You love changing the genre? Your publication list ranges from „Clara’s Little Pony“ to titles like „Essays On Existential Ethics“, „The Secret Of The Governess“ and „Zombies’ Insatiable Love“? Maybe it is time to become schizophrenic and to create a pen name. Here are 4 tips how to take advantage of a pseudonym easily and successfully:
1. The decision to become someone else
Established authors explore new genres often only under a different name – by way of example Charles Dodge, author of several mathematical works, is better known for his fiction Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.
The reason is simple: Readers have very clear expectations on authors, they have read before. Harry Potter Fans would be disappointed to find out that J.K. Rowling’s recent Cormoran Strike series is not magical at all. Therefore, the British Fantasy author decided to publish it under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
Note: Don’t go crazy… with to many pen names!
It is a lot of work to establish one author brand with success. Thus, we do not recommend to use more than two or three pen names. If you write in numerous genres, do not create a new personality for each genre. It is better, to organize them in two areas such as fiction and non-fiction. Another good possibility is to separate one contradicting genre from the others, and to brand only this one under a pen name.
2. They call me Stacey
“Linda Gentheart” is surely a great pen name to charm parents looking for a birthday present, but won’t make hardcore Horror readers’ skin crawl.
That is the reason why many genres developed some kind of cliché names and today every second SciFi or Fantasy author has two abbreviated forenames. The romance author Nora Roberts, for instance, became J.D Robbs for her SciFi-series.
You like to leave your pen name to chance? Check out the Fake Name Generator.
3. A little crazy but not illegal
Despite the different national laws, most author names are protected and cannot be used without getting into expensive troubles. Therefore, check thoroughly whether your new pen name, e.g. Neil Gaiman, is not already used by someone else.
When you got your new pen name, use it consistently from the cover to the copyright page. Especially at the beginning, the yet unfamiliar name “Patricia” easily becomes “Patrizia”.
You do not have to reveal your real name in the copyright page. It is only mandatory for German shops to add an e-mail or postal address for contacting the owner of rights.
4. Branding your new author
The stories are not the only thing that differ children’s books from romances. They also require a completely different marketing strategy. To make it short: You have to start from scratch with a new pen name. You define your new readers, build an author’s platform, link the new Social Media profiles, and so on.
XinXii supports you
… publishing under different pen name with its simple and flexible dashboard.
You can add multiple author profiles with only one account:
… and each profile has its individual author page and sales statistics:
Do you use several pen names or do you prefer to stay with one identity? Why do you use a pen name? And how did you found that name? Share your experiences with pen names in a comment with the XinXii Community or on Facebook!