Should You Use A Pen Name?

Should you use a pen name when you write? Here are five reasons you may want to use a pan name.

dr, jeanette cates

If you are already an author or you’re planning to write a book you need to decide if you should use your own name or a pen name. Here are five reasons you may want to use a pen name.

1. You Have A Conflict Of Interest.

Sometimes you are working in a field that frowns upon outside activities, such as writing books. Or you are a teacher who wants to write adult novels. In those cases, you don’t want your “real” name to appear as the author. So of course, this is the perfect time to use a pen name.

2. You don’t Want Your Own Name To Appear.

If you are concerned about your privacy or safety, it’s a good idea to use a pen name. It makes finding you more difficult and may be the safer option in your case.

3. Your Name Is Hard To Spell Or Easily Confused.

Let’s face it. Your parents weren’t envisioning you as an author when they named you. So your name may have an unusual spelling that won’t show easily in search engines. Likewise, it could be difficult to pronounce, so word of mouth marketing for your books will be a challenge.

In this case, make it easier to find you with a pen name.

4. You Want To Write In Specific Genres That Suffer From Gender Stereotyping.

There are certain prejudices in the book market that assume that certain types of books are written by one gender or another. A good example, is Nora Roberts, who also writes under the pen name J.D. Robb. Her romance novels use the Nora name, while her other books use the Robb name.

Likewise there are some men who believe their romance novels sell better when they use a female name as the author. It lets them more easily fit the mold, particularly when they first begin to publish in that area.

5. You Want To Avoid Confusion In The Marketplace.

If you are a prolific writer, you may find it easier to publish under multiple names. For example, I write business books under my own name. That’s what I’m known for. But I write cookbooks and personal development books under pen names.

While I’m not a celebrity in those arenas, I do have a following for the pen names as well.

Jeanette Cates

Dr. Jeanette Cates is a 20-year veteran Internet strategist, known for prolific product production. After a brief retirement she has returned to launch to help others build their online success.

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