Monday, October 26, 2015

Pen Name or Real Name?

Ever since I’ve been writing the Rebel Shifter series, I have been trying to decide if I should use pen name. The main reason being is I’m not sure if the readers of the Vallar series will like a paranormal, historical, romance. When people don’t get what they’re expecting this can lead to bad reviews as in “Yuck! I can’t believe this is the same author!” 

There are some pros in favor of a pen name:

1. If your book fails or ends up with 2.5 Star rating on Amazon, your pen name can go silently into the night along with the book. Also, I will feel more detached from negative review since they wouldn't be associated with my real name.

2. There is a certain amount of freedom with a pen name. You can set up a blog under that pen name and let your opinion be known about controversial subjects. It can be the same as being anonymous. Of course, this could affect sales one way or another.

3. Nobody at work will find out about your books unless you tell them. It gives you some privacy especially if you write in a genre you don’t want your relatives to discover.

4. You’re free to brand the pen name to make it fit with the genre.

Some Cons…

1. It’s like starting from the beginning all over again. A new blog with no followers. A Facebook page with 2 followers. The same for Twitter and any other social media outlet.

2. Promotion could be more difficult. I have a mailing list, but using it for a different pen name/genre could be a mistake. So this leaves me without one person on the mailing list for the new book.

3. Amazon notifies readers when you have a new release. This probably doesn’t happen under a different name and would be confusing to readers if it did.

4. You will probably need a little help from others, so your pen name will not be unknown to everyone.

I have a good amount of time left to decide still. Feel free to give me your thoughts.  

Writing Update: I have been putting most of my free time into writing new books. Rebel Shifter is almost done. It just needs editing. Then I decided to write a prequel, but the prequel has turned into book one. My goal is to publish them within a month of each other. 

In order to make faster progress, I have been outlining more and studying outlining methods. Plus I switched to Scrivener and I like it so much, I won't be going back to Word. 

I often wish I could work 7 hours a day instead of 8 or have a 3 day weekend for the rest of my life. It would make such a difference. But back to reality...

Have a great week. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Starting all over again with social media would be a drag.
Christine Rains writes in several genres, from paranormal to geek erotica, and she uses her own name for all of her books.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

That's an interesting question you are asking. Unfortunately, I don't have an opinion on whether a pen name for you would be good or not.

Pat Dilloway said...

I have 4 different names technically and I only really have a blog and Twitter for 1 one of them. But that one doesn't sell as many books, which is because social media doesn't sell books. At any rate in this case I don't think it would really matter one way or the other.