Pen Names

Pen names. Nom de plumes. In simple terms, when you put out work under another name that is not your own, but is still meant to be you (i.e., not ghost-writing for someone else).

Some people do, some people don’t. I don’t. I just use my name, and it just happens to be wonderfully alliterative. (I’ve had people at writing groups and conferences compliment me on it. Ha!)

Why do people use pen names? Because they don’t want to be associated with a work. Because they think their real name is boring or unmarketable. Because they write two wildly different genres and don’t want their readers to confuse the two. Because they value their privacy.

Why do people use their real names? Because they don’t have to remember another alias. Because their real name is awesome. Because they don’t want there to be confusion about who did the work.

Which do you prefer, Squiders? Do you use a pen name, and if so, what is it? What are issues/perks you’ve found with using a pen name versus using your real name?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Well, I always use a pen name for any sort of online/writing stuff. Partly because I dislike my birth name, partly because I don’t really want to mix it up with my real-life identity (at least not yet). I’ve not yet been published, so I wouldn’t know about perks or issues in that regard, but so far it’s worked as far as having people I’ve met through the internet refer to me as my online alias always.


  2. I was gonna use a pen name but decided against it for my self-pubbed work. To separate the two, if I go traditional, I’ll prolly use the pen name. Hell, I have my entire online presence as the pen name, not realizing that I’d ever want to use my real name. I’m working on fixing that.


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