If you’re going to write a multitude of ebooks in different areas (genres), then you should consider writing under several pen name(s).

Writers used pen name(s) for hundreds of years for the following reasons:

  1. Women Authors didn’t want their gender to “prejudice” the reader
  2. Even today, women Authors will either use their initials and or use a male pen name. An example would be “J.K. Rowling.” Why did she choose to have this as her pen name?

    Because her publishers “demanded” she use two initials. They feared the target market of young boys would not want to read a book written by a woman.

    There are even some men who use a pen name when they write a romance. You’d think “good writing” should be the only requirement but…. some times a pen name means more sales as these authors found out:

    Lewis Carroll aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, George Eliot aka Mary Ann Evans, O. Henry aka William Sydney Porter, Voltaire aka François-Marie Arouet and Ayn Rand aka Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum.

  3. Prolific writers didn’t use their own name on more than 4 books a year.
  4. Some prolific Authors used a pen name so as not to glut the market with their books. Pen names were also useful when an Author wanted to sign with another publisher and didn’t want contract problems.

  5. Authors wrote in conflicting genres or had “sensitive” information in their book
  6. Children’s books and erotica conflict; therefore, the Authors used a pen name. Remember Primary Colors, by “Anomymous?” This was definitely an instance where the Author, Joe Klein, did not want to use his real name.

    In this day and age, count on being found out. And if you do write conflicting books and or use sensitive information, it could ruin your career. Or not. People do like “scandal” and it could mean more sales.

    Now here are some more reasons why you might want to use a pen name:

    • Your parents gave you a name everybody snickers at and you’re tired of all the jokes.
    • You have the same name as a celebrity and you don’t want to confuse your readers.
    • Your name is common, e.g. John or Jane Smith.
    • Nobody on earth can remember how to spell your name which would be a problem when searching on Amazon or Google.

    Whether you take a pen name or not is a personal choice but if you do decide to use a pen name, keep it simple and one people will remember.

    picture of Judith signature in her post 'Should you use a pen name'

    P.S. Should I ever decide to write erotica, I plan on using a pen name. “Pussy Galore” is already taken so my pen name would be….

    P.P.S. What about you? What pen name would you choose?