as promised here are the answers to the pen name
quiz. scroll down to the quiz to see them.
lots of famous authors use a pen name. some use their
real name and a pen name or several pen names. it got
me wondering why a writer uses a pen name and if
your gonna use one how do you choose a good one.
why you might wanna use a pen name
1. your own name is boring & you want a more unique name - one that can be remembered.
2. your own name is too common (john smith) popular (jennifer aniston) or wont be taken seriously (bertha day).
3. to hide your gender. some books sell better by a woman author ( like romance) and some by a man (like business). j. k. rowling used just two initials and her last name because she was advised that male authors are more likely to get published.
4. to distance yourself from all or some or your books
5. to protect yourself from retribution. yikes! scary!
6. marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. stephen king published 4 novels under a pen name because his publisher didnt think people would buy more than 1 novel per year by the same author.
7. your real name might be confused with another author or famous person
8. to match up with different genres you write. romance writer nora roberts wrote erotic thrillers as j. d. robb.
9. privacy or you dont want what you wrote to be mistaken for who you are.
10. you dont want your family or friends knowing how much you know about steamy sex stuff. ack! ha ha.
PEN NAME??? first you need to decide if you really need one. if your real name is a good author name - use it!
if you wanna use a pen name heres some good advice for choosing one
1. make it easy to spell and remember. a two syllable first name and a one syllable last name is a good way to be remembered. heres a good example - lenny lee :) some authors are lucky and their real name fits the syllable test - stephen king, sterling north.
2. dont make it too fancy or cute. dont try to be too clever. a book about flowers by perry winkle or clover fields probably wont be taken too seriously. for kid picture books it might be ok to be cute or clever.
3. dont use bizarre or showy names and dont rhyme the first and last name - harry berry, carol ferral.
4. use the first half of the alphabet. theres not many famous authors with last names n-z.
5. sandwich yourself between famous writers in your genre. for example if you write horror, pick a "K" name so youll be on the bookshelf between stephen king and dean koontz.
6. pick a name that not been used. research names on google and at large bookstores like amazon and barnes and noble. avoid getting sued!
7. consider a gender neutral first name like terry, alex, jamie, tracy, joey.
8. test your name out on the internet and with friends and family. if people react strangely or negatively to it you probably need to find a new name.
here are the answers to the famous authors pen names quiz.
1. peter jackson = ernest hemingway
2. richard bachman or john swithen = stephen king
3. mary westmacott = agatha christie
4. boz = charles dickens
5. clive hamilton = c.s. lewis
6. currer, ellis and acton bell = charlotte, emily and anne bronte
7. paul french = isaac isamov
ill post the answers on saturday
do you have any more ideas on why a writer uses a pen name or ideas on choosing a good one? do you use a pen name and if you dont, would you?
...hugs from lenny