Top 5 Things to Know About Writing Under a Pseudonym

Hey writers--It’s an #AmWriting #WritersTopFive of 2020, and it’s a fun one—so we just HAD to share it. These go out to supporters every Monday, and occasionally, we share one—like this one— with all of our email subscribers. Feel free to forward it to a friend who might enjoy it—or share it on social and help us expand our community.

  1. The level of anonymity is your choice. You can put the pseudonym on your copyright and remain completely unfindable. Or, if the pseudonym is just for marketing purposes, you can opt to have your pseudonym on the cover but your real name on the copyright notice. 

  2. If you opt to put the copyright notice in your pseudonym’s name, the term of your copyright is affected. This publication from copyright.gov has all the details.

  3. Social media is messy! If you’re an author who is branching out, remember that you may need to maintain twice as many social media accounts. It’s easy enough to start a new business page on Facebook. But keep in mind that Facebook TOS allow for only one personal profile per human. If you form a second one and Facebook determines it to be fake, they may delete you. 

  4. It’s possible to go half-way towards pseudonymity. If your real name is Jane Doe you may consider writing as Jane Emily Doe or J.D. Doe or Jane Doe Smith. Why? A name variation allows you to separate your two brands without complicating your social media presence. 

  5. You should be crystal clear on why you’re using a pseudonym. If you want to write middle grade children’s books and also violent thrillers, you have a solid reason to separate those readerships. Go forth and invent a new identity. But if you were merely displeased with the sales of your last book, tread carefully. Changing names completely means developing a whole new readership. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need, and sometimes it feels like rolling a rock uphill.

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