Man, did I ever get a nasty surprise this morning when I checked whether my IWSG post had gone live--it'd disappeared. You can imagine my frustration. I'd prepared it a few weeks ago so I could clear my slate for an April write fest.
I really don't have the heart to redo the whole thing with pictures etc, so I'll just get to the question of the day--no, not the suggested question about whether I've ever used the A-Z to market a book--my question today is 'what do you think of pen names/pseudonyms?' I've been thinking of republishing under a pen name after attending a Joanna Penn workshop--she publishes under Joanna Penn for her non-fiction and as J.F. Penn for her fiction. She says it helps Amazon to target readers for the different genres.
So then I started researching, as you do, and was quite surprised at the authors who use more than one name. Who would have thunk?
- Stephen King (his real name) writes Horror. He also writes as Richard Bachman, Eleanor Druse, Steve King, and John Swithen. Check them out!
- Jack Higgins (his pseudonym) writes Mystery. He also writes as Martin Fallon, James Graham, and Hugh Marlowe.
- Issac Asimov (his real name) wrote Science Fiction. He also wrote as Paul French and George E. Dale.
- J.K Rowling (her real name) writes her Cormorant Strike detective series under the pen name Robert Galbraith -- that secret was soon revealed!
- Barbara Michaels (her pseudonym) writes gothic and supernatural Thrillers. She also writes as Elizabeth Peters.
- Nora Roberts ( born Eleanor Marie Robertson) writes as J. D. Robb for her Death series and under the pseudonym Jill March. She calls herself Sarah Hardesty in the UK. Fascinating!
- Alistair MacLean (his real name) writes Mystery. He also writes as Ian Stuart.
- Eboni Snoe (her pseudonym) writes African-American Romance.
- So, the question is -- why do these successful authors use pen names? I'm sure they're not insecure about too much. Why then? Is it just about different genres, or are there other reasons?
- Do you think the extra work involved (new blog, new social media etc) is worth it to write under a pen name? I've had people tell me yes, people tell me no.