Why Pseudonyms?

By Mary Jo

Today's Ask A Wench was inspired by a question from regular reader Pamela DG, who wanted to know why authors use pseudonyms.  I said the answer was complicated and worthy of a blog. For asking the question, Pamela will get a book from me. 

Writing with a pseudonym, a name not one's own, can occur for any number or reasons.  The Wenches explain why:

From Nicola Harlequin-cz-chuda-snoubenka-105

I’ve never written under a pseudonym. This was not a conscious decision. I was literally so naïve when I was first published that it did not cross my mind to consider it. This seems remarkable to me now but I had had no experience of the publishing world other than a godmother who wrote religious books under her own name. I quickly came to regret my naivety. For a number of years I wrote historical romance for Mills & Boon alongside working as an academic registrar in a university. One day a mischievous colleague read out a passage from one of my books in a meeting, which was quite embarrassing. I wasn’t ashamed of the books or that I had written them but I didn’t want my writing and my other work life to cross over.

Once I started to write full time it didn’t matter at all and it’s never really given me any problems since. There has only been one odd occasion when a publisher kept referring to Nicola Cornick as my pseudonym and refused to accept that it wasn’t!  That said, if I was starting over again knowing what I do now, I’d probably use a pseudonym. I don’t dislike my name but it does give you the opportunity to call yourself something you’ve always wanted to be! One of the reasons I like my Czech editions is that I love being called Cornickova!  

Pat Rice explains:

Way back in the mists of time, I was a CPA working for two Baptist deacons when I sold my Quaid_DamnHimtoHell_600x900 first steamy historical romance. I requested a pseudonym, even included it on the title page of the manuscript. I cannot remember what I chose but it was certainly not the big Pat Rice they emblazoned across the cover. In hot pink, if I remember correctly. I had to tell my bosses that I sold a book, and it would be coming out under my name. They didn’t blink. I’m not entirely certain they believed me. I doubt they ever read it.

So that was the last thought I gave to pseudonyms until I started writing urban fantasy. By that time, I’d been in the biz for a long time and had established a reputation for certain types of romance, which in no way resembled those urban fantasies. As much out of curiosity as anything, I decided I wanted to play with a new name and see if I could start a new career as a fantasy writer. I sat down with Mary Jo and Susan King and we worked out the best letters in numerology and came up with Jamie Quaid. I don’t think numerology works. <G> I love the name and the books did reasonably well but starting a second career was more work than I can manage. (The image is the latest cover, when I quit pretending to be anyone else)

Lady macbeth hardcoverSusan King next:

Most of my books are written under my own name (married version), though I have used two other names, one a full pseudonym and the other a partial pseudonym. Like Nicola, in hindsight I wish I had known more about writing under one's own name when I started out as a very naive newbie writer a million years ago (okay, 27). I'm enough of an introvert that I would have felt better protected among family, friends, and locals. I know some authors who write only under their own names, others who write using two or more names, genuine plus invented, and a few who so fiercely protect their pseudonyms that only a few close friends know who really writes those books. That anonymity has a certain appeal sometimes. 

My first 14 books were written as Susan King, but when I changed publishers, I decided to use a pseudonym–Sarah Gabriel–since at the time I was also writing my first mainstream hardcover historical for Random House. It made sense to separate the simultaneous releases in different genres. When I completed the manuscript for Lady Macbeth: A Novel under my own name, the editorial committee asked me to use three names for a more "academic" feel. I suggested adding my maiden name, which is Italian. My editor came back with "Do you have something else?" The committee felt that my Italian name was a bit unusual, and readers might have trouble remembering it or googling it.

So I chose Fraser from my mother's family; my great-aunt, born in Scotland, had been a Susan Fraser, and that felt like a no-brainer–so we agreed on Susan Fraser King. Now that my Sarah Gabriel books will be released in new ebook editions, I've been converting them back to my own name, Susan King. Two more will be released this year, with gorgeous covers and newly edited text, and I'm looking forward to telling you more about those soon!  

 Christina Courtenay explains:

TSTOS new smallWhen I first started writing, I knew I wanted to write historical romance and timeslip – as a history buff, there was never any question about that. Looking at my favourite authors within those genres, I could see that they all had long flowing names that sounded somehow right and slightly old-fashioned. My real name is anything but – depending on which incarnation I use, it’s either weird (and no one can pronounce or spell it) or short and modern sounding.

I was christened Pia-Christina, but I’ve always just been called Pia (which even my spell checker thinks should be Pea). My maiden name was Tapper and my married surname is Fenton – together with Pia, either of those are really short. So I figured I’d invent something a lot more ‘historical’ and came up with Christina Courtenay. The Courtenay part is from the Dorset village my ancestors came from – Iwerne Courtney – which went well with Christina. And that way I NEW COVER_FRONT150dpi_ MEDcould be a whole new persona too, instead of little old me. Great, right? Wrong!

