Posts Tagged ‘Pen names for writers’

To Pen Name or Not…

Writing Wednesday

Typewriter Pink

Wednesday is the day I share what I have learned on my journey from writing to publication, marketing and writing and publishing again. If you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments. If you have any tips please share them with us…

To Pen Name or Not

I never considered using a pen name until recently. My first three, probably four books are nonfiction. I eventually want to write fiction and wondered if I should consider a pseudo name.

I think there are good reasons on both sides of the argument to use a pen name or not. In some cases publishers own/trademark names and hire ghostwriters to write under that name. Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) started her career doing this sort of ghostwriting.

author sara shepard book cover

A pen name will not protect you from legal action so if you are considering slandering someone you would be better off giving them pseudo names and changing the scenario up a bit.

  • If you write erotica at night and teach school during the day you might have a good reason to choose a pen name.
  • For too long women authors had to use pseudo names or their initials because female writers weren’t respected. Thankfully this is no longer the case.
  • If you are writing about highly controversial topics and want to avoid any backlash you might want to change your name. I think this is a terrible reason to use a pen name. If you are passionate and believe in your words, own them.
  • You want to write in several genres and don’t want your readers to get confused. This was my reasoning for considering a name change. I decided against it because I hope my readers read my work because they like the way I tell a story, not simply because of the genre.

pen and box

How about you? What reasons can you think of for using a pseudo name or not? Do you use on? Would you?

Happy writing,


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