Should I Use a Pen Name/Pseudonym?
Not unless you’re willing to create a whole identity for that name. If you are a prolific writer, you will need to have a website, email address, marketing copy, etc. for that identity. Everything that is tied to your actual person will need to be created for your made-up one. If you are worried about someone discovering that you write inflammatory political rhetoric or niche erotica, then try to find a way around using a pen name. Use only your initials; ensure your writing won’t ever come across in their sphere of influence (via social media or otherwise).
You want to be recognized for your work. Why let your fictitious name take the credit? You will never be able to brag about your accomplishments if you use a pseudonym. Say your erotica series takes off and you start earning big money. Do you think people will really care that you’re writing about scandalous rakes and Scottish lads in kilts? No! Take the money and be proud! Claim what is yours!
Using a pseudonym also opens you to legal issues regarding taxes. Of course, pen names are legal, but you’ll have to check with your state or country of origin to ensure you aren’t putting yourself in some sort of financial or legal jeopardy. You may need to register your pen name as a trademark.
Remember, creating and using a pen name is like a lying. It’s okay initially, but it can snowball. The logistics of working with a pen name are rarely considered, so take the time to explore your options!
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Owner/Editor of Emerging Ink Solutions, avid YA/NA author, adamant supporter of the Oxford Comma, anime and music enthusiast.