By the time I got published, I had already been a member of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association for many years and everyone there knew me as Pia. So when I had a book out as Christina, they were all very confused and had no idea who that was. I ended up having to use a Twitter handle with both names, which totally defeated the object of  myself and hiding behind a pseudonym. Then a few years later I wrote a couple of YA stories set in the present, which meant Christina Courtenay was too old-fashioned, so of course I had to revert to my real name. And now? I answer to just about anything! The moral of the story for me? I should have just been myself!

Rose&billy1Anne Gracie's turn:

When I sold my first book (to Harlequin UK) the general advice to new authors was to use a pseudonym. My own name is pretty common, and there are quite a few women with the same name in public life in Australia and elsewhere. I wanted a pseudonym that would be distinctive enough but also easy to remember and spell. I suggested using my grandmother's maiden name — Rose Annie May — but my editor rejected it as "too L'il Abner" — which would have horrified Nana. She was a very elegant and quite snobbish lady.  (The picture is of her and my grandfather.)

The decision to keep my own first name was made during a workshop run by a published historical romance author whose books I'd read and admired. She set us writing exercises, but when people called out her name she kept forgetting to respond to it.

My editor was getting impatient so when I was attending a band rehearsal, I discussed the various choices with my fellow band members. We had our rehearsal, consuming a few drinks in the process, and hours later, as I was about to leave, I recalled my task. When I asked them which name they liked, they could only recall one — Anne Gracie, which is a Scottish name from my father's side of the family.  So that was that. These days it doesn't even feel like a pseudonym, but who I really am.

Andrea is complicated!

Who am I? I think I can be forgiven for occasionally getting confused in my writing life, as Andrea Penrose compositeI’m the Wench with the most pseudonyms. It’s a long, long story . . . I sold my first book to the Signet traditional Regency romance line, and as a clueless newbie author, I nodded my head vigorously and said “of course, of course!" when my editor nixed my real last name, saying people wouldn’t be able to pronounce it correctly and so I needed a pseudonym. So, Andrea Pickens came into being.

I chugged along nicely under that moniker until Signet closed the traditional line, and I moved to another publisher to writing Regency historicals (in those days, that term indicated there would be sex scenes.) I did an Andrea Pickens trilogy there . . . and then, a new editorial director came in and had a Big Idea. She decided to “relaunch a number of us historical romance authors with new names, along with some pr hoopla that the ‘exciting” change was to indicate our books were going to be sexier than ever. So, I needed a new name.

I decided to have some Jane Austen fun and pay homage to her by choosing Darcy Eliot (ha, ha.) NO! came the answer. Darcy was deemed too androgynous. The editorial director came back with some names she liked—including Martina. (Really!)   After tussling with a number of choices, I finally agreed to Cara . . .and became Cara Elliott (they liked the alternative spelling of Eliot.) So, I now had Name #2. 

In the meantime, I really wanted to branch out into historical mystery, as I love doing character driven stories, rather than bedroom scenes. I soon sold my Lady Arianna Regency mystery series to Signet. But as I was writing as Cara Elliott for another publisher, I needed yet another new name (plus, as a different genre, it was deemed important not to use my "romance” name.)

So . . . Andrea Penrose was born. (It was such a relief to have my real first name back! I never got used to reacting to Cara at conferences.) These days, I’m writing solely mysteries, so I’ve happily settled into my Penrose nom de plume. And when I got the rights back to my first three Lady Arianna mysteries, I was able redo the covers to fit my idea of what the originals should have looked like when I self-published them. It’s so nice to have total editorial control! (That said, I adore the covers Kensington is doing for my Andrea Penrose Wrexford & Sloane series.)

DarkMirror--Final HIGH REZMary Jo winds it up:

When I started writing back in the '80s, pseudonyms were pretty common. I rather liked the idea of a pseudonym so I could hide behind the curtain.  Like Christina, I thought that I should come up with a flowing historical sort of name so I sent my first manuscript in with the name "Justine Kingsley."  Kingsley is a family name, and I thought that "Justine" sounded suitably Regency, plus I'd respond better to a name with a "J."

My new agent and editor persuaded me that was neither necessary nor desirable. (An advantage of writing under one's own name is that it's yours and they can't take it away from you.)  So Mary Jo Putney I was and stayed.  Putney is an English name and suitable for a writer of Regency historicals.

But I since then I've written several books as M. J. Putney.  This was an open pseudonym, meant to indicate that I was the writer, but that it was a different kind of book since I used that name for my stories that had fantasy and magical elements. I'm continuing to use M. J. Putney as I reissue older work so that readers who aren't fond of fantasy can know that  an M. J. Putney story is not a straight historical. 

When I know a writer under both her real name and her pseudonym, my mental gears get stripped when I meet them in real life and can't remember which name to use!

Do you have any opinions about pseudonyms? Would you use one? 

Mary Jo

230 thoughts on “Why Pseudonyms?”

