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JenUK24
06-09-2008, 02:55 AM
Hello all.

Has anyone ever written under a pseudonym?
If I wanted to do that how do I go about that, do I notify publishers and agents when I send my MS to them.

You help is appreciated.
Thanks in advance

J X

Talkatoast
06-10-2008, 10:24 PM
Stephen King wrote under a pseudonym as Richard Bachman. Mark Twain did the same. You can do one whenver you like, but you do have to notify agents and publishers that you're writing under one. You generally let them know through a query letter or cover letter.

Oh wow...that's not what I meant!

Shadow_Ferret
06-10-2008, 10:53 PM
Stephen King wrote under a pseudonym as Richard Bachman. Mark Twain did the same. Mark Twain wrote as Richard Bachman? Who knew! ;)

When you submit your manuscript, you put all your real contact information in the upper left.

For the byline, you write your psuedonym.

They'll understand.

Kind of like this:
Shadow Ferret
122 Main St.
Milwaukee, WI


The Dream of Andromeda
by Richard Bachman

Maryn
06-10-2008, 10:54 PM
I write under a pseudonym for my erotica, my real name for suspense.

See Writer's Market for how to do the cover page for a novel or the page 1 header for a short story, and the page headers for either, when you use a pseudonym. (It's easy, but hard to explain. The pseudonym always goes in the "by AuthorName" spot, your real name on the cover/page 1 header. On each page's header, your real name, in parentheses, follows your pen name.)

You'd conduct all your correspondence with agents or publishers under your real name.

Maryn, who sometimes forgets that's not her actual name

Edit: Oh, wait, you're in the UK. You won't find Writer's Market. I don't know if Writers' & Artists' Yearbook has the same info, but I bet it does.

Michael Davis
06-10-2008, 11:00 PM
Each time a publisher accepts one of my novels, they send a package I have to complete. One of the items to be filled in is what pseudonym/pen name I want to publish under. I always use my real name. Why? It takes a long time to get recognized by name. Why would I want to have readers re-identify with me under a different name. I could understand if the genres are diverse (like SF and western) buy mine are all within the mystery/suspense/thriller areas.

I'm curious. Let's assume that no one hiding from their true identify would write. What other reason than cross genre writing would warrant using an alias? Would appreciate enlightenment, cause I don't see the advantage.

Mr Flibble
06-10-2008, 11:07 PM
What other reason than cross genre writing would warrant using an alias?

Because if I was writing erotica, I wouldn't want to give my mum another stroke.

I'm in the UK. My Writer's and Artist's yearbook -- after a quick look I can't see anything, but I'm pretty sure shadow ferret had it right for the facing page of your MS. In your query you might sign as Real Name ( writing as Assumed Name) and as Maryn suggests on your headers.

ETA aha I knew I had it somewhere! Marina Oliver has a sample facing page - real details top right. Centre page like so:

Title of Book
By Assumed Name
(psuedonym of Real Name)

It's not 100% clear, but I think it's her real name on the headers with the title.

Shadow_Ferret
06-10-2008, 11:14 PM
My reason for a psuedonym are that I'm writing in a genre, with adult themes, that I wouldn't want people at my church knowing I write, or my sons' teachers at the church's school knowing I write.

I intend to write everything under this one psuedonym, not have several for each genre.

Besides, my psuedonym is easier to pronounce than my real name.

Soccer Mom
06-11-2008, 12:03 AM
My real name is boring. I publish kid's stuff under my boring and more adult things under my pen name. I have a job that puts me in the public eye and I need to keep my writing seperate from my day job.

Claudia Gray
06-11-2008, 12:16 AM
I publish under a pseud. There is no need to bring this up at the query stage. Wait until you have the agent (or even the sale) before you deal with it -- there will be fewer headaches all around in terms of keeping things straight before these people know you well, and besides, both your agent and your publisher may want to weigh in on your choice of pseudonym.

Red-Green
06-11-2008, 12:20 AM
Yup. Good friend of mine recently sold her first novel and it wasn't until all that was said and done that she, agent, and publisher all sat down to figure out what name to use. She works in a fairly public position in the entertainment industry and has an unusual name, so she felt she needed to publish under a different name.


I publish under a pseud. There is no need to bring this up at the query stage. Wait until you have the agent (or even the sale) before you deal with it -- there will be fewer headaches all around in terms of keeping things straight before these people know you well, and besides, both your agent and your publisher may want to weigh in on your choice of pseudonym.

Irysangel
06-11-2008, 12:25 AM
What Claudia Gray said - I queried under my real name. When we got an offer, I mentioned I wanted to publish under my pseudonym. I had one picked out. They told me to change it. ;)

Names, like book titles, are not always set in stone. I know another gal who was told "Your last name is too hard to pronounce. Pick a new one."

Bubastes
06-11-2008, 12:28 AM
Like Soccer Mom, I use a pseudonym to keep my writing separate from my day job.

JJ Cooper
06-11-2008, 02:07 AM
I queried for an agent under my real name.

After accepting representation, I informed my agent I will be writing under a psuedonym.

We sent the proposal to the publishers under my psuedonym. During the negotiation stage we informed the publisher of my real name and why I wanted to write under a psuedonym.

