Sometimes when people find out that I write under a pen name, they think I’m hiding. Like maybe I’m embarrassed about what I write. The fact is, there are several reason why I (and other authors) use a pen name.
The time I published for Kindle I realized that there was no background check, or name/street/phone verification the “author” part of the book listing was literally whatever I wrote in that field. Whether I made up a name, used initials or typed nonsensical characters, there are no “author” police.
I loved that.
Originally I was a little shy about putting my name out there… into the wild. I thought, “What if people hate the book and write mean reviews?” or “What if I want to write a different kind of book next?” The ability to choose your pen name allows you the comfort of flexibility.
Here are the 3 reasons I use pen names
- Inspiration. It’s easier for ME to separate myself from what I’m writing when I write as “someone else.” I think we all have moments of thinking about what we think other people will think. The anonymity of writing with a pen name allows me to create the writer persona needed to complete the book.
- Genre Allocation. I can’t be the only writer that is inspired to write non-fiction as well as fiction. I use different names to write different types of books. I write teenage paranormal romances, I write self-help books and “working mom with teenage kids” types… I use pen names to separate my books by genre.
- Popularity. The fact is, as I experiment with different “author names” I’ve discovered, some names are more popular than others. They simply are. Whether the name catches the eye of the reader or not, I can’t explain it… yet. I know that some books on certain topics are doing better than others (of similar topics) and the only really difference is the author name.
Do you use a pen name? Tell us your reason