One of the most daunting tasks a new author faces is choosing the name to credit their book to. Should they use their real name or a pseudonym? In the end, it’s only you that can make the final decision. Here’s some points to consider:
Are you an expert in the field?
If you’re an expert in the field you want to write about, then your name can help sell your book. Consider the fact that writing under a pen name will remove your ability to market your book to your existing audience.
Do you want to remain anonymous?
Sometimes, it’s best to remain anonymous. For instance, if you’re a professional lawyer and don’t want your real name tied to your erotica.
Does your marketing strategy include social media?
Keep in mind that Facebook actively removes accounts they deem fake. This includes pen names because they’re not a real person. I’ve had my pen name’s Facebook account blocked and the only way they’ll allow me to use it again is if I provide valid identification. Obviously, I can’t do that so that account is gone forever.
Is there a big author with your name already?
In the unfortunate circumstance that you share a name with a well known author, you may wish to separate your work from theirs. Otherwise, your readers will have a hard time finding you and you’ll forever live in their shadow.
Does your name fit the genre?
Just as readers judge a book by the cover, they judge it by the author’s name. As an example, romance author names are predominantly female because readers are more likely to give them a chance. In reality, the sex of the person behind the pen name has a 50% chance of being male.
Is your real name easy to remember?
If you’re writing for an English market, it will be easier for your readers to remember your name if it’s one they can pronounce. I don’t use my real name because it’s often spelled wrong and pronounced wrong.
Do you want to write in more than one genre?
If you’re planning to write in multiple genres, it’s best to write under a pen name. Readers often go to an author’s back catalog looking for more books that they might enjoy, and if they’re greeted with a mix of children’s stories, erotica, and horror, they might as well just head back to the top 100 lists.
Make your decision
Armed with the knowledge above, you should be able to make a decision on whether it’s a good idea to go with a pen name or your real name. If you’ve decided that writing under a pen name will be better overall, it’s time to choose a name that fits.