Using a pen name is something a lot of writers utilize if they are writing across multiple genres, especially if they write for academics or young adult and then romance or erotica as well. The beauty of writers is that we are diverse. Within us is the drive and desire to explore all aspects of our being, all facets of our talent, and to share it with the world. So what do you do when you want to write academic papers and ravaging rouge romance? You use a pen name, my friend!
Using a pen name is not just used when you are spanning different areas of writing (the formal and the informal/scandalous). There are plenty of reasons to use a pen name and each is as valid as the next.
There are pen name generators but they pretty much come up with generic crappy names. They are good for at least seeing different first and last names but I’ve never run across a combo of both that they suggested that worked. My best piece of advice to you is to stick with something that you don’t mind hearing a lot, writing/signing, and to get creative!
Write down a bunch of options for first and last name and play with combinations. Sit with them for a little bit. Say them aloud, write them out, and even try them on the cover art. Poll a few friends once you have narrowed down the field and see what they think sounds best. This is your chance to pick your own name and that’s pretty amazing, so have fun with it!
If you are writing then you need an audience to market to, right? If you are starting over from scratch with a pen name that means building new social media accounts for your pen name. This can be daunting but if you aren’t adverse to cross promoting with your real name, that helps. Before you publish your first post or book, I recommend starting off all your social media accounts. The social proof goes a long way and it’s a little strange to have an author with no following. Start those accounts, grow them as quickly as you can, and start networking with others in your genre!
If you use Amazon to publish your work they allow you to use a pen name so long as you have and account with your real name registered. Your tax and financial information will all be logged under your real name and your pen name proceeds go directly where that information points. This is incredibly helpful and makes writing under a pen name a breeze. The NookPress set up works similarly and both have fantastic customer service to help you through any issues you may have.
Now you start writing! A pen name can be a very freeing thing to have and I think that everyone should take the time to write about what interests them without fear that it may hurt their career or credibility. A pen name allows you to write about a wide variety of things with authority but they do take a bit of effort. Find a name you love, lock down a URL, start some social media accounts, and have fun!
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