1. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    How to generate an authors base, with a pen name

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Thundair, Jun 3, 2017.

    I had to use a pen name for a recent novel, because it was off gender for me.
    Now I am concerned about building a base for the author. How far can you go with details about the author, without a bold ass lie?
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Is your pen name actually gendered, or did you do initials or something? And what exactly do you mean by "off gender"? Like... you're a man writing romance or a woman writing military adventure or something? In what direction are you "off"?

    I write m/m romance and there are quite a few women writing under male pen names. I think it does make it difficult to really establish a persona, as readers can be quite upset if they're fooled and then learn differently. See "Josh Lanyon" as an example of this. Although I think a lot of what got Josh in trouble was that she was a bit superior about her own writing compared to female m/m writers, even though she was a female m/m writer herself.

    Another kerfuffle arose over a female author who had actually hired a male model to "be" her at book signings and had written a few articles purporting to give the poor struggling female m/m authors the "real" insight from a gay man's perspective (even though, again, she was a woman herself).

    So I'd definitely suggest avoiding those types of scenarios! I think before Josh was discovered she went to quite a bit of trouble to avoid pronouns in her biographical information, which is a pretty big clue for anyone looking for it. You could avoid that by using first person instead of the traditional third...
     
  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Are not all pen names a lie? That is unless you tie it to your Personal name on some level.
    Seems a bit like asking a stripper named Candy if that is her real name, though all in company
    know that would be absurd. Then again pen names are a great way to hide from stalker crazy
    fans. :p But to sell yourself under a different name, is technically a lie, as it is not the real you,
    but a persona you have created to hide behind in anonymously.

    More common for women than men, if my memory serves correct.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    But stage names are an accepted, understood "lie", as are pen names.

    If your stripper turns out to be a different gender than you were expecting, you might be a bit less understanding...
     
  5. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    I dunno, I always had fun with Jeff in my local joint.

    The Bronte's used it, a requirement of the time. Honestly, if the novel is good, I don't mind too much about the author... to a point.

    I was a huge fan of Iain M Banks, but only with the "M". I really disliked Iain Banks, I found his work arrogant and surface-y. Then I found out that he also hated Iain Banks, he only wrote as Iain Banks because those mainstream novels payed the bills, but his love was for his Iain M Banks sci fi.

    In conclusion, just a brain fart, sorry.
     
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  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I too want to know what "off gender" means.
     
  7. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Tis true my friend of the Great White North, tis true.

    I was merely pointing out that women tend to favor pen names over men in most circumstance
    for safety reasons/concerns. It was not an insult. In fact in the past most women adopted male
    names in the literary world so they would have an easier time publishing as things were different
    back then. Now it is a means to keep the creepers and stalkers from finding them, which I think is
    just fine. However, for fans it could be awkward if you used your personal name in signings.
    Take Andre Norton (Passed away in 2006) Brilliant Sci-Fi writer and she was a woman.
    Sometimes it is about gaining respect and recognition in a specific genres. Though I have
    no concern one way or the other as long as they are good at what they produce. So it is all falling
    back to the more modern way of keeping creepers and stalkers away. And not trying to gain
    an audience and credibility. People are ok with women writing Sci-fi and more masculine
    genres, and so they don't feel the need to hide behind masculine pen names. You hid yourself
    behind a pen name Kate Sherry with your M/M Romance, and that is your choice. But it is still
    a lie as it is not who you are in reality. Unless I am mistaken. In which case you have my apologies.
    ( I are not so inept as I appear at face value, no?)
     
  8. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I'm not insulted, I just think pen names/stage names are different from making up an entire persona. Like, I have pen names, but I don't lie in my biographical notes... if I don't want something disclosed, I just don't disclose it. There's a difference between not saying exactly where I live and saying I live in a Park Avenue penthouse, you know?
     
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  9. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    @BayView fair point, my lady friend.
    I don't think anyone should publicize there locale.

    That is why I am not against pen names altogether.
    I trust you understand that we are in an agreement,
    at least on some level. :)
     
  10. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    Yeah, if some level is "disagreement".
     
  11. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I am not sure what gender means today.
    I wrote about a young girl that went to Haiti and fell in love. So I used Rebecca Finn thinking the reader might be put off by an old man writing about young love.
    So off gender to me, is not the real gender of the author or something like that. I am always making up words so forgive the confusion.
     
  12. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    I can clear up what gender is. Having a cock and balls means you are male. Having tits and a fanny means you are female (and womb etc). No amount of the silly nonsense we have to put up with these days will change that. You can love who you want, be who you want, doesn't matter. But they are simple genetic facts. Unless you have both, then it becomes grey.
     

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