you may know, I’m planning on self-publishing a novella late summer. I’ve been figuring out self-publishing and marketing and I’ve begun rewriting the little beast, but one question arises; do I need a pen name? my parents want to kind of keep me protected, and though having my real name on my published book has been a dream of mine, I do want to be safe. What do y’all think? what are the pros and cons?

    @dekreel @snapper @moreafirebird @ingridrd @mariposa @warrenluther04 @hope-ann please tag more cuz I don’t know very may people here yet πŸ™‚

    "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." -Martin Luther

    Jenna Terese

    @morreafirebird @ingrid

    "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." -Martin Luther


    I’m new here as well, so I’m afraid I can’t do much tagging. xD However, I will say that personally, IΒ love pen names. In fact, my own name, Heather Jones, is a pen name. Here’s why I enjoy them:

    First and foremost,Β I think it is easier to be respected for your writing when people don’t know who it is that does the writing. I don’t know, that is probably just a selfish motive of mine, but when people don’t know who I am I feel a certain amount of protection and… hope for my writing? I’m not sure. This really isn’t that theological of a response, and honestly is probably fueled by insecurity. Ah well. There’s my thoughts, I’ll take my penny now. xD

    Refutation: It may be better to be brave and show people who you truly are, and what you can write, and what you believe. Yes, it’s pretty scary when you put your thoughts and worlds and characters and (essentially) pieces of yourself for others to examine and judge (for good or ill), but God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. 1 Tim. 1:7. πŸ™‚

    Second, you can be wild and creative! It’s awesome! There is literally an author who has the pen name of Pseudonymus Bosch – and, as you probably already know, pseudonym is another term for pen name.

    Refutation: … I don’t really have one for this. I think it’s pretty great. xD

    Third, yes, safety. Safety is important. Even more important, though, are your parents wishes. If they want to keep you protected with a pen name, go with the pen name. Besides, like I mentioned above, they can be pretty awesome. πŸ˜‰

    Refutation: … eh, I don’t really have anything for this either except maybe pray. Pray that, if your parents want you to have a pen name, that either (a) their minds change in accordance with God’s will or (b) you come to respect and appreciate their decision.

    People who are wiser than me: Please, intervene if you have anything to change or add.

    Hope this helps.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Grace.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Grace.

    Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.

    Jenna Terese

    @h-jones yes this was helpful! Thank you 😊❀️

    "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." -Martin Luther


    @jenwriter17 You tagged me, so I shall come from the depths of my dragon den to answer. Also because I used to deal with this question myself.

    So, at first I was thinking, hey D.G. Snapper isn’t so bad a pen name. In fact, it’s really cool and unique. And the letter S is smack dab in the middle of the library, so maybe they’ll see my book more. πŸ˜› Obviously my logic was top notch. XD

    But it came down to this. If you pick the pen name and put it on your book, then you’re going to have to stick with that for… a REALLY LONG TIME. Say, if I chose the name D.G. Snapper and put that on a book and published it, then I would be building my reader base completely based on that name. People would recognize the name D.G. Snapper and associate it with my stories, whether good or bad. Everything I did is carried in that name.

    So the question: do I really want that to be my name, my fame name, for the rest of my life? If its your dream to have your name, your REAL name on a book, then I would go ahead and do it. Really, and build your real name as your base name. That way people don’t have to be split between two names.

    Especially if you plan on traditional publishing ever. Then you say, “I self-published this book, just not under my real name,” and makes it slightly more difficult for the publishers because they expect us to do a lot of the base building. Two names is no.

    Pick one.

    And finally, the question of safety is always a good one. My name is a rather unique last name, so it’s even more likely to stand out compared to Snapper. However, there are ways to keep yourself safe even while using your real name. You can make your social media accounts private if and when you have one or get one. Blocking people is amazing — really, I love blocking people. XD You can even block some people from your blog if you want to. Really, to stay safe on the internet is to be cautious and aware and not too trusting.

    Which is why we’re trying to stay safe. πŸ˜›

    But I think the biggest problem is if you every announce your address or your email on the internet. Email isn’t too bad, you just have to recognize that anyone can see it. And your address. Yeah, no. Just never post that. Never never.

    Finally, it’s up to you and what you want to do. I, eventually, decided to go with my real name, because I didn’t want my names to be split among bases. So now my name is Danielle, and that is that. πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, there are my thoughts. Feel free to tag me with any questions you have.

    Snapper out.

    *melts chair*

    Hope Ann

    @jenwriter17 Remember that you are your brand. Whether you choose a pen name or not, you are your name and that is how people will know you. If you do go with a pen name, you want to make sure you have something that’s not overly dramatic – say Crimson Blade. Just… don’t do it.

