Author Topic: Pen name?  (Read 194 times)

Offline poet-e

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Pen name?
« on: May 18, 2019, 04:25:54 PM »
How do pen names work?  Like online places want full names, but if I wanna just use one letter???  There's a poet with my first and last name....

Offline nosuchmember

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Re: Pen name?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 05:19:28 PM »
How do pen names work?  Like online places want full names, but if I wanna just use one letter???  There's a poet with my first and last name....


 Hope this answers your question:

You may register the copyright of your work under your pseudonym, your real name, or both. ... If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office's records, give your legal name under Individual Author and click on Pseudonymous and provide your pen name/pseudonym as well.Sep 26, 2014

Why Use a Pen Name?

Privacy
If you are a surgeon, do you want your patients to know you crank out high-body-count thrillers? If you dabble in bondage fiction, do you want to share that information with neighbors, employers, and your church group? Privacy is one of the main reasons writers choose pen names.

Branding
In deciding on pen names, writers try to evoke the right tone, whether it is mysterious, authoritative, or lovable. They may have different pen names for different genres. A writer with an audience in romance will choose a different pen name for a dark, dystopian fantasy. Writers who have bombed under one name start over with pen names.

Avoiding confusion
 I recently co-wrote an ebook with Jessica Brown, and we discovered there are at least three other Jessica Browns selling books on Amazon. If a writer has a common name, or the same name as someone famous, a pen name avoids confusion.

Easy-to-Read
The marketplace has changed. More people shop for books by scanning online thumbnails instead of browsing bookstore aisles. Writers are selecting short pseudonyms that pop from the screen.

Collaborations
Two or more co-writers might pick a single name for publication.

How to Choose a Pen Name

Choosing a pseudonym is a creative process, and many writers find selecting a pen name more difficult that naming a character. The e-book Pen Name: How to Create Yours by Jennifer Blanchard lists 31 ideas for generating your perfect pen name and is worth a look.

Once you decide on a short list of possibilities, do the following:

•Research. A pen name should be unique. Research the internet and bookselling sites. Avoid any name already used by a writer, since that is likely to confuse readers. Do not use the name of anyone famous. If you write a book under the pen name Taylor Swift or Derek Jeter, you may be accused of trying to pass yourself off as the celebrity. I also suggest a trademark search through the U.S. Trademark Office. If you use the name of registered trademarks, you risk getting a cease-and-desist letter. Search for available domain names, because you want to buy a domain for your pen name.Try to avoid using the name of a real person. If you happen to use the name of a real person, you are not committing identity theft. Identity theft involves intentionally acts to impersonate someone for financial gain. But if your writing affects the real person’s life, consider changing your pen name.

•Claim the name.  Buy the domain name. Also file a Fictitious Business Name Statement if you will be getting payments made out to your pen name. I explain the process in my blog.

•Use the name.  Place the pen name on your cover and your copyright notice, © 2014 [your pen name] . Some authors put the copyright notice in both their pen name and real name, but it is not necessary.

•Be open with your publisher.  Usually, you will not be able to hide your real name from your publisher since contracts are signed in your real name. The exception is when you form a corporation, LLC, or other entity (as I describe below), but even then, most publishers want to know their authors.

•Register your copyright.  You may register the copyright of your work under your pseudonym, your real name, or both. Here is the screen shot of the registration application page for identifying the Author.
Source for above information:
https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/09/should-you-be-using-a-pen-name/

This site had good information about the use of pen names:
https://annerallen.com/2017/10/author-pen-names-digital-age/

Offline poet-e

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Re: Pen name?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 05:35:10 PM »
Thanks heartsongjt!  Very helpful!!!