Question about pen names--

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Question about pen names--

Postby crit10167 » Mon May 19, 2014 10:29 pm

Greetings!

Very simply, do you use them? If so, why?

I'm not talking about here in the Workshop, by the way, but on work that you're trying to get published. I ask because, several years back when I began work on my first serious novel, I read an article that talked about using pen-names as a form of branding--if an author is prolific enough to write multiple works in multiple genres (which I flatter myself by saying that I am) then each genre, according to the article, would have its own pen-name so that a prospective reader would know in advance what they were getting.

This made sense to me and I proceeded to e-publish my novel under a pen name, but now it's getting to the point where I'm ready to send out query letters to agents concerning that same novel in hopes of getting a publishing deal and I wonder what they'll think about it.

Responses from anyone with direct experience with this situation would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit19292 » Mon May 19, 2014 11:23 pm

Considering that I write on the internet, I originally intended to publish under my internet alias. Every publisher I contacted however 'suggested' that I use my real name. Every old novelist I knew that used a pen name, finally sought to become known by their real names. I thus took the advice and put my own name on my novels. Note that I also have written in a few different genres. While certain perspectives change, I would hope that the readers come to appreciate a certain confident, correct, and entertaining style from me. I would thus advance that you will also be better served by using your own name.
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit10167 » Tue May 20, 2014 1:07 am

Greetings!

Thanks for the response. I e-published my first novel more than a year ago under a pen name, as stated above; I think, however, that if--no, let's be positive--when I get and agent and a publishing deal, I'll republish under my own name.

It's not like I have a huge fan base to shock and dismay...yet, anyway. =)

OKH
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby Sff.net » Tue May 20, 2014 1:42 am

[Reposted from sff.net user Arthur T. <A...@e...>]


In Message-ID:<5...@n...>, V.J. Carter {crit10167 on www.NewNewForum.com} <N...@e...> wrote:


Very simply, do you use them? If so, why?



<snip>


Responses from anyone with direct experience with this situation would be greatly appreciated.



I don't have direct experience. But I searched on "V. J. Carter". The first page of hits was mostly lawsuits with "V. J. Carter" as defendant. Is that what you want potential readers to see when they search for you?

Unless that's you (or even if it is), I'd suggest using your name(s) rather than initials. But even then, search for your name using a few of the major search engines (google, duckduckgo, bing, and yahoo at minimum). If you get spurious results, you might want to consider a pen name. If you do, search on that name. Best would be if you find a name that gives no hits at all.

-- Arthur T. - ar23hur "at" pobox "dot" com
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit30303 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:13 pm

I do not have any direct experience in this matter, but I do use a pen name across the internet and online on different websites. I find that my last name is so common it bugs me. I do not want to be lost in the fray. I think pen names are wonderful under certain circumstances and one of my favorite authors uses two pen names for when she crossed over into another genre
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit32029 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:17 pm

Unless you have a truly horrendous name (e.g, Gaylord Hitler) or one that alludes to a household name (e.g., Steven King), why not use your real name? What's so special about J.K Rowling or Dean Koontz anyway? If it's a matter of spicing your name up, use initials.

My personal rule of thumb is, if you're proud of what you've written, stick your name on it. If you're not proud of it, then why are you wasting time with it? :)
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit32209 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:22 pm

I'm interested in using a pen name because, in the unlikely eventuality that anyone desires to read my work, I want to maintain my privacy. To be honest, I'm even a little wary of submitting anything here because I've used my real name. However, so far I've neither published nor even sent out any of my work. Perhaps once I've been rejected fifty or a hundred times I'll be less worried about it.
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit32715 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:55 pm

I have not used a pen name for publication. I think a very important point in using your real name is notoriety in that you might attract a greater readership and a proliferation of strong interest from publishers as well as readers that are aware of the scope of ones writing ability.

The only exceptions to not posting my actual name when either writing or publishing a book or story would be to protect the writing from undue influence. If you have a fan base or are trying to test market it in an unbiased forum or venue.

Also if your book is controversial and could cause more headache than you wish to deal with. I have a non fiction book in the works that debunks religious beliefs disproving everything mainstream religions hold sacred. It will make me the most hated author in modern history.

Think I'd publish it under my real name? Not a chance. Dealing with enraged fundamentalists is motive enough to use a pen name in that particular situation.

The other reason beside testing a story in an unrecognized forum to avoid fan bias, and protecting the author when publishing controversial subjects is if you are contributing to an ongoing series that has many authors using the same pen name.

For example, the popular post apocalyptic pulp fiction series "Deathlands" features the collective works of around 20+ different authors under the pen name James Axler. If you were contributing to such a series you would be expected to submit under that pen name.
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit19292 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:36 am

Erik Brush wrote:I have a non fiction book in the works that debunks religious beliefs disproving everything mainstream religions hold sacred. It will make me the most hated author in modern history.

I am impressed with the greatness of your ego. People have been trying to disprove Judaism/Christianity for ages. Go for it. The challenge is there.

You will not become hated. The only reason to publish under a pen name is because you do not want to face the rebuttals. Admittedly, most will be rather simplistic, but that is true for any topic. The real Christians will pray for you. There however are those that will be able to face you head-on, and those are the ones you truly want to avoid (as they might end up convincing you).

Let me say that you will fail. My first belief is that you do not know what you are writing about. If you did, you would know the reason all others have failed. I would suggest while you gather your evidence that you find the alternate evidence and study it. Simply ignoring what facts we have, and we do have some (at lot, actually, but most of the simple minds do not bother with those details), will only allow us to ignore whatever facts you present. Tit for tat works for us as well as it does for you.

Finally, let me speak for the simple minded. Religion is not a fact-based dogma. Science is truths. It is strange how those of today try to make science subjective (saying it changes) while attempting to hold religion to standards, even though it is faith based. The simple minded are going on subjective reasoning. They can. The topic is religion, and its foundation is something beyond reality (even though it created reality). Whatever proof you have can be rebutted by the simple minded, because the grace of religion is that it is something that practical methodology cannot substantiate.

I wish you well.
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Re: Question about pen names--

Postby crit32715 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:34 am

Ah yes. Well be still my beating heart. Thank you for sharing that rather off subject discussion with me. Being new here I was under the impression that posters were addressing the person posting the thread with their opinions and insights as to the subject matter rather than critiquing the merits of other poster's contributions. My mistake in assuming.

As to my ego I would defer to your expertise except that its not really that interesting. (My ego, not you expertise which has proven fascination so far).

You've made some classic mistakes and assumptions in your little diatribe not that it much matters as I'm not here to get into an "Oh yeah? Prove it!" discussion with anyone on the site.

I will say that I am well researched and you are incorrect in your supposition that there is no viable or measurable way to disprove the primary dictums and beliefs of the Judeo-Christian world. The problem most detractors encounter is the pointless debate from a philosophical stand point rather than a more unquestionable historic and scientific one.

Now given that you are correct that no one to date has successfully or definitively tackled this subject I understand your failure to have a positive outlook on the subject matter and to clumsily dismiss my knowledge and ascribe a certain lack of familiarity with my dad ubject.

But given that my first book was a non fiction and I am very familiar with the time and research going into such publications you can rest assured that I was a good boy and did my homework.

And bear in mind that there are always those who go first. Folks who find themselves ridiculed or criticised for saying that the world is more round than flat or that the Earth orbits the sun rather than the other way around...

And a side footnote since going off topic seems permissible in these forums, I stated "more round" rather than "round" because the Earth is not strictly round.

Instead its an oblate spheroid.

Well this has been enchanting. Allow me to wish you well also. We'll have to do this again some time. Cheers!
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