Saturday, March 15, 2014

Things You Should Know About Pen Names

As you may or may not know, another writer is using my name now on her book.  This is unsettling enough, but the book in question seems to be soft-porn while I am trying to build a reputation as someone who writes clean books.  So what do I do?  Haven't figured that out yet.

Things you need to be aware of when choosing a name:

1.  Anyone Can Use It:  Another writer can come along and use your name on their books.  Yes, it is allowed.  But if you try to use a name like JK Rowling, you will be in deep trouble.

2.  Don't Use Initials:  This is something I wish I'd known.  If you use initials, people may not be able to find you depending on if they use periods and spaces.  Think about it.  When I use K.C. Blake I can find myself on Goodreads, but if I delete the space like K.C. Blake, it thinks I am talking about a different person entirely.  And when someone else comes along and does this: KC Blake without periods or spaces, the program doesn't recognize it as a name already in use.  Say no to initials for your own peace of mind.

3.  Don't Use Regular Names and Spellings:  Because the name Blake is ordinary and K.C. is used a lot, people tell me (now after it is too late) that I shouldn't have used this name.  I should have used Kasi (like I use to with Harlequin).  Yeah.  So now I know.

Did I forget anything?  If I did, let me know.  Pen names are important.  Even if it is your real name, think before you use initials.  Or consider a different spelling if it is too common.


Jane Hanbury said...

Very useful post. One to remember for the future. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good advice! Ironically enough I found this article while checking if "K.C. Blake" would make a good penname...clearly not! :)

I'm going to find something with zero Google results...and no initials! :)