Could I hear your thoughts on author pseudonyms, please?

It’s been a long time since I blogged three times a week, but since my complete blog hiatus last December, my average was a new post once a week—until last month. In April, I blogged only once. I have a good excuse, though.

I’ve been busy writing. Almost every day. All day.  I finished revising one novel and sent it to an alpha reader. And then I returned to working on a novel in a far different genre. What genre would that be, you ask? Well, it used to be called chick-lit, but that term is passé. Let’s call it romantic comedy.

3apples

If you’ve read my other books, you know I don’t usually write light stories. And neither my recently revised novel nor the other one still in first drafting are anything close to humorous. So writing romantic comedy is an experiment for me.

I’ve been having a lot of fun writing it, but I knew that was no guarantee anyone else would have fun reading it. And because writing time is too precious to waste, I decided to test my comedy writing ability by asking for a little feedback. The verdict is a thumbs-up. Yay! Now, I’ll continue my fun project with more confidence.

But since the genres of the revised novel and this one are both different genres from my usual serious women’s fiction, I’m revisiting the idea of author branding. I want my brand to be good writing, of course. But for marketing purposes it’s said to be helpful if readers identify your author name with a particular genre. In my case, that would be three author names.

I wouldn’t try to be three completely different people. For instance, I wouldn’t use different bios and author photos (two not mine.) Though I expect I’d need some presence in social media under the two new names. Even so, that might be more problematic than I think. So …

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Are any of you writing under two or more author names? If so, would you share your thoughts on the pros and cons of that, please?

 

Linda

14 thoughts on “Could I hear your thoughts on author pseudonyms, please?

  1. While I understand a lot of the marketing and other personal reasons for writing under a pseudonym, I really have no intention to use one if I can help it. I like how you put it in the post: “I want good writing to be my brand.” I would also like to be known for my variety and ability to cross and blur genres. It might be a little bit of an unlikely dream, but I’ll be darned if I’m not going try.

    I think it’s just important to stick with what seems the right path for you.

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  2. I use a pseudonym – but it’s the only name I use – both in my writing and on social media. Friends I know who have tried several pen names find that one catches on while titles under the others languish. Even if it is a departure from your usual fare, I think one name to rule them all is the best approach.

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  3. OMG, I’m already confused enough about who I am. I already talk to my imaginary characters, so if I added another name to my existence, I would be ready for the loony bin. I don’t think I could handle more than one name. 🙂

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  4. I’ve often thought of doing this, as well, but it’s already too late. I’ve got several different genres and writing styles under one name now and it would be much too much work to change it. So I’ve decided to forego a pen name unless things get really bad and I just need to start over with a clean slate, so to speak.

    I think a pen name can work either way. I have a friend who writes under two different names. One does better than the other, but both make her a decent money. It definitely works for her. My personal opinion is that you should publish under a different name if it’s a completely different genre you’re going to want to market differently — with different types of covers, etc. I think you’re in a good position to do that. But, look at me, you can also just stick to one name and have it work too. It’s really what you think you’ll be most comfortable with. Good luck!

    (and I’m dying to read this new stuff of yours!)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Michelle. 🙂 I thought about you as I wrote this post. Out of the three books I’m writing, two of them would fit under the women’s fiction umbrella, though one is far lighter than the other, which is more like Brevity and Illusion. But the third novel has a supernatural element and violence, so I wonder if that one should be published under another name. Then again, I think I need to consider whether I’ll write more romantic comedy or “horror” novels. If so, that would make starting a new “brand name” more worthwhile.

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  5. Nice to see a little thumbnail of you on my post about turning 57. And also nice to visit your blog and catch up with what you’ve been doing–lots of writing I see. Good for you!

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  6. This is something I’ve considered since I write for both adults and kids. I feel really torn because a part of me cringes when I’m referred to as a “young adult author.” All my publishing experience, before my novels came out, was writing adult short fiction. I wonder if this might end up being a problem later on should I ever publish an adult novel, but then again, I feel as though my audience is mostly adults even though I write YA. Confusing.

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying the writing process, Linda. I think we sometimes lose sight of that. I know I have in the past. And if there’s no joy in the writing , haven’t we lost the whole point of writing? It seems to me writing should be our passion, not simply the publication of our stories.

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    1. My husband said the same things to me about joy and passion yesterday, Laura. 🙂 My blog post for tomorrow deals with temporarily letting others steal my joy of writing (and publishing.) I do it too often.

      I think I’ve only read one of your adult shorts, so I plead guilty to thinking of you as a YA author. Forgive me. I’ll correct my thinking. If you should write an adult novel, you might be all right using the same name as long as you make the difference clear by the description and book cover. But I’m sure you’re publisher will advise what’s best.

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  7. I think it is best to stick with the same name. Judy Blume wrote children and adult books as have many other writers who move from one genre to another. I think If I like a Linda Cassidy Lewis book, I would pick up another by that author even if it was a different genre. The only time I would use a pseudonym would be if I wrote erotica. (for all you know, I do)

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    1. I didn’t know that about Judy Blume, Darlene. Actually, the question is probably moot for me because it seems that no matter what I write, including horror, there’s always a love story element. 🙂

      But now you’ve got me wondering if you DO write erotica! I have one reader who consistently tells me to make my books spicier.

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