  1. Thank you all so much for your experiences. They are all enlightening. My Mom was a Librarian so I was familiar with the concept of pseudonyms from a young age. When I first started writing eons ago when I was a in Elementary School. I thought of using a pseudonym to protect myself and my family. I selected three surnames from my family tree. Now my family tree is more likely a source for characters names.
    Decades later, I start taking my writing seriously. When I eventually publish, I’ll use my first name. But both my Maiden Name (Denius-rhymes with Genius) and Husband’s surname (Gillam-rhymes with “Thrill-’em) are easily misspelled and mispronounced. Officially, I use Pamela Denius Gillam, two last names so simplifying is necessary. So here I am writing historical fiction wondering which version of my name I’ll publish under.

    Reply
  2. Thank you all so much for your experiences. They are all enlightening. My Mom was a Librarian so I was familiar with the concept of pseudonyms from a young age. When I first started writing eons ago when I was a in Elementary School. I thought of using a pseudonym to protect myself and my family. I selected three surnames from my family tree. Now my family tree is more likely a source for characters names.
    Decades later, I start taking my writing seriously. When I eventually publish, I’ll use my first name. But both my Maiden Name (Denius-rhymes with Genius) and Husband’s surname (Gillam-rhymes with “Thrill-’em) are easily misspelled and mispronounced. Officially, I use Pamela Denius Gillam, two last names so simplifying is necessary. So here I am writing historical fiction wondering which version of my name I’ll publish under.

    Reply
  3. Thank you all so much for your experiences. They are all enlightening. My Mom was a Librarian so I was familiar with the concept of pseudonyms from a young age. When I first started writing eons ago when I was a in Elementary School. I thought of using a pseudonym to protect myself and my family. I selected three surnames from my family tree. Now my family tree is more likely a source for characters names.
    Decades later, I start taking my writing seriously. When I eventually publish, I’ll use my first name. But both my Maiden Name (Denius-rhymes with Genius) and Husband’s surname (Gillam-rhymes with “Thrill-’em) are easily misspelled and mispronounced. Officially, I use Pamela Denius Gillam, two last names so simplifying is necessary. So here I am writing historical fiction wondering which version of my name I’ll publish under.

    Reply
  4. Thank you all so much for your experiences. They are all enlightening. My Mom was a Librarian so I was familiar with the concept of pseudonyms from a young age. When I first started writing eons ago when I was a in Elementary School. I thought of using a pseudonym to protect myself and my family. I selected three surnames from my family tree. Now my family tree is more likely a source for characters names.
    Decades later, I start taking my writing seriously. When I eventually publish, I’ll use my first name. But both my Maiden Name (Denius-rhymes with Genius) and Husband’s surname (Gillam-rhymes with “Thrill-’em) are easily misspelled and mispronounced. Officially, I use Pamela Denius Gillam, two last names so simplifying is necessary. So here I am writing historical fiction wondering which version of my name I’ll publish under.

    Reply
  5. Thank you all so much for your experiences. They are all enlightening. My Mom was a Librarian so I was familiar with the concept of pseudonyms from a young age. When I first started writing eons ago when I was a in Elementary School. I thought of using a pseudonym to protect myself and my family. I selected three surnames from my family tree. Now my family tree is more likely a source for characters names.
    Decades later, I start taking my writing seriously. When I eventually publish, I’ll use my first name. But both my Maiden Name (Denius-rhymes with Genius) and Husband’s surname (Gillam-rhymes with “Thrill-’em) are easily misspelled and mispronounced. Officially, I use Pamela Denius Gillam, two last names so simplifying is necessary. So here I am writing historical fiction wondering which version of my name I’ll publish under.

    Reply
  6. This very interesting thread made me think of the doyenne of our genre, who did not use a pseudonym but did go by two names. She was Georgette Heyer (birth name) to millions of readers, but Mrs. Ronald Rougier (married name) in her personal life. Supposedly few people were aware that the one was also the other. (Unfortunately, the British tax service was among Those Who Knew, but that’s another story.) The two sides of the coin happened naturally, since she had established her author identity before meeting her husband-to-be, but it must have been a blessing as her life unfolded. Hidden in plain sight!

    Reply
  7. This very interesting thread made me think of the doyenne of our genre, who did not use a pseudonym but did go by two names. She was Georgette Heyer (birth name) to millions of readers, but Mrs. Ronald Rougier (married name) in her personal life. Supposedly few people were aware that the one was also the other. (Unfortunately, the British tax service was among Those Who Knew, but that’s another story.) The two sides of the coin happened naturally, since she had established her author identity before meeting her husband-to-be, but it must have been a blessing as her life unfolded. Hidden in plain sight!

    Reply
  8. This very interesting thread made me think of the doyenne of our genre, who did not use a pseudonym but did go by two names. She was Georgette Heyer (birth name) to millions of readers, but Mrs. Ronald Rougier (married name) in her personal life. Supposedly few people were aware that the one was also the other. (Unfortunately, