1. BelleIsabelle
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    BelleIsabelle Banned

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    Publishing anonymously Vs. Pen names

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BelleIsabelle, Jan 21, 2011.

    I am writing a novel/memoir which partly covers my life an escort which is based on a blog I have been writing for three years now, because its a highly personal story, I wanted to either publish it using a pen name or anonymously. What would yo recommend? I am self publishing it first, and seeing how that goes.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i see no benefit to having no name at all on the work... one usually just employs a nom de plume, if they want to remain 'anonymous'...
     
  3. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I only know this as it shares a last name with me, but look up "Luther Blissett". it's sort of an open-source pen name.

    -Frank
     
  4. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    I would recommend using your own name, because it is highly personal! There are numerous books on of this nature already in circulation, written by people using their own name, and if you don’t have the courage to do the same, I doubt your story would make compelling reading.
    If you hide your identity, I would suspect you are also altering facts…
    I just read an tabloid magazine article on the upcoming British royal wedding : a close friend of the Bride said, “she is already nervous.” A close friend? Who? I bet the journalist just made up the quote, likewise, if you remain anonymous in your story, readers will doubt the accuracy of all it's details – in which case you may as well write the thing as fiction.

    Working as an escort must be fascinating, I see no shame in it—do you? If you can’t be honest with yourself, and your audience, I’m not sure it’s a story worth writing. Have courage and use your real name! Who do you want to read this? Why do you want them to read it?
    Are you writing this for yourself, or the education or amusement of others?

    Here’s something I wrote in sex tourism, needs and edit, but anyhow!
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=26237
    Goodluck!
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it works like you say makes you sound intriguing. Actually like the idea of Anonymous writing rather than a pen name.

    Whatever works for you. I have a pen name - Anya writes my books for me helps to have a writing persona to get me in the right space mentally.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    That or nothing - but it is your decision something about it would draw me personally to the book.

    Maybe a favourite quote instead or a description. This has to be something you decide I guess.
     
  7. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    Sure people are intrigued by it! Sex intrigues people! It’s breed into us. It’s a good topic to write about—if you can do it honestly. And if you can’t do it honestly as a memoir, then do it as fiction.
    Maybe I’ll write an escort memoir as Belle De Jour! It’s credibility would be similar to any other anonymous memoir…To me the whole idea of an anonymous memoir is silly.
    If an autobiographical writer doesn’t have the courage to step out from under a veil of secrecy, and lay claim to their story as real human, then I would have no interest in hearing their story. But that’s just me!

    For me the whole fascination of reading a memoir is to delve into someone’s joys, fears, moral dilemmas and so on. A good memoir should be painful to write—a good memoir should leave the writer embarrassed, afraid of audience reaction, and wondering if they should have published the thing. A good memoir should say, 'here I am naked-warts and all!' Few people possess the courage to write such a memoir, and to my mind publishing anonymously demonstrates that lack of courage. Like I said, there are a variety of escort memoirs written by women who feel no need to hide-they would be the ones I would read, but again that’s just me!
     
  8. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I'm remembering "Primary Colors". It was published under the name "Anonymous", in big letters on the cover.

    Anon was figured out by narrowing the possibilities down, then comparing the style of the novel with the speeches/columns/dissertations the various suspects had written.

    -Frank
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Anonymous work generally ends up giving a shorter copyright term.

    Pseudonymous work is the same by statute, except that often when a pen name is used the copyright is actually registered in the true name of the author and copyright term is therefore normal.
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can you put the later in the English ?
     
  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    This is U.S. law, mind you :)

    Works written under a pseudonym have the same copyright term, by statute, as anonymous works. The exception is where the work is registered in the true name of the author, in which case copyright term is normal. With works written under a pen name, the copyright registration is often in the author's true name. With anonymous works that I've seen, that usually isn't the case.

    So under those circumstances, you'd generally get a longer copyright term under the pen name, with a registration in your real name. The actual term depends on how long you live. If you dropped dead the day after writing it, you'd be better off (or your estate would be) with the anonymous term :)
     
  12. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you really don't want to be found out - don't write the book.

    This may seem harsh but there is no way of guaranteeing that you won't be found out.
     
  13. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    You say you don't want to be found out yet you have only changed one letter in your name?
    I've just checked one entry on your blog - are you sure men are asking you out based on the writing alone? Do you not think it may have something to do with the photo of a young woman dressed in a satin teddy pulling black nylon stockings up her legs?

    You want to remain anonymous yet your not doing a very good job of that. So far, I know your name is Isabelle and you write under Isabella, you were born on the June 15th 1984, your a catholic, a former American escort now living in Paris with french husband who is a photographer, I've found this out and you only joined the forums two days ago and I'm no Sherlock Holmes. If you really wish to remain anonymous you'll have to learn to be more cunning and devious. Unless of course you do subconsciously want to be 'found out'.
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Belle - if you really don't want anyone to be able to figure out your true identity, your best bet is to publish the work anonymously and not to talk about it anywhere online, including here, or on a blog. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely someone will be able to figure it out, and I have little doubt that a determined person could do so now. So I guess it depends on how important it is to you to really keep your identity secret.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, i'd say you've blown your anonymity by now... so, use a pen name and ask your agent [once you've snagged one] to keep your real name under wraps as best can be done... but brace yourself for being found out fairly quickly, once the book is out...
     
  16. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I happened to think of a potential complication to self-publishing anonymously.

    If you are anonymous, but go through a publisher, then if someone steals your work, you can remain anonymous and let the publisher defend the copyright.

    If you are doing it yourself, then you will not be able to file suit without revealing your identity.

    -Frank
     
  17. ojduffelworth
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    ojduffelworth Contributing Member

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    I would like to protect my identity and those of important people in my life such as my father who is an prominent attorney. What steps can I take to ensure this?
    Well, the first step would be to tell no one that your father is a prominent attorney! Why are giving away information on people whose identity you wish to protect? That makes no sense at all!
     
  18. cologirl42
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    cologirl42 New Member

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    For some reason you do want to be found out. Just my opinion. You are very young, you may regret it when you get to be an old lady like me.
     
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agented writers don't pass their agents around... you need to check the agent listings and find all who rep the kind of book you have to offer, then query till you get a bite...

    i have some good agent listings i'll be glad to send you if you email me...

    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

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