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View Full Version : Switching to pen name for future books. What to do with my first novel?



Galumph_Triumph
03-20-2016, 09:09 AM
Hi everyone,

This question has been weighing heavy on my heart for a few weeks now. I published my first novel as a graduate student, and didn't think to use a pen name. Because I'm becoming a high school teacher, I realize I would really like to separate my work and professional life via the use of a pen name.

In another thread, I had the discussion of the pros and cons of switching names after publishing a book. I've considered it carefully and decided that it must be done. The problem is, my first novel will always be the most important one to me. I wrote it as part of the healing process after escaping an abusive relationship. All of my forthcoming novels and stories are fun and exciting to me, but the real soul of my work is my first novel - the one with my real name on it.

I'm not ashamed of this book at all and will proudly stand by it when my students discover it. However, there is the question about what exactly to do with it, and its small following, as I transition over to a pen name. I have an active YouTube channel promoting the book with some beautiful narrations, and a facebook page with something like 120 followers. I don't want this book to get left behind.

I was considering re-publishing the book under my new name in the future. What do you think of this? Has it ever been done? Is it a stupid idea? Are there better alternatives?

Here is the link to my youtube channel, in case you were interested in hearing the narrations I mentioned. I'm trying to figure out what to do with them too; I really love them and I don't want to just get rid of them in an effort to protect myself from students and their pearl-clutching parents. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRmudHp6y5Q

leifwright
03-20-2016, 10:13 AM
I think linking the book, which already has your name on it, to the pseudonym is a mistake if your goal is to distance your real name from your future works.

As a former ghost writer, I understand the penchant for writing under another name, but even as proud as I am of some of the stuff I wrote as a ghost writer, I will never make public my authorship of some of them.

Make a clean break. Your writing is good, so either you or the pseudonym will succeed. Just be the new person if that's your goal, or be yourself. But don't tie the two together.

Galumph_Triumph
03-20-2016, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the advice. :) I was considering splitting my books between names - the inappropriate, graphic, and horror ones under the pen name, and the more palatable ones under my original name. However, I don't know if it's a good idea to split my readership like that.

James D. Macdonald
03-20-2016, 05:08 PM
Lots of people use different pseudonyms for the different genres they write. That way someone who picks up a Mary Smith (because they liked her last sweet romance) won't be horrified to discover that it's a grimdark police procedural.

Latina Bunny
03-20-2016, 05:16 PM
Lots of people use different pseudonyms for the different genres they write. That way someone who picks up a Mary Smith (because they liked her last sweet romance) won't be horrified to discover that it's a grimdark police procedural.

^This!

As someone who enjoys some sweet romances, yes, that would horrify (or just frustrate) me, lol! XD

Readers will usually associate a name or pen name with a type of book. For example, I know Nora Roberts (who usually writes romances) has a pen name for her more mystery/crime/suspense stuff. If I wanted something more of a "traditional" Romance, but not mystery/suspense/crime, then I would look for the name Nora Roberts, instead.

Galumph_Triumph
03-20-2016, 08:18 PM
Do you think it would be less profitable to split works between names? I'm currently publishing a book of short horror stories, and after that I've got a crime thriller about halfway done. My plan beyond that is a fantasy novel I've had in the works for years. Am I just writing in too many genres?

James D. Macdonald
03-21-2016, 04:42 AM
If you're very prolific having multiple pseudonyms can increase your income.