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Using a Pen Name

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Using a Pen Name

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #125276
    sparrowhawke
    @sparrowhawke

    Any opinions/advice on using a pen name? I’ve been thinking about using my real first name and a different last name for any publication.

    Semper ubi sub ubi.

    #125391
    Arindown (Gracie)
    @arindown

    @sparrowhawke My only thought is that you have to be consistent with whatever name you pick, and Β to make sure you don’t have the same name as someone else.

    I’m planning to use my real name, but instead of Grace, I’ll put Gracie, because there is already a writer with my name.

    Not all who wander are lost.

    #125518
    Daeus Lamb
    @daeus-lamb

    @sparrowhawke

    People generally create a pen name because:

    • They think readers have a bias against female authors so they make their name sound more masculine or gender neutral. I have no strong opinions on how true this is, but if you go this route consider using initials to hide your gender instead.
    • They want to remain completely anonymous. If that’s you, you’ll need to take many other steps to maintain anonymity.
    • They think it’s cool, or just what you do, or it’s more humble. (I disagree with all of these.)
    • Their name is hard to remember or spell. Imagine if a big fan of yours is on a big podcast and he or she mentions you as their favorite author, so a bunch of people try to look you up online but can’t find you because your name is hard to spell. Tough luck. Maybe you should have used a pen name.
    • They want to create distinct brands. For instance, I write fantasy. But say I wanted to write historical fiction. I would at least consider publishing my HF under a pen name to keep my brands separate.

    If none of these (or the third category) apply to you, I recommend using your real name.

    πŸ˜€
    πŸ‘•πŸ‘
    πŸ‘– 🐒🐒🐒🐒🐒

    #125577
    sparrowhawke
    @sparrowhawke

    @daeus-lamb

    Thank you for the detailed reply! I’ll definitely consider those points.

    Semper ubi sub ubi.

    #126809
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    Wow this is late. Sorry. Another consideration if you’re a single female is that a pen name will prevent confusion if/when you get married; you won’t have to decide whether to change your publishing name or maintain your maiden name for publishing purposes because you’ll already have a pen name that’s its own thing.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

    #127659
    sparrowhawke
    @sparrowhawke

    @r-m-archer

    Thanks for the reply! I was thinking about that.

    May I ask why you chose to go with a pen name? I’m thinking that when I start a blog, I’ll use just my first name, or first name and last two initials until I’m comfortable using my full name. (If I get published, I’d use my first and last name.)

    Semper ubi sub ubi.

    #127706
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @sparrowhawke

    Because I picked it when I was 15 and 1) was worried about privacy and 2) wanted a name that seemed “cooler” than my real name. XD I realized the no-name-change-required perk a bit later. Nowadays I use my real first name in a lot of situations, but I still use my pen name on published works and in my more professional online-only correspondence. I rarely include my real last name in any situation, for continued privacy reasons.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

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