All's good.

JJ

Bayley
06-11-2008, 06:05 PM
I'm curious. Let's assume that no one hiding from their true identify would write. What other reason than cross genre writing would warrant using an alias? Would appreciate enlightenment, cause I don't see the advantage.

If I ever finish my book and get published, then I would use a pen name. Mainly for three reasons:

1) No-one can spell my name, so if I get published and people want to look for me online, they won't be able to find me unless than can spell my name (which is very unlikely, considering my lecturers and friends can't).

2) I want to train to be a lawyer when I've done my degree, but I think some people would be prejudice about me also being a writer, especially if they hate my books.

3) I don't want my friends to know as I feel self-conscious about letting people I know see my work.

Oh, and I read somewhere else that you write it like how other people have said:
Title
Pen name
Real name
(Making sure you mention which one is which and don't just put 'by').

Shadow_Ferret
06-11-2008, 08:45 PM
I publish under a pseud. There is no need to bring this up at the query stage. Wait until you have the agent (or even the sale) before you deal with it -- there will be fewer headaches all around in terms of keeping things straight before these people know you well, and besides, both your agent and your publisher may want to weigh in on your choice of pseudonym.
Well, when you query, often you send the first several pages. This would include the title and byline, no? So wouldn't you put the psuedonym in the byline at that time?

MsK
06-11-2008, 09:21 PM
Iíve got a ways to go , but, at this stage of the game, I am thinking I would use a pen name. I write womenís fiction , and while I think my stories would appeal to women, in general, it is clear to me that some of my stories would have more appeal to a younger audience and others a more middle-aged audience.
My thought s are that it would be misleading to publish one book that has mass appeal to women in their 20ís and then, right afterwards, publish another that has mass appeal to women in their 30ís and 40ís.
I could be wrong, but my personal experience is to expect similar type stories from the same author when it comes to lighter womenís fiction.
I also have a more dramatic piece in mind, and it would greatly differ from all of the lighter writing I am doing. For that, I would definitely use a pen name.

Susan Gable
06-11-2008, 09:28 PM
Names, like book titles, are not always set in stone. I know another gal who was told "Your last name is too hard to pronounce. Pick a new one."

LOL. That happened to me. The second sentence out of my first editor's mouth, after "we want to buy your book" was "Will you take a pen name?"

Yep. Already figured I had to. There are days when I'd like to change my real name to my pen name because my pen name is just so much easier to deal with. :)

Susan G.

inkkognito
06-12-2008, 12:15 AM
I wrote a couple of articles under a pseudonym, mainly because I used friends in the examples and didn't want them to know (they were NOT flattering examples). They were for a magazine that I worked with frequently, so I just explained that I wanted to use the pseudonym and included it on the manuscript.

Another friend (NOT the one in the examples) had a sister who subscribed to that publication. My friend knew about my pseudonym but her sister didn't. So sis reads the article and says, "Wow! This sounds just like one of Barb's articles!" I was really surprised that she could tell it was me.

JenUK24
06-12-2008, 02:24 AM
Each time a publisher accepts one of my novels, they send a package I have to complete. One of the items to be filled in is what pseudonym/pen name I want to publish under. I always use my real name. Why? It takes a long time to get recognized by name. Why would I want to have readers re-identify with me under a different name. I could understand if the genres are diverse (like SF and western) buy mine are all within the mystery/suspense/thriller areas.

I'm curious. Let's assume that no one hiding from their true identify would write. What other reason than cross genre writing would warrant using an alias? Would appreciate enlightenment, cause I don't see the advantage.

The reason I want to write under one, is that I have an idea to write a book on my experiences of first time motherhood, something that first time mums can read from someone in their position. A personal account without all the big medical words and the DO THIS & DONT DO THAT. Its a personal experience that I want to share but also to keep for myself, so I thought that by writing under a pen name I could ahieve both....Does that make sense?

J X

patrick bateman
06-13-2008, 12:49 AM
I've had a novel published under a pseudonym and I think it was the wrong decision because friends and family (and enemies!) who would have bought the book just because it has my name on the cover so they could show others never bought it for the reason that it didn't have my name on it. I'll never write under a pseudonym again. Plus, in this day and age, your pseudonym is easily found out anyway if someone really wants to know who you are. When I did do it though, I had my real name with my contact details on the cover page and my pseudonym under my title.

BlackViolet13
06-13-2008, 09:00 AM
My husband is in law enforcement. Neither of us wants the lovelies he arrests to draw the connection between the two of us, for starters. We already have enough to worry about when it comes to privacy.

Second, I am entering a career in public health and plan to use my minor in writing to focus on technical writing or health education writing. I don't want people Googling my name who are looking for articles on West Nile Virus or avian flu to come across stories about randy fairies, evil wizards, and the women who love them. And I sure as hell don't want them to think that I believe alchemy or potions are really the ways to fix either of those diseases ;) I can just imagine my performance reviews.

James81
06-13-2008, 07:43 PM
What other reason than cross genre writing would warrant using an alias? Would appreciate enlightenment, cause I don't see the advantage.

Personally, I don't think my last name sounds very "authorish".

I've thought about using a psuedonym or hell even a message board handle that I use.

But I can't decide.