Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pseudonym or No Pseudonym...That is the Question

I write historical romances for Entangled Publishing. But I am also getting ready to turn in proposals for two paranormal romances. I know several authors who write different genres under different names and also some who write different genres under the same name.

I have no idea what I should do :D

Do you have a preference? If you had a favorite author who wrote Genre A, and then you did a search to find more Genre A and found Genre B, would you assume they no longer write Genre A and not keep up with their books? Would you try a different genre by an author you like even if it's not one you usually read?

Or does the name not matter at all? My main concern has always been confusion when trying to build my "brand" or for my readers when looking for my books. However, maybe that isn't such a big concern anymore (at least when it comes to searching.) After all, when you search for an author on Amazon or google, it pulls up all their books.

I'm just not sure :) I can see the merits for both using a pen name and keeping everything under my own name. This is a question I've bounced around a lot over the years, but it's something I may have to make a decision on soon and I'm a little stumped :)

If you were to write more than one genre, would you write them under separate names? Why or why not?


  1. I think you're fine since you are in the same genre (romance). If your voice/style is the same folks will like you for that and want to read anything you write. I can only give you an anecdotal example but when I first discovered Katie MacAlister I had to read all her backlist regardless of subgenre. Her wit and humor was what I wanted to read whether it was historical or paranormal (she writes both). Now if you were going to switch genres, like to mysteries, then yep I'd suggest a different name since reader expectations are different. in fact that's what Katie MacAlister did.... just my 2 cents

  2. I plan to write under a pen name for my MG and YA fantasy novels. I've had some nonfiction published that is very different from what I'm doing. So, yes, I can see the value of a pen name.

  3. I agree that within the same genre it's not a big deal to me, but I would say that doesn't apply if it's between YA and adult romance. If I was writing YA romance plus adult ones, I would probably have a different name for each but not try to keep it a secret. That way it would be more like a brand/guide on what content the reader is going to find inside, but without making it hard for those who want to find your other titles.

  4. ahhh yes, see, I also have a NF book out under my own I was wondering about that as well. If I should keep my fiction under one name and my NF under the other.

  5. Hey Michelle! From a marketing perspective, I'd say it depends on how you set your readers' expectations. Different genres can work under the same author name as long as the readers can identify something that gives them the same emotional connection -- be it your voice, your style, etc. And if you've set that expectation from the beginning with your branding.

    If you built a website, marketing materials and your brand around writing a certain kind of historical, then it might be more difficult for those readers who have invested in that brand to switch to paranormal. And they are vastly different genres for some readers, so some might never make the switch.

    Ultimately, I think from a branding perspective, you have to set your readers' expectations and stick to what you promise this based on that. Becoming a loyal reader is about trust, so as long as you honor that trust, you'll be good. :)

  6. I don't know that I'd write with a pseudonym unless it was TOTALLY different. You write romance...but the subgenre is different. If you were to write historical romance and then epic fantasy, i'd say yes.

    That being said, I've decided if I publish, I'll probably use my first initials and then my last name, versus my first name, because I do worry about boys not picking up my books because my name is Katie.

    ;) Of course, the first step is to get an agent, and I haven't even touched that part of the process yet, so I'm jumping the gun.

  7. I use my real name because I want everyone know I actually succeeded in publishing a book. However, if I should ever write something that some of my friends or family might consider offensive, I would definitely use a different name.

  8. I write different genres under the same name and don't plan on ever writing under a pseudonym. I do read authors who publish multiple genres because generally it's their writing style that draws me in followed by a awesome story. If you spend all that work building your name don't you want to carry that over to whatever project your working on. Plus you might be able to expose your followers to a new genre.

  9. I use a variation on my real name. Although my upcoming book is MG, I do plan on publishing in other genres. Still, I believe that any picture books, YA or even adult that I publish would be fine for the same author identity. I'm not a super edgy writer, so my adult books would be about grown-up people, not *wink nudge* "adult books."

  10. I'm working on an MG novel, and I have a romance short story coming out in an anthology next month. I used a pen name for that because it's so totally different from MG! But within different genres of romance. . . I think if I found that an author I liked wrote a genre I didn't normally read, I'd check it out.

  11. I write under an alias, but that's because there's already several writers with my name, one that writes paranormal erotica, and I don't want to add to the snarl. (Plus, I want me to be the first thing they find if googling)

    I think from paranormal to historical isn't that big a leap. But it's ultimately up to you.


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