There are many reasons to use a pen name some are personal while others are smart career choices. Have you ever googled your name? How many people with your exact name are out there? For me this was the initial catalyst into my decision to create a pen name. I am the only one. When I google myself, married or maiden name, I am the only one who pops up. This can be useful when trying to build a brand but its also a bit scary. I have two kids to think about and I don't really want people being able to find out where I live or other personal information from a simple online search.
It also meant if my first published book was a flop I might have to abandon my real name for a pen name anyway. I was't very confident back then.
A friend of mine created her pen name for many reasons I'm sure but the one that stuck out to me was because of the genre she wished to write in is dominated by male authors and there is this assumption that women can't write epic fantasy. So, she used initials instead of a first name, making it gender neutral. This small change helps readers who might otherwise ignore her work get to the first page and actually give her writing a chance.
So, whether you want a pen name for personal reasons or because your genre is dominated by the opposite sex you still need to figure out how to come up with one. Here are some things to think about while picking your pen name:
Is there anything else you think should be part of the pseudonym process? What factored into your decision to use, or not use, a pen name?
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