I know this question could be considered a "list" question, or "subjective", but I think that it is a valid question and can be quite helpful for a lot of authors.

My question is, as a self-published author, how can I go about promoting my book if it is written under a pen name? Very few friends/family know that I wrote it, and I don't want to really tell everyone that I am the author. I have thought about trying to do a "book signing" at a bookstore, but cannot do it in my hometown, due to being "known". And I also don't know how to do a signing for a person that doesn't technically exist.

I have six books published, and have had some good things said about a couple of them. But the word of mouth is extremely slow, and I have sold less than 20 copies of any book. I enjoy writing, but get discouraged when I see that no one has read my work. Someone suggested I send some review copies various places and ask them to do reviews, but this costs money, and I also do not know how or who to approach about doing reviews.

  • hope this question isn't too personal. But when you say you sold less than 20 copies, you're also including the copies downloaded in the free promotion days? (If you used them, of course.)
    – wyc
    Nov 18, 2013 at 3:54
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    I am using Amazon's CreateSpace, but I have not mastered how to do digital editions. All of the copies have been hard copies. Two books have zero sold, one has sold about eighteen copies, and the other three are between five and ten each. It makes me sad, but I do enjoy writing.
    – Ernesto
    Nov 18, 2013 at 4:24
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    I don't know if I can post links to stuff here, I don't want it to appear as if I am using writers.SE to actually promote my works. The question is more generalized, I believe, but I can post a link to one or two if it really would contribute to the discussion.
    – Ernesto
    Nov 18, 2013 at 14:34
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    @Ernesto, when you reach 20 rep you'll be able to use chat, and people use our chat room (Writing Chat) to bounce ideas off each other, share work, etc all the time. That's probably the best place for Alexandro to give you feedback. Nov 18, 2013 at 16:08
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    I'd just like to point out that most promotion avenues aren't harmed much by your using a pseudonym. Book signings for obscure authors aren't great promotions. You want reviews; you want an online presence; you want a great cover and an enticing blurb. None of those need your real name.
    – Standback
    Nov 18, 2013 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


1) Do book signings outside your home town. How well-known are you?!

2) Unless your pseudonym is the opposite sex from you, just sign with your pseudonym. I'm sure Mark Twain didn't sign books as "Samuel Clemens."

3) You REALLY need to put in the work to figure out how to make digital editions. You will find that it's worth the effort.

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