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

Asked by: Bryan Waiker

Can you be a successful author with a pen name?

Yes, an author can legally use a pen name or pseudonym to publish their intellectual property. Pen names are legal, as long as you have purchased the rights to your pen name, and have copyrighted your name. An author of a copyrighted work is allowed to use a pseudonym or a pen name.

Should I adopt a pen name?

To use or not use a pen name or pseudonym is a personal choice. There’s not really a right or wrong answer on this—unless you do share a name with a well-known author and/or celebrity. Just remember: If you do use one, be ready to take on that new persona (even if it’s very similar to your actual identity).

Why are pen names bad?

Pen names can complicate social gatherings, especially if you forget and introduce yourself to someone under your given name, or fail to respond when someone calls you by your pen name. Also, conferences and signings may become challenging if you’re juggling two names.

How do you legally use a pen name as an author?

When filing for copyright protection for your writing, use your real name for “Copyright Claimant” and your pen name for “Name of Author.” If you do not want your legal name associated with the pen name, enter only the pen name under “Name of Author” and identify it as such (Lucy Lychuzweckio writing as Lucy Smith).

Why did JK Rowling use a pseudonym?

I certainly wanted to take my writing persona as far away as possible from me, so a male pseudonym seemed a good idea. It doesn’t consciously change the way I write. I think I write differently, because it’s a very different genre.

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Can you self publish under a pen name?

Using a pen name when self-publishing is easier, because you have more control as a self-publisher. If, on the other hand, a publishing company is involved, they may be concerned that your choice to remain anonymous could negatively impact the marketing of your book.

Why do authors use pen names?

A pen name becomes a sort of shield, allowing the author to conceal his or her identity, shake off any pre-conceived notions, internal or external, and to write freely in the genre of his or her choice. As a general rule, most authors should publish under their legal, given name.

When should you use a pen name?

Writers, then and now, needing protection from the government, enemies of one sort or another, chose to write under a pen name for their personal protection. In some cases, though, it’s simply a matter of privacy.

Why did Stephen King use a pen name?

In the 1970s, authors were discouraged from writing more than one book a year; industry wisdom held that publishing more would oversaturate the market and diminish sales. So King, finding this insufficient to satiate his inspiration, turned to a pseudonym, despite having only three books to his real name.

What is an author’s fake name called?

A pseudonym is a false or fictitious name, especially one used by an author. When an author uses a pseudonym, it can also be called a pen name or a nom de plume.

How do you pick a good pen name?

To choose a pen name:

  1. Identify the right age for your pseudonym.
  2. Choose options that fit your literary genre.
  3. Check the availability of your pen name’s URL and social media handles.
  4. Choose a name that’s easy to spell, pronounce, and remember.
  5. Make sure your pen name isn’t similar or identical to another author’s.
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How does a pen name work?

A fancy French term for “pen name” or pseudonym, using a nom de plume means picking a name other than your own and slapping it on the front of your book. That way you can—the theory goes—write about all the things, without all the anxiety. And to some degree that’s true.