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Is a Pseudonym a Good Thing or Not..?

May 5, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Pseudonym – definition: a fictitious name used by a writer to conceal his or her identity : a pen name

What do you think? Is this a good idea or not? My own pen name is actually a combination of my given names so not really a pseudonym in the true sense of the word. Many ‘famous’ authors have used pen names, some to experiment with another genre or to avoid a misconception by their readers. Using initials can ‘hide’ the true gender of a writer – well for a time anyway. But is it really a practice required in this day and age?

stephen-king

Let’s look at Stephen King (yes I know – but he’s my hero!) King used the pen name Richard Bachman for seven short novels in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s. There are two trains of thought about why he did this. 1) He wanted to find out if he could replicate his success to ensure it was not an accident or 2) the publishing standards only allowed a single book per year. As a prolific writer the restriction must have been very frustrating. (If only we could be so lucky)

English: Portrait of Charlotte Bronte by J. H....

English: Portrait of Charlotte Bronte by J. H. Thompson Русский: Портрет Шарлотты Бронте работы Дж. Х. Томпсона (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pseudonym was also used to hide gender when society dictated a woman’s role, such as Charlotte Bronte, writing under Currer Bell while Emily Bronte used Ellis Bell. Another surprise pen name is George Orwell, whose Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm caused such a sensation in the 1940’s. He was actually named Eric Arthur Blair. More recently Joanne Rowling used J.K. Rowling in an attempt to attract boy readers. It was thought if they perceived the author to be male they would be more likely to read the books about the young wizard.Is this really the case? Do you have a pen name? What were your reasons for using one?
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P.S. No Sunday Snippets today from me but please pop over to:

http://mermaidssinging.wordpress.com/

http://caitlinsternwrites.wordpress.com/

http://ileandrayoung.com

http://jennykellerford.wordpress.com

http://jennifermeaton.com/

http://richardleonard.wordpress.com

http://jordannaeast.com

http://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com

http://itsjennythewren.wordpress.com/

http://wehrismypen.wordpress.com

http://jlroeder.wordpress.com

https://mandyevebarnett.com/

http://www.michellezieglerauthor.com

http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com/

Rumours – Good or Bad…?

February 20, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Scuttlebutt – definition : rumour, gossip.Gossip

As writers and authors we have to be aware of how we present ourselves not only on a face to face basis but also on social media. An extreme political or religious view, either on the vast array of media sites or in person, can seriously harm how we are perceived. If we are disrespectful, arrogant or act aloof our prospective and current readers opinion of us will alter negatively and more than likely stop them buying our books, following us in cyber space or attending author readings. Be aware of the links and comments you make and ‘like’. If something is too extreme you may chose not just to hide it but unfriend or block the person responsible.

It is also best to be circumspect on the types of ‘friends’ you are adding. If someone is politically bias, posting foul language, pornography or has extreme religious views, their opinions could be a interpreted as your own. Utilizing the settings on your particular media is a good way to ensure your professional image is not damaged, as is separating personal and professional pages or sites. Try to view your ‘virtual’ presence as a stranger would to make sure it is reflecting you positively.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule and being a member of a particular group could be advantageous for your genre or novel. However, if you are a multi-genre author you have the option to use different sites specific to each one or write under pen names.

Gossip can be a good thing if it is in regard to how wonderful someone found your latest novel or how marvellous you were at a local book signing. Maintain a professional but friendly demeanour whether in the real world or the cyber one. Engaging with your fans, or prospective ones to discuss your novel’s characters, the plot or your creative processes is a great way to entice a greater readership. Nonetheless remember to keep a balance between your professional life and your personal one.

Have you experienced any negative feedback?

negative feedback system

negative feedback system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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