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52 votes

English - Acceptable use of parentheses in an author's name

If your editor says something might look unprofessional, you should listen to your editor. Your editor is a professional, whose task is precisely to make your work appear at its best. We, on the other ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
26 votes

Is it a bad idea to have a pen name with only an initial for a surname?

You can publish under any name you choose. Whether it makes a difference to your sales is a very open question, but if it makes you feel better about publishing your work, then by all means use a pen ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 5,292
22 votes
Accepted

Can I give a lecture about my book without disclosing my real name?

Yes...but... Yes, of course you can use your pen name. Your audiences need never hear anything different. None of your marketing materials need give your real name. The issue comes when you need ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k
19 votes

Is it a bad idea to adopt an 'English' pen name as an Asian American writer to reach a wider audience?

I think right now some publishers are looking for diversity, especially small presses. Li Ang Chang might get a little farther than Susan Brown, and probably quite a bit farther than Joe Brown. I ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Would there be any problems with choosing a pseudonym of another ethnicity and sex?

Using a deliberately deceptive pen name is essentially a marker of fake authenticity. It can lead to success, but also criticism on the grounds of cultural appropriation. I would personally ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
  • 56.5k
16 votes

Is it a bad idea to have a pen name with only an initial for a surname?

Partly because your name is the same as a Slovenian politician famous enough to be listed in Wikipedia, you should consider an alternative. Do you like your mother's maiden name? Would you prefer a ...
TimeGlider's user avatar
15 votes

How to express copyright when you use a pen name

The form for filing copyright has fields for both "Author" (the person whose name is on the work) and "Copyright Claimant" (the person who is claiming the copyright). Under Author, ...
Greg R.'s user avatar
  • 336
13 votes

Is it a bad idea to adopt an 'English' pen name as an Asian American writer to reach a wider audience?

People adopt pen names for all sorts of reasons. George Orwell, Mark Twain, and John Cougar Melloncamp all had pen names for different reasons. Realistically, there's no one that can answer this for ...
corsiKa's user avatar
  • 351
11 votes

Would there be any problems with choosing a pseudonym of another ethnicity and sex?

There's a long history of women using male pseudonyms to be taken seriously. It's a sad fact that there's still prejudice, even in academia, against female authors. And so the practice continues; by ...
inappropriateCode's user avatar
11 votes

Using a fake name for book

I don't know how the publisher would take advantage of you. Your contract with the publisher (or agent) will be under your real name. Only then is the contract legally binding. In that contract, you ...
S-hit's user avatar
  • 111
10 votes

Do I need a pen name? And how do I pick a good one?

Do keep in mind @RobtA's advise concerning copyright. I'd also like to suggest that you look at what you write and decide what type of name fits. Take steps: language (English, Chinese, Spanish, etc)...
SC for reinstatement of Monica's user avatar
10 votes

Is it offensive for a mixed raced American of no Japanese descent to use a Japanese pseudonym, merely just because they like it?

There was a story a while back on the internet. Some little girl had a Japanese themed sleepover. Everyone wore kimonos and other things like that. The internet went all crazy. People called it ...
Andrey's user avatar
  • 3,739
10 votes

What kind of name should a fantasy author go by?

I do not know the source of that claim you heard, but I think you're taking it too literally. Generally, most authors just use their name. There's nothing about the name "J.R.R. Tolkien" or "Terry ...
Galastel supports GoFundMonica's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How to introduce a fake name or alias for the sake of making a story clearer

If you add commas to your first example, it will carry the weight of the parens without needing the larger pause and extra words. The quote marks and the generic wording of ThisCo make it clear you're ...
Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum's user avatar
9 votes

Should I bother allowing images (headshots) for pen names?

Speaking from personal experience, as one who as published under multiple pseudonyms, I would have relished the ability to have a non-identifying image in place of a headshot. So many creative ways ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 361
9 votes
Accepted

Should I create a domain name using a pen name that is common with another person's domain name?

Names are almost never globally unique. This is true whether the owner chooses or the owner's parents do. Author Alex Feinman even has a note on his web site (.net) saying "looking for the other one?...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How to pick a proper pen-name for online writing?

There are a few different things you might want to consider with a pen-name/pseudonym. You don't have to, but the opportunity to "make one up" allows you to experiment more, so why not give it a shot?...
Pier S. Finnfors's user avatar
9 votes

English - Acceptable use of parentheses in an author's name

Edward Elmer Smith is not well known but E. E. 'Doc' Smith certainly is, punctuation and all, among the right classes of science fiction fans. As other people have said, brackets may look odd but if ...
Alchymist's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes

Using a fake name for book

Pseudonyms, and also professional ghostwriters hired to help a celebrity push out a book, are such common things that publishers and agents have contracts and legal departments to accommodate them. As ...
wetcircuit's user avatar
  • 27.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Is it a bad idea to adopt an 'English' pen name as an Asian American writer to reach a wider audience?

You needn't make that decision until you get an agent. You're quite right to identify this as a thorny situation, with strong considerations in both directions (and maybe additional options besides). ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 28.3k
7 votes

Is it a bad idea to adopt an 'English' pen name as an Asian American writer to reach a wider audience?

I don't believe I've seen anyone else mention the "intermediate" option of Anglicizing your first name only, or equivalently picking a pen name that combines a typical English first name with an Asian ...
David Z's user avatar
  • 236
7 votes

Should I bother allowing images (headshots) for pen names?

Some writers put their image on the back of books, some don't. I think in the end as long as you provide it as a choice and not make the image required, you shouldn't have an issue. Some people ...
ggiaquin16's user avatar
  • 4,589
7 votes
Accepted

Is it offensive for a mixed raced American of no Japanese descent to use a Japanese pseudonym, merely just because they like it?

if it would be culturally offensive if I used a Japanese pen-name (Kumo Espinosa) just because I like it. If their attitude about Westerners wearing kimono (see this interview with natives) is ...
Friendly Neighborhood Demon's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to self-publish with a pseudonym but still be approachable for offers?

Make sure it is possible for prospective business partners to reach you. Create a website for your pseudonym where you advertise your work. Make sure that website is easy to find. Put the address into ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 6,245
6 votes

"Cease and Desist" for a pen name

Yikes! Does Amazon allow you to change your name after you've put up a book? You may want to add a middle initial or middle name. People who choose pseudonyms have an ethical responsibility to ...
Cyn's user avatar
  • 32.4k

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