    I do have a pen name of sorts. I use my first and middle name to publish under and just leave off my last name. My main reason for this was so I wouldn’t have to change it when I got married. πŸ˜› I wouldn’t be worried about safety when it just comes to publishing your name on the cover of a book. The main thing you’ll need to worry about comes when you need to put something like an address on your newsletters (some people rent PO boxes for that). But a name… there tend to be lots of people with the same name, so I think you’re good there.

    The main thing is to realize that if you use a pen name, you’ll probably be stuck with it for a long time, so make sure it’s what you want to do, you have valid reasons for doing it, have researched, and that it’s good before settling on one. πŸ˜‰

    Victory in the march. Hope in the destination.

    Jenna Terese

    @snapper awesome in-depth response πŸ˜‰ thanks so much, this really helped me

    thank you! I’ve had several people suggesting I use my first and middle name. πŸ™‚

    "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." -Martin Luther

    Linyang Zhang

    Well, while a pen name keeps you safe, it can also decrease the amount of credit you get.

    I myself have several pen names, two that I use very often. I had a lot of fun creating them (Devastate Lasting, Vigil Scorpius) and the first one I simply used my own initials.

    I myself being an introvert (as well as my sister) we spend a lot of time fantasizing about having a booth at some book con and nobody knows our name or face and we’re all like mysterious and stuffs…

    But anyway, do whatever you want! Using your first and middle names also sounds like a good idea, or initializing your first and middle name and keeping your last name (J.K. Rowling) or using a nick name (Rick Riordan) can also be good for like a semi pen name.

    "I set a melody upon the scenery I saw outside my window;
    It's beginning in my spacy world."
    - TK

    Mariposa Aristeo

    @jenwriter17 You already have a lot of great advice here. πŸ™‚ I do think using a first and middle name and leaving off your last is a good idea. That way you can keep it real and safe.

    Another thing to keep in mind is how common your last name is. For instance, if your last name were β€œSmith,” it’d probably be safe to use since thousands of people have that last name. However, if it were something unusual, like β€œPocketfinder” or something, you might want to consider using a pen name.

    I think dinosaurs are cooler than dragons. πŸ¦–

    Jenna Terese

    @mariposa @devastate-lasting thank you both! πŸ˜‰

    "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." -Martin Luther

    K.M. Small

    @jenwriter17 there’s a lot of other good thoughts here, but I’ll just add my two cents real quick πŸ˜‰

    I personally do have a pen name (Audrey Caylin). The main reason I decided to go with it was because the spelling of my real name can be difficult for some people to remember, and it’s a pet peeve of mine when I’m looking up an author and can’t remember how to spell their name correctly XD My middle name is worse, so I couldn’t go with that either, and my last name is…well, I’d call it a bit blander than Smith πŸ˜› (plus if I ever get married, I don’t want to change my author name).

    However, sometimes I wish I’d gone with a pen name that had my first initials, because if a form or something asks for my real name and then my pen name, I put in two totally different names. Which can really confuse people XD When that’s necessary, I’ve taken to using my real first name followed by my pen name, especially if I’m meeting other writers in person.

    All that rambly mess aside, I’d say get a pen name if 1) your real name is difficult to spell or remember or 2) you want to “stay safe.” If you do use one, I’d suggest your first and/or middle name, or your real initials. Or, if you’re fine being called by a totally different name by everyone who reads your writing (I start when I hear people say “Audrey” at the grocery store πŸ˜› ), then go with something totally different. Just know that you’re building your brand around it and will probably have it for quite a while, so put some thought into it.

    Hope that helps πŸ™‚

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky


    @Jenwriter17 πŸ˜‰ Anytime.

    *melts chair*



    Well, I think that there are pros and cons to using pen names. (Which has already been said. o.o) I’ve used a pen name…but never published with it. (Cuz Warren Luther, while I like that name, isn’t my name. 😐 )


    • Anonymity: Your readers have no idea who you are, where you live, or any clue to personal information.
    • Safety:Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β ^^ That. Basically, pen names keep you safe. XD
    • If you want to keep your story separate from other books that you’ve written/your old fan base, you can do it with a pen name.


    • Anonymity: I mean, you kinda have to explain to everyone why your name isn’t on the book…


    That’s all I can think of right now. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps!

    House Vizsla, Clan Avis
    Member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Phoenix Squadron


    This is a really interesting conversation. I wish I had something to add…

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson


    Now I’m wondering if I should make a pen name.

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

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