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pen names and online identity for the self publisher

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by sashamerideth, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

    Ok, I have my first piece ready for beta reading and then publishing through Smashwords (unless there is a good reason I shouldn't), and a bunch of smaller places, including my own website. I want to use a pen name, but does that mean that I also need a separate persona for twitter, my blog, Facebook, etc?

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  2. myrddin173

    myrddin173 Maester

    It is really up to you, you don't "have" to do anything. Creating a separate "Pen-name persona" for social networking will probably be a challenge. I would say you should because two different names could confuse potential readers. A number of authors, even those that use their real name, have separate personal and professional pages.

    When I get around to it I'm going to have a blog and stuff under my pen-name, simply because I want to keep my writing life separate from my personal life.
  3. zizban

    zizban Troubadour

    For some reason, I've never used my real name online. I am not a privacy freak or anything but it just happened. The name I use online is not my real name yet thats what everything knows me as online.

    I have personal and professional Facebook pages and I used to have personal and professional Twitter feeds but that got annoying.

    You can set up a fan page on Facebook using your non de plume. I did and it's easy.
  4. boboratory

    boboratory Minstrel

    If I may ask, are you concerned that self publishing a work will hurt your chances with a publisher? That's the impression I get from the context of the post.
  5. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

    Publishers and agents can approach me if they want but their models are old, outdated, and of little interest to me.

    I am a bit of a privacy nut but am more interested in the implications of a pen name in the digital age, where there is just more information out there about people.

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  6. OrionDarkwood

    OrionDarkwood Scribe

    I plan on using my pen name to publish, however in this day and age its way too easy to find out your real name. If you have a persona account in your social media then by all means keep it but unless you want the work of keeping separate lives I would keep it simple.
  7. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    I've actually recently started associating my real name with my online name. I've started writing articles under my real name and posting them on suite 101, and of course I'm posting links to them on twitter and my LJ and facebook etc, so if anyone wanted to know my real name they'd have no trouble finding it. Admittedly this can be seen as risky, but I don't intend to say anything stupid or controversial enough to bring down the wrath of the internet. If I do end up self-publishing a novel (assuming I ever finish one), I'm not entirely sure what I'll do. On the one hand, I've got a big enough ego that I want my name to be recognised, not a fake name, for everything that I do. On the other hand, it might get confusing when people look up my name in search of an article and find fantasy instead, or vice versa.
  8. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

    It depends entirely on the distance you want to keep between your 'personae' (Spellcheck says that's the proper plural). I intend to write under a pen name, but I won't make any bones about the fact that the two name are both me. I don't intend to be significantly different under my 'author' name than I would under my real name. I'm using a pen name because it helps me keep my correspondence straight and because the pseudonym is visually attractive and rolls of the tongue. And for fun.
  9. The Blue Lotus

    The Blue Lotus Auror

    Sasha, That depends on how much distance you want between you and your work.

    Some people have managed to build entire lives that are so seprate from one another that one would be hard pressed to connect the dots.

    Others could care less and just let it fly. I would however, assume that you want to keep them seperated because you are using a pen name.

    The reason I am using one is because generaly speaking foreign sounding names and female names tend to do far worse in both sci-fi and fantasy.

    So you have to figure out why you want to use a pen name first, that will lead you to your answer in most cases.

    Hope that helps,
  10. mythique890

    mythique890 Sage

    I think if you're going to publish under a pen name it's a good idea to have a that name associated with a Twitter, blog, and facebook page where people can find out more about you (I agree that a fan page on fb is probably plenty), especially if you want to keep your real name quiet. It's what I'd do, and it's really not much trouble to set up accounts on any of those sites. I'm strongly considering using my maiden name instead of my married one for aesthetic purposes (love my husband, but his last name is a noun, and not a cool one like "Stone") and I'd want people to be able to find me online if they were interested. People who feel like they "know" you are people who are more likely to buy your work, IMO, and that means a searchable online presence.

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