J.Ok Rowling. Dr. Seuss. Mark Twain. Nora Roberts.
These authors aren’t who you suppose they’re.
Effectively, on paper not less than. These authors, and plenty of extra, select to jot down below a pseudonym, additionally referred to as a pen title, which means the names printed on their books usually are not the names they have been born with.
Some folks may suppose it’s unusual to place a distinct title on their books, however there’s a wealthy literary historical past of writers publishing below a reputation pseudonym. Whereas motivations could have modified all through historical past, there are a lot of causes an writer at this time may select to publish their work below a pen title even after they’ve turn out to be well-established within the business below a completely different title.
Let’s check out a few of the causes a author may select to jot down below a pen title so you may determine if it’s best for you.
Causes Why You Might Select to Use a Pseydonym
1. Use a Pseudonym to Discover Totally different Genres
Branching out and exploring different genres is a superb motive to jot down below a pseudonym.
Authors who begin out or make it huge in a single style may need to experiment in one other. However the advertising and marketing strategies and audiences are sometimes completely different from one style to a different.
Romance readers may be drawn to brilliant, cheerful colour palettes, whereas horror readers know to search for darkish shades and sinister taglines. To maintain issues easy and separate, a author who started in romance may select to make use of a pen title in the event that they need to attempt writing horror.
When J.Ok Rowling needed to interrupt away from the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts and discover a brand new style, she wrote below the title Robert Galbraith.
J.D. Robb is a bestselling crime and thriller author…who additionally occurs to be bestselling writer Nora Roberts. Although Nora Roberts was already a pen title, she started writing below J.D. Robb to interrupt into the suspense style and went on to jot down dozens of books in a futuristic police procedural sequence.
Past advertising and marketing, a author who’s well-established in a single style might need a tough time convincing their followers they are going to be capable to create compelling tales in a brand new style…so, they could need to create a pen title to interrupt away from the popularity they’ve already established.
2. Use a Pseudonym for Gender Neutrality
Authors could use pseudonyms to jot down below a gender-neutral or reverse gender title to keep away from bias or discrimination based mostly on their actual gender…as a result of sadly, it nonetheless exists (significantly in sure genres). A pseudonym may help boundary pushing authors attain a wider viewers or problem gender stereotypes.
That is the rationale Joanne Kathleen Rowling selected to publish as J.Ok. Rowling, which is technically a pen title. Her writer advised she use her initials to keep away from any bias that will have been proven towards her as a lady writing within the primarily male-driven fantasy style.
This method goes each methods and Wade Rouse, USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly and internationally bestselling writer of 13 books, writes his books below the title Viola Shipman. He makes use of the title and his tales to honor the ladies, and the voices, that raised him.
Within the 2010s, 97% of bestsellers within the Spy/Politics style have been males. For those who’re a lady who needs to interrupt into this style and fearful you may not be taken significantly in such a male-dominated style, you may think about using a pen title.
For those who don’t need your readers to know your gender, establish below a distinct gender than your delivery title, or simply don’t need to be a stereotype inside a style resulting from your gender, you would think about using a pen title.
3. Use a Pseudonym for Privateness and Anonymity
Utilizing a pseudonym permits authors to take care of their privateness and shield their private id. This may be particularly vital for people who need to separate their writing profession from their private life, change careers, or who want to focus on delicate or controversial matters with out concern of private repercussions.
For those who’ve established your self in a single profession, particularly one which practices one other kind of writing or is pretty public, a pen title may help you retain each careers separate and obtain a degree of professionalism in each. For example, in case you’re a reporter with a well-established profession and also you need to break into fiction writing, you may think about using a pseudonym in your fiction work.
If you wish to write a memoir and also you’re fearful about revealing info or details about your loved ones, you may want to shield their identities and your individual by writing below a pen title.
4 Extra Causes to Use a Pseudonym
You may additionally select to jot down below a pen title of pseudonym if:
- Your title is frequent or already utilized by one other writer
- Your title is simply too much like an already well-known writer
- Your title is troublesome to pronounce or spell
- Your title doesn’t suit your style (Sarah Loveless may be an excellent romance author title however in all probability not an excellent match for a horror author. On this case, Sarah may select to jot down below a pen title)
The way to Select a Pseudonym/Pen Identify
There isn’t a proper or incorrect approach to decide on a pen title nevertheless it’s a good suggestion to decide on one meaning one thing to you, that you simply like, and also you received’t thoughts seeing and being referred to as in case you’re profitable!
Within the case of Wade Rouse, A.Ok.A. Viola Shipman, he selected his grandmother’s title as his pen title as a result of her heirlooms and household tales encourage his fiction.
Whereas the best title ought to really feel proper to you, listed below are some suggestions to bear in mind when selecting your pseudonym.
- Test for availability (web sites, social channels, and so forth)
- Select one that matches your style (have a look at different writer names)
- Be sure it’s straightforward to spell and say
- Be sure it received’t be confused with one other title
- Contemplate how outdated (or younger!) the title makes you sound
- Use a pen title generator (you’ll find these on-line simply by Googling)
Ought to You Use a Pseudonym?
Whereas these are all explanation why you may select to make use of a pen title, the true query is; must you? Within the early 1900s, it was pretty straightforward to disguise your id by writing below a pseudonym…at this time, it’s quite a bit tougher. Even when writers select to jot down below a pen title, it’s pretty straightforward to seek out their true id.
So, in case you’re selecting to make use of a pen title, it is best to take into account how strict you’re going to be about preserving your actual id a secret.
For those who’re selecting a pen title resulting from branding and advertising and marketing, then it’s not a giant deal in case your double life is revealed. For those who’re attempting to remain nameless, you’re going to need to be much more cautious.
Selecting to jot down below your actual title or use a pseudonym is a giant determination and shouldn’t be taken frivolously. The selection will comply with you in your complete profession and is a tough option to undo when you begin publishing. Contemplate your causes, your viewers, and the kind of profession you’d prefer to have after which…get writing!