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Thread: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?


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Permlink Replies: 15 - Pages: 2 [ 1 2 | Next ] - Last Post: Dec 26, 2017 1:46 PM Last Post By: Joseph M Erhardt
Brianna

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/26/17
Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 9:51 PM
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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read my question!

I am currently writing my first novel. I read that romantic/erotic romance novels do well on KU, and since those are novels I enjoy reading, I thought I would try my hand at one. I currently have a blog that is titled using a nickname of mine. I'd like to use that same name for when I finish and publish my book. It is easily traceable to me if anyone did the least amount of Googling and/or Facebook stalking, which is probably the case with many pen names anyway. The main reason I would use a pen name in the first place is to help set my book apart in searches since I have a fairly common name. Plus I already have a small audience for my blog and existing name.

Since my book has erotic scenes (including lesbian and FMF sex), I am unsure of whether or not to use my existing pen name or create a new one. Have you ever published a book with your real name (or well known pen name) and regretted it? Did someone at work, or a loved one find out it was you, and make a big stink about it? My concern mainly comes from whether or not future job prospects may be impacted by this book. I could tone down the sex scenes a bit to make it a little more "comfortable" for family to read, but I feel like it would be taking away a major element to the story, so I'm hesitant to do that.

Any advice would help.

Thanks

Edited by: Brianna on Dec 25, 2017 9:51 PM
Dave Casey

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Registered: 03/03/16
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 12:15 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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If you are worried about any of these things, you'd be better off using a pen name and keeping your writing life separate from your real life. Chances are nothing bad will happen if you publish under your own name, but there is always that slight chance that it could come back to bite you in the butt somewhere down the road.
grms@oceanfree....

Posts: 40
Registered: 08/12/11
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 2:14 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
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I would advise a pen name, and further, abandon Facebook, is a security hole. Neither subject you mention is that controversial nowadays, so I would
not worry too much about it getting out that you wrote about. (I am guessinng what FMF means), but that is up to you.

I would strongly advise against any sort of `bad' sex writing, e.g, that involves hurting eople, I woulde, rightly be ashamed of that myself. I once entered a book under the pornography catagory and i think it sold a little better,

Live long and prosper, but avoid alcohol
writerbn

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Registered: 05/12/12
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 5:00 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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Brianna wrote:
Since my book has erotic scenes (including lesbian and FMF sex), I am unsure of whether or not to use my existing pen name or create a new one. Have you ever published a book with your real name (or well known pen name) and regretted it? Did someone at work, or a loved one find out it was you, and make a big stink about it? My concern mainly comes from whether or not future job prospects may be impacted by this book. I could tone down the sex scenes a bit to make it a little more "comfortable" for family to read, but I feel like it would be taking away a major element to the story, so I'm hesitant to do that.

I would strongly advise using a pen name. I have two and will be working on #3 shortly.

From your descri*ption, it sounds like you don't have a clear idea of the audience for your book. I think you need to figure that out before you do anything else. Romance is a brutally competitive category, and readers are extremely picky. They get upset when books are miscategorized or mix subgenres.
Marjorie Jones

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Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 5:21 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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Brianna wrote:
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read my question!

I am currently writing my first novel. I read that romantic/erotic romance novels do well on KU, and since those are novels I enjoy reading, I thought I would try my hand at one.


Hi Brianna,

I second the advice you've already received in that I, personally, would use a pen name for erotica/erotic writings if you have any concerns about family, friends, or stalkers. I would use a completely separate pen name from the one you have already established if it is traceable back to you.

I'm also encouraging you to learn the skills necessary to write and to be honest with yourself about your level of talent. (I'm not saying you don't have it... I have never read anything you've written, of course.) Enjoying reading a genre (any genre) and equating that with "trying hand," at writing a novel are not equal concepts. And intending to publish one's first novel in the open-market without first vetting it for content and quality (gaining the opinions of total STRANGERS... not friends, family, or fans) is something we see far too often as an industry.

There is room for everyone who wishes to write a book, but please, please, please take the time you need to learn the craft, develop your talent, and publish a book that is 100% professional. Research the industry and expectations. Learn what it means to publish a book, which is entirely separate from the development and writing stage of book production.

