Many writers wrestle slightly over whether or not they should use a pseudonym, or pen name, when authoring their books. It’s something to think about and for a number of reasons. There are specific times when a pen name will definitely be beneficial, and there are other times when it really won’t make sense to use a fictitious name at all. Below are some pen name qualifiers, authors, to assist you in making that decision on whether to put your real name to use or give it up to a pseudonym.
Qualifier #1: Genre/Writing Style
If you are anything like me, I write across many genres and have various writing styles. Because of this, I choose to use my pen name, Cyan Deane, for those stories that don’t quite fit the writing style that I use under my real name. This is the perfect reason to use a pen name because it allows your readers to distinguish between your voices of writing and genres.
Qualifier #2: Difficult Birth Name
Have you ever wandered across a name that you can’t spell or pronounce to save your life? Well, for this obvious reason, if your name is a mountain to climb, it may be to your advantage to use a pen name. My name isn’t the easiest on the block, but it’s not extremely difficult either. Your past will tell you if your name will be a good one for a future on books.
Did everyone mess your name up constantly whether spelling or pronouncing? When you look at it, can you see why others would have a hard time? Do you dislike your own name? Have you preferred to be called something other than your real name all of your life?
These questions can help you decide whether or not you need to make use of a pen name before publishing your book.
Qualifier #3: Privacy
This last reason is why many authors, famous and not know well-known, use a pen name, and that is for a secure level of privacy. Reasons for privacy can range from writing a taboo topic or simply not wanting anyone to know that it’s you. You may even be shy and more introverted an author, thus, not caring for any of the potential attention. Some people even use pseudonyms because their own lifestyle doesn’t necessarily agree with what they are writing. Pen names, for the most part, can greatly assist the author with privacy, but there is always a risk that the true author be found out, or discovered.
These are all potential reasons for using a pen name, but the best thing is to decide on what is most comfortable for both yourself and your readers. If you can decide on this, problem solved.
This article was written by author and blogger Mirika Mayo Cornelius. Learn more about her and her books at mirikacornelius.com.