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View Full Version : Anyone publish under a pseudonym?



henry_krinkle
06-28-2012, 07:57 AM
Just wondering how common this is among self-publishers? I know a few authors who have self-published under a pseudonym and they are enjoying the anonymity, as it allows them to pursue traditional publishing without the 'stigma' associated with self-published authors.

shaldna
06-28-2012, 01:17 PM
Just wondering how common this is among self-publishers? I know a few authors who have self-published under a pseudonym and they are enjoying the anonymity, as it allows them to pursue traditional publishing without the 'stigma' associated with self-published authors.


I've published under a couple of different names. I'm both trade and self published. I've never used a different name to avoid stigma - I feel that if I'm embarrassed about self publishing then I shouldn't be doing it.

I DO use different names for different genres, and sometimes just for the fun of it.

Old Hack
06-28-2012, 01:58 PM
I've never used a different name to avoid stigma - I feel that if I'm embarrassed about self publishing then I shouldn't be doing it.

This.

Henry, no matter what pseudonym you use you're going to be found out eventually. You'd be surprised how much can be discovered online.

AnnikaHTDC
06-28-2012, 03:08 PM
I was lucky enough to be born with a pretty good sounding author name. Plus, I'm proud of my writing and I want everyone to know its mine without any confusion.

Nightmelody
06-28-2012, 04:21 PM
I use the same pen name for all my scifi rom/speculative romance but have a second one for erotic romance. Privacy and branding.

The_Riskbreaker
06-28-2012, 05:30 PM
I'm changing my name for authorship in general. Mainly because I don't want people from my past who either hated or snubbed me to be turned off from my books before they've taken in a page or two. Now, instead of using some crazy name like "Longbranch Pennywhistle" or "Doughnut Holestein", I just switched my middle and first name names, and initialed my new middle. John Q. Public becomes Quincy J. Public.

And I agree with @shaldna. Doing it to hide yourself because you're ashamed of self-pubbing is an indicator that you might not want to go that route.

shaldna
06-28-2012, 06:24 PM
I'm changing my name for authorship in general. Mainly because I don't want people from my past who either hated or snubbed me to be turned off from my books before they've taken in a page or two.

Why bother with what they think?

Does their opinion really mean that much to you?

And besides, unless you book is super bestseller, chances are they may never even know it exists. I mean, I read a lot, but I discover new authors and new books every single day. When I walk into Waterstones I know that I've probably never heard of 99% of the authors on the shelves.

This is why I hate it when people ask me 'have I heard of you'

veinglory
06-28-2012, 07:24 PM
Pseudonyms are paper walls, people who are really motivated will see through them.

writerjohnb
06-28-2012, 07:41 PM
I use a pseudonym for my children's writing, but for a reason. My last name, Bushore, can be pronounced several different ways. Believe me, I know. So, like Theodore Geisel and Dr. Seuss, I write as MonkeyJohn.

When my nephew was very small, his older brother and my kids told him that everyone had evolved from a monkey and I was that monkey, and that my name wasn't Uncle John, but Monkey John. He called me MonkeyJohn after that.

randi.lee
06-28-2012, 08:37 PM
I use a different name for children's work than I do more "adult" works, mainly because I don't want a kid potentially/accidentally being exposed to a book meant for more mature audiences.

henry_krinkle
06-29-2012, 03:15 AM
The reason I would consider using a pseudonym is because I'm currently studying to be a psychotherapist.

The books I've written are pretty vulgar (lol) and I would hate for one of my prospective patients to discover me online and say, "He wrote this? Maybe it's best if I avoid him".

Of course, if the books turn out to be successful, I would just drop out and pursue writing full-time, proud to use my real name, but until that day, a pseudonym is the best option I think.

Katallina
06-29-2012, 04:28 AM
If I were going to use one it would be Kaye Perry in honor of my grandmother. Her name is a bit longer then "Kaye" but that was what my grandpa called her and when I made up my first heroine when I was really young I named her "Kaya", not realizing exactly why until much later.

As it stands, I will probably release my books as my own name, Kathy Ann Coleman, since I've had my name attached to my book blog for over a year now. But at least I do have a nice alternate name if I decide to write in a different genre in the future. :)

Personally I am delighted to have the ability to share my stories with others -- whether that ends up being through a trade publisher or through self publishing. For me, the only reason to use a pen name would be (as I said above) if I wanted to avoid confusion in genres for some reason. I'm currently buried in ideas for YA books so that shouldn't be an issue for a while. :)

katci13
06-29-2012, 04:48 AM
I know authors that have published under different names for different genres. That makes sense to me.

Personally, I'm changing my last name, but that's because I don't really like it for writing.

Captcha
06-29-2012, 05:10 AM
I write under two different pseudonyms, and I do it for the anonymity.

Yeah, if someone was really curious, they could probably figure out my real identity. But I'm not ADVERTISING my real identity. If someone googles my real name, they find my 'regular' life, not my writing life. If I ever get famous enough as a writer that people think it's worth while to track down the real me, that's fine, but until I'm that famous, I want my day job kept separate from my hobby.

shadowwalker
06-29-2012, 05:14 AM
I'm going to use a pen name for two reasons - 1) to maintain my privacy as long as possible, and 2) because my last name is hard to pronounce and thus spell correctly, and my first name sounds contrived.

lorna_w
06-29-2012, 05:21 AM
I'll talk to my agent about it when I have a publishing contract for a novel in hand.

DarthPanda
06-29-2012, 05:56 AM
I like to keep my adult work separate from my children's novels, so when I publish my horror/dark fantasy titles, I do so under the pseudonym "Stephen King", and my juvenile fiction is published under "J. K. Rowling".

Beachgirl
06-29-2012, 06:08 AM
I use a pseudonym because I want to keep my "day job" professional life seperate from my writing life. I've kicked around writing a YA novel and I would use a different name for that genre. Wouldn't want the kiddos picking up one of my smutty little romances by accident, would we?

merrihiatt
06-29-2012, 06:18 AM
I like to keep my adult work separate from my children's novels, so when I publish my horror/dark fantasy titles, I do so under the pseudonym "Stephen King", and my juvenile fiction is published under "J. K. Rowling".

Ha!

Nightmelody
06-29-2012, 07:12 AM
Also, my first and last name rhyme. It's just too cute. Maybe would work for preschool picture books.

Unimportant
06-29-2012, 07:14 AM
I use a pseudonym because I want to keep my "day job" professional life separate from my writing life.
Ditto. As Veinglory says, anyone who digs hard enough will figure out who I am, but putting up even a flimsy wall provides sufficient anonymity that my day-job-employers can't have a hissy fit if they (or one of my students) connects me to the fiction I've published.