I wish you the very best of luck in your new endeavor. Please take this response in the spirit in which it is given :) By getting off on the right foot, so to speak, you'll save yourself having to scrap a career before it even begins in order to recreate yourself as yet another entity once your talent really takes hold.

M
Brianna

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/26/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 8:01 AM   in response to: grms@oceanfree.... in response to: grms@oceanfree....
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When you say to abandon Facebook, do you mean don't use it for marketing my book at all?
Joe Baldizzone

Posts: 103
Registered: 03/17/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 8:03 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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I regret not using a pen name on this forum :).
Brad the wronger

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Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 8:12 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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Once on the internet, forever on the internet.
Repeat that as a mantra for the rest of the day.

Even if you unpublish and delete books from your publisher account, that information will forever be on the internet, including book cover images. It will also forever be at Goodreads. Beg and connive all you want, but they will not remove a book. The same as with print versions made through Createspace. Be absolutely certain you want your real name associated with that book before you publish.
Brianna

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/26/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 8:23 AM   in response to: Marjorie Jones in response to: Marjorie Jones
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Thank you for your input here.

While I haven't written a full length novel before, I have written plenty of fictional stories and research papers (which has come in handy since I'm writing a period piece and am aiming to be as historically accurate as possible), and have received a lot of feedback in my life about those works. I'm also an avid (and picky) reader myself. I'm not trying to just put out any old story just because I can. I'm looking to fill a gap that I see in a market that I enjoy with a good quality, well-written story. I am definitely not jumping in to this blindly - thus why I'm asking for input around pen names when I'm not quite half way done with the story.

Trust me, I absolutely understand where you're coming from. I am always disappointed to download a book that seemed really good from the cover and description, only to be let down because the grammar is horrible, the plot is weak or non-existent, and the climax is...anti-climactic. Now that I've started writing my own story, I find myself having less and less patience with authors who have done little or no editing, no research, and have unnatural or stiff dialogue.
Brianna

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/26/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 8:36 AM   in response to: Brad the wronger in response to: Brad the wronger
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I keep telling myself this. And I also keep doing research and finding other authors' pen names. E.L. James is a pen name, yet her real name is easily found, along with that of her spouse (and I'm sure I could find her kids' names, too, if I looked hard enough). I keep going in circles - of course I'm going to use a pen name.....But if my book gains any traction, people will still find out I wrote it! It's like a vicious cycle that I keep getting stuck going around and around on.
steven_28652

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Registered: 07/30/12
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 9:14 AM   in response to: Dave Casey in response to: Dave Casey
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First, you must write for you. Don’t worry about what your family is going to think. Charles Bukowski once said, “If your parents like your writing, you’re doing something wrong.” The act of writing is to provoke emotion. Stir things up. I never used to curse in my writing for fear of offending my parents. I don’t worry about it now.

There was a case in the nineteen eighties where a writer primarily wrote crime novels. The crime genre took a dip. His sales dropped drastically. Fearing for his family’s livelihood, he cranked out a novel for the pornographic genre. Sales went through the roof. He left the crime genre behind and never returned. He wrote all his new novels under a pen name. The guy went on to earn millions.
Cynthia E. Gould

Posts: 99
Registered: 03/14/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 9:56 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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A DJ friend of mine was helping me when I first became a VJ (visual jockey - lighting nerd) and was wondering whether I should use my name or have a pseudonym. He deeply regretted using his own name, and he's a globally known artist, huge in Europe. He said that if you have a nickname, you can change styles every few years and totally rebrand yourself if you want. If you use your own name, you're stuck. People have one opinion of your art and likely won't change it, even if you do something new.

I use a pen name for erotica, and am only using my real name for my forthcoming self help books, since that will be in line with the brand of my blog, and life.
grms@oceanfree....

Posts: 40
Registered: 08/12/11
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 10:38 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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yes. There are other ways of promoting books, read the advice on amazon.
Brianna

Posts: 5
Registered: 12/26/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 10:58 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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Okay, thank you everyone for your input. I will definitely be using a pen name!
Salamander Mall...

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Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Has anyone released a book without using a pen name and regretted it?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 11:27 AM   in response to: Brianna in response to: Brianna
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If you write anything nowadays with a pen name there's a 98% chance a diligent researcher will penetrate the veil. If you are famous or become famous, the chance rises to 100%. Don't publish anything you don't want people to know about. Amazon may not be forever, but the internet is.
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