Pen Names

2013-03-08 10.07.35

 

How many of us as writers have pen names?  A fellow writer friend who has done rather well for herself with her ebooks has several, one for each series she writes. As I am starting to get some of my work out there I wonder about the pros and cons to having a different name. Researching this online I came across the basic good and bad points from other authors.

Pros

-If your name is hard to spell

-You are shy and it is a way to hide behind a new name

-You are trying a different genre that is outside of your comfort zone thus giving you freedom

-Privacy

-You can write about any topic

Cons

-No one will know it is you

-You can get lost in the shuffle between social medias of your pen name versus your real name

-Less credibility as an author

-Confusion between the pen name and your name for family and friends. Especially if you have more than one.

These seemed to be the main reasons to have or not have a pen name.  When I approached one of my writing groups about it one of them said it plainly.

You are just starting out. No one knows you or your work yet.”

But now that I think on it that could be in the pro list. As I go about the edits and book covers I realized though once they are released I would either have to inform people it is me through the social platform I have in place or start from scratch. But in doing that I might lose the contacts I have made over the last two years.  I am truly not sure what I am going to do. The thought of a pen name excites me it’s just so cool in my mind. I have even played around with what names I would use if it ever came to that.

I will have to think hard on this for I am honestly not sure at the moment.

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9 thoughts on “Pen Names

  1. Hi,
    I’m facing the same dilemma, it is a sticky one, I guess it depends on whether you want an old-fashioned publishing deal with an agent, in which case stick with one name. After that, you can go with different pen names but your agent [and therefore publishers] will know it is you. But if you just want to get your writing out there in the first place, then online is the quickest option. You can always consolidate your numerous identities later. Just let your imagination flow.
    Sandra

  2. I have such a long name, with a combination of English and Spaish that I chose to use my initials. I just wonder in this day and age when you can google everything is it difficult to find out who is who even with pen names?
    Love visiting your posts! Did you get a lot of snow?

  3. I’ve been open since the beginning about CP Bialois being my pen name and maybe it’s helped counter the “lacking credibility” portion. Personally, I never took much stock in that. If you’re interested in my work great. If not, that’s cool. If me having a pen name is a reason for someone to pass on me, then I wish them the best.

    I chose CP Bialois for two reasons. 1. There are millions of Edward Whites in the world, including 10k or so in the Cherokee Nation alone, so for marketability CP Bialois stands alone.
    2. It’s an homage to my pets. Casey my dog who passed in 2012, Potter the cat, and her sister Byby or Bialois, who passed in 2010.

    For me, it’s more about the personal reason for doing it. CP Bialois isn’t just a part of me, he is me. I’m not sure if that makes any sense outside of my head or if it helped. lol

    I guess the best way to say it is do what feels right to you.

  4. Oh I know what you mean for sure. The pen name I finally came up with does honor to my late father and my French heritage. I get it. 🙂

    That is good advice to do what feels right for me. 🙂

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