Okay, so you’re thinking about using a pen name and want to know if it’s a good idea? Well if that’s the case you’ve come to the right place. Pen names are something that we use in our publishing business, so I think that we can offer some guidance regarding this topic. In this blog post, you’ll receive some pros and cons and also some valuable information to consider when using a pseudonym.
Three Downsides To Consider Before Choosing To Publish Under A Pen Name
- You cannot just pick a name out of the blue without checking if you’re violating trademarks.
- Your pen name will become the authority, not you. No credit will be given to you unless you come out as the real author.
- Just because you’re writing under a pen name doesn’t mean that you’re 100% anonymous. You can’t write bad stuff about people and think that they can never find out the real author just because you’re using a pen name.
Three Upsides To Using A Pseudonym
- You can quickly sort the books you publish under different pen names. For example, you could have one weight loss author and another romance author.
- Your will not share your personal information unless you’re violating any law or anything like that.
- Perhaps the feeling of writing or publishing under a pen name will make it easier to express your true feelings and thoughts. You don’t have the same worry about what people will think of you. You separate your work from who you are which can allow the writing to be more transparent.
How To Segment Your Books Under Different Pen Names
Now, pen names are more common than you think. For example, Mark Twain is a pseudonym. Using a pen name is especially useful if you’re thinking about publishing a lot of books in many different niches. When we first got started with publishing, we made the mistake of putting all books with various niches under the same author profile. Here’re three reasons why it’s a mistake to publish books on for example finance, yoga, romance, weight training and knitting under the same author profile:
- The reader will most likely want more books from you on the same topic. You are most like not going to get a good click through rate if you promote another book on a different topic at the end of the Kindle book.
- If you create an author presence on social media, you might get a lot of people that unfollow if they see posts and videos about different topics all the time.
- If your pen name is involved in too many niches, it might hurt the credibility of the author. The reader might think that this man or woman can’t be an expert. The phrase jack of all trades, master of none might slip into the mind of the person that is looking at the author profile.
Create A Customer Avatar
Now, I want to be clear that it’s not necessarily bad to publish in different niches under the same author profile. You should always have the reader in mind when making the decision of which name to use for your book. Let’s say you wanted to publish in the niche of selling. Create a customer avatar and try to describe him or her as best you can. The process could look something like this:
My customer avatar is named Bob. He is 40 years old and lives in a big city with his wife and two children. Bob works as a salesman and makes around $120 000 per year at his job.
Okay, so now we have a rough idea of our customer. Now, is it possible that Bob plays golf with his clients? Yes, that could be possible so we could publish a book on golf under the same pen name as well. Try to figure out who Bob is, what his goals and aspirations are. Perhaps he wants to retire early and is, therefore, interested in ways to invest some of his money. So maybe you could publish books on real estate investing, the stock market, gold investing, etc. under the same pen name as well. I hope you see where I’m going with this. Again, just focus on what would make sense for your readers.
Some Final Words About Using A Pseudonym
Now, I do recommend that you take some time to find the right name for you pen name. For example, you might want to make sure that the name that you’re choosing is easy to remember. That will make it easier for the reader to find your books when searching. It’s never good to have a raving fan that can’t find you (your pen name) because they can’t spell it right or they don’t remember the name.
Also, take that extra minute to make sure that you’re not violating any trademarks. You might still get in trouble even if you don’t use the same name. Let’s say you publish books in the self-development niche and decide to use the name Rony Robbins. Now, Tony Robbins is probably not going to contact you but his lawyers might. It also sounds a little bit unprofessional. The reader is probably going to see the pen name as someone who’s not only trying to copy Tony’s work but also his name.
Lastly, we also make sure that it’s not a bad reputation tied to the name that we’re using. Probably not that necessary but we want to keep the name as clean as possible.
Thanks For Reading!
I’d love it if you’d share your thoughts on the article. Did it provide you with any new ideas? Or, did this blog post help you in your decision of either using a pen name or choosing a name for your pseudonym? If you enjoyed the post, please share it and make sure to come back to this blog for more information regarding self-publishing. I recommend that you check out our free video series on self-publishing. You’ll discover four videos that we wish we would have seen when we started out.
Thank you very much for reading, and I wish you a beautiful day!