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Should I use a pen name?

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Triciawho

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I recently published a children's book through a traditional publisher. I published it under my own name as it was a 'social issues' book and I needed to establish my platform by making public my degree and professional background.

I am now considering self-publishing a comic pet memoir. Because the tone, language and target audience of this book are so different from the one I've already published, I'm wondering if it's wise to publish under a pen name? If readers of the children's book look for more of my books and find this one, I'm concerned some people might think it's 'unprofessional'.

I wouldn't even think twice about using a pen name except that followers of my pet blog/videos already know me by name, so it could cause confusion if I use a nom de plume.

Any advice?

TIA :)
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

The general idea is that you write under your own name unless you're better known under your alias or you write something you don't want associated with your "real" self (like erotica).

In my case, Siri Kirpal Kaur Khalsa is my spiritual and pen name and the name most people use, but it's not my married legal name.

In your case, you might gain readers by keeping your own name. I'm not sure on this, but it's unlikely you'd lose readers. Most people understand that professional people also have real lives.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Triciawho

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Thank you for your reply, Siri. Upon reflection, I think you're probably right. There may be some people who are put off by the transparency between personal and professional, but it's not like I'm writing anything salacious in my memoir. There's no sex, no drug addiction...just comical anecdotes about raising a big puppy as a single woman in New York City. So...I think it's probably *me* who needs to come to grips with putting myself out there (as a person rather than a professional). Other people will probably be fine with it :)
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Yes, in that case, there's no need for a pen name at all. As the saying goes, "just be yourself." :)

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Literateparakeet

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I agree with Siri. I think your readers will enjoy seeing a different side of you.

One of my favorite authors, Jane Yolen, has a very diverse style. She wrote How do dinosaurs say goodnight and other kid books and she wrote The Devil's Arithmetic, YA historical fiction. I didn't take DA any less seriously because she had written fun kid books. :)
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away