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  1. Scott Sommers

    Scott Sommers Member Supporter

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    Should I use a pen name

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Scott Sommers, Aug 19, 2016.

    I have a last name related to very popular baseball player. Should I use a pen name so I don't get readers confused?
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Are you writing something that might lead to confusion? If not, I wouldn't worry.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  3. 20oz

    20oz Active Member

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    If you had no plans to use a pen name, you might as will stick with it. Okay, buddy.
     
  4. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say 'yes.'

    I have a similar problem. Googling my real name, up until the last couple of years, yielded three to four pages of results that all pointed to footprints I'd left around the Internet since 1995. Only after all those did hits come up for the CEO of a fortune 500 company and the police chief in Calgary.

    These days, though, the first page of hits all point to two other guys, a country singer and a radio personality. Strangely, they're both from Calgary (and I used to live there pre-Internet). I also used to work with a guy with the same name when i lived there. It's like Calgary has produced all these guys to obscure my presence in the virtual realm of cyberspace. (sigh)

    So, I made up a name that's kind of related to my family but yields absolutely no hits other than the FB page I set up.

    If you wanna stand out, I'd suggest you do the same.
     
  5. JLT

    JLT Contributing Member

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    If you want to keep things unambiguous, you could use your middle name (ala Robert Anton Wilson method) or one or more middle initials (ala George R. R. Martin). That should be enough for readers to know that you're not that other Scott Sommers.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  6. Zorg

    Zorg Member

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    I agree. I googled my name and it is shared with two sports figures. If it was just one, I wouldn't have too much concern, but two...? I'm giving the idea of pen name some thought. As to what that is, that's an entirely different thread.
     
  7. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Not if it's just a last name, no. I share a last name with a famous actress, but nobody's going to click on someone with a different first name and think it's me.

    Although I do have a google alert set up for my author name (to see if anyone's talking about me!) and it often brings up news reports with the actress in it, when she's mentioned alongside a co-star with my author first name. Confusing enough sentence?

    It is useful having a unique name though. My website is the first hit when anybody googles my author name, even without using " " to get an exact match. My Twitter, Facebook, and my agency's website are right after that.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  8. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Unanimity requires compliance Contributor

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    I use a pen name because I don't want my IRL work life (teacher) getting mixed up with my horror writing life. If you're writing happy things, you might not need one.
     

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