1. cazann34

    cazann34 Active Member

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    Pen Name

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by cazann34, Dec 7, 2012.

    when I finally finish my novel, I am considering whether to use a pen name/nom de plume/pseudonym) to have it published. The question I have, would using a pen name complicate matters, in things like receiving royalties (no harm in dreaming) and would it still be copy-written to me, if I use a name other than my own?
     
  2. swhibs123

    swhibs123 Active Member

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    No complications at all with the royalties. Payment would come to your real name. The book is yours. Copyright is yours. Don't worry about that. There are lots of reasons to use a pen name: i.e. maybe your real name is something ridiculous, maybe you're incredibly prolific and want to write for more than one audience. But what pen names are not good for, is hiding. Pre-internet it might have been possible to be anonymous, but now, not so much. As soon as someone cares to discover who you really are, they'll have their answer.
     
  3. Deyvion

    Deyvion New Member

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    Interesting question. I have actually thought about it myself. Mostly because my last name has a letter that is not used outside of Scandinavia. But I guess it is true wgat swhibs123 stated about not hiding behind it. If someone really wants to find out who you are, they will.
     
  4. Hambone

    Hambone Member

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    I like the idea of a pen name for an unpublished writer (myself), because I will be writing for the rest of my life. If I have the opportunity to get published now, who knows what I will be writing about in 20 years. And when it comes to the possibility of self publishing, I would consider the pen name route.

    You can find out quite a bit of info on the internet, but the general audience won't know (or care) if its a pen name.
     
  5. swhibs123

    swhibs123 Active Member

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    I totally agree. I don't think most readers care about the names of most of the authors they read. I only mentioned it b/c if your reason for using a pen name was b/c you were afraid of someone discovering who you really are, it's not going to stop them. Eventually, if you are successful and have fans who care to know, someone will figure it out.
     
  6. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no good reason to not use a pen name if you have a good reason to do so...

    and, fyi, 'copywritten' relates to the writing of 'copy' [as in 'content' of ads, websites, et al.]... 'copyright' is what you meant...
     
  7. cmshepard

    cmshepard Member

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    I use a pen name simply because some of the content isn't what I'd want some of my family to read. I use one for my short stories, one for what I will consider my "serious" projects, and if I ever venture into children's literature I'll go by my real name.
     
  8. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'll use a pen name if I'm published, but only because my real name is a bit awkward for English speakers to spell and pronounce. There are advantages to being Smith instead of Rxcghtrvranskyowicz. (Not that that's my real name, of course ...)
     
  9. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Of course not. The x and the g are clearly there to obfuscate the name.
     
  10. Fivvle

    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    My pen name would be Humphrey Battlebuns.
     
  11. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Do you really think readers care that much about the author's name? Honestly, I'd be more concerned about the title.
     
  12. idle

    idle Active Member

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    Maybe they don't care, but being able to type it into a search engine and come up with results is useful.
     
  13. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I would care whether the readers get the name right. It helps in doing internet searches, etc. When you're trying to sell your books, it's an advantage if readers can find them on Amazon and other retail sites. Also, it's easier for people to discuss your work if they get your name right.

    Titles have a way of being kind of generic, especially in genre fiction. Look at the titles of, for example, Steven Seagal's films. Hard to Kill, Above the Law, Out for Justice, Marked for Death, and so on all tend to sound the same ...
     
  14. TALLULAH

    TALLULAH Member

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    I'm with you about the family content issue. I definitely wouldn't want my future grandchildren to be able to read the particular genre of stories I've written under a pseudonym.
     
  15. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Subconsciously it has an impact, so yes.
     
  16. johann77

    johann77 Member

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    Authors back during the days of Dickens and Balzac were treated the way rock and roll stars are treated today. But they used their real names.
     
  17. Selbbin

    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It depends on the Author, really, just as today. Pen names were very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Dickens used 'Boz' for his journalism pen name.

    Voltaire, Anatole France, Mark Twain, Artemus Ward, Molière, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell, Lewis Carroll, are all pen names, not real names.

    FYI - Their real names are: François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire), Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain), Charles Farrar Browne (Artemus Ward), Jean Baptiste Poquelin (Molière), Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot), Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski (Joseph Conrad), Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell), Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
     
  18. DDNeal

    DDNeal Member

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    If you live in the US you file a legal alias or "dba" at your local court house. It runs $15-$40 and after you do that it will be an alternate legal name for you.
     
  19. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's not necessary for just using a pen name on your writings...
     
  20. MindTheGap

    MindTheGap Member

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    I prefer the idea of a nom de plume simply because I don't like my given first name and tend to go by my middle name anyway and I would likely just pick a last name that isn't tied to me to complete things. There are also certain pockets of people that I know who I would prefer not knowing that I write or would have published anything.
     
  21. squirrelpen

    squirrelpen New Member

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    I know one author who is very successful in hiding his real identity and therefore, his identity became a mystery and gather a lot of speculation which made his book even more popular and a best seller. Having a pen name can also help you build a name that is easily recognizable and remembered by your readers.Your publisher will know the man behind the book anyway and will pay you directly to your account which has your real name.
     

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