domenica 4 novembre 2018

Pen Names: Should You Use One?


I’ve been mulling this question around in my own head and making lists of pros and cons and I’m honestly still deciding, but I figured writing it all out will help me AND any of you who might also be wondering. So…

Should you use a pen name? Well that all depends. There are plenty of reasons one might want to use a pen name. Here are some that come to mind:

1) You’re a private person. A pen name separates the real you from the persona you’ve created. That means you can have a personal and a book-related social media presence and the two don’t have to connect. 

2) You’re trying to establish a brand. Your real name just doesn’t fit whatever book you’re writing or you already have a social media presence under your pen name.

3) Your real name is too long, too short, too whatever, or maybe you plan on changing it. A pen name is a valid option here as well. 

4) The content of your book could negatively affect your real life. Say you work a stuffy office job and you write sexy New Adult books that run the risk of getting fired if your boss ever found out. Or you’re depicting your hometown in a not-so-flattering light in your memoirs and you’re worried people will come for you on Facebook. 

So with those reasons you might WANT to use a pen name out of the way, let’s look at some reasons not to use a pen name:

1) You want everyone to know you wrote a book. You love the idea of someone from high school picking up your book on accident and realizing that quiet kid from homeroom wrote a whole freaking novel.

2) You already have a sizeable social media presence under your real name. If you’ve got a few thousand Twitter followers under your real name then starting a new one under a pen name seems counterproductive. 

3) You like your name. This one’s the most obvious. If it ain’t broke…

4) None of the reasons for wanting a pen name apply to you. I’ve come across some aspiring authors who just think of j.K. Rowling and assume anyone who wants to be successful has to have a pen name. That’s simply not true. If you don’t have a reason to change your name, don’t! Keep it simple!

And that’s all I’ve got! Hopefully this helps someone. I’m still not entirely sure where I stand on my decision too use or not use a pen name yet but if YOU’VE decided you want to use one I’ve written a post about how to choose it!

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