1. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    How to use a pen name?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Elgaisma, Jul 19, 2010.

    I am considering using one. When I was doing my genealogy I found an ancestor with a name that screamed author at me. I would like to use it as its a little more interesting than my own lol How do you go about that does my alter ego send something to publishers or do I approach them as myself?
     
  2. write2breathe
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    write2breathe Member

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    The research I have done on this and the information I have received from one author was that you will deal with a publishing company as yourself, but your pen name would go on everything book related. I know there is paperwork involved because if they are to pay you, they pay you with your given name.

    I do know that on a manuscripts title page it is recommended that you have both names. Example:

    Bree Grady w/a (writing as) Bridgette O'Grady

    I'm sure someone with much more experience than I could give you a better answer.
     
  3. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks that sounds like a plan lol
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Typically, your manuscript first page (and maybe a cover page if you have one) is going to have your real name and contact information. Then, just before you start the story you usually have the title and authorship centered on your first page. For example:

    Call of the Wild
    by Jack London​

    That's where your pen name goes. So the publisher will see your real name and information on the manuscript, but is also told that the work is to be published "by (pen name)." You can also mention it in a cover letter if you include one. I always go with whatever the author puts after the word "by" on page one, regardless of what his or her real name is.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As Steerpike says, the pen name goes on the byline below the title. Everywhere else, you use your legal name - the contact info that also goes on the first page of your manuscript, your cover letter, your query, and any contracts you sign. Your last name (legal name) should also be the one you use in the header at the top of each manuscript page, along with the story title and the page number.

    It's really very simple. The pen name goes only in the byline. Every other place, you use your legal name.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    i could always change my name lol nah probably not I actually quite like it. Its just the pen name I want to use stands out more. Thanks for the advice
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm not sure that header info is correct, cog... seems to me it would confuse things to have one name in the by line and another in the header... where did you find that rule?
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I stand corrected. I am sure I read somewhere that the name in the header should match the name on the query or cover letter, which is the legal name. But I just checked William Shunn's formatting guide for manuscripts, and he says the name in the header should match the surname from the byline.

    So there are two places, not one, where you put your pen name. In the byline, and in the page header. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thought as much... thanks for the corroboration... it's nice to know you're fallible, honeypot!

    hugs, m
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Any day I learns something new is a good day :)

    (most days are good days)
     

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