What do J.K. Rowling, Ann Rice, Agatha Christie, Lewis Carroll, George Orwell and Ayn Rand have in common? They all use pen names!
Many authors who publish books under pen names have very good reasons for doing so. The following is a list of the most popular reasons authors choose to use pen names:
- Privacy and to preserve anonymity
- Their real name does not flow or is not “catchy”.
- Separate themselves from prejudice in cases of having an “ethnic” name.
- They plan on writing under different genres.
- To sound more “male”. Male authors tend to sell more books.
- They do not like their real name.
- Because we can!
All of these are very good reasons and many of them are the reasons that I choose to use a pen name. My father still owns the property I am writing about and there is a definite need for privacy for the security of the property as well as for my family. I am a female and feel that I will sell more books if my name sounds male. I plan on writing under different genres, so pen names will definitely come in handy. Take for instance, Nora Roberts. She also writes under the pen name J.D. Robb in a different genre. Many popular authors that you have probably read, write under pen names of which you may not be familiar.
If you are so inclined, research the pen name of some popular authors. You might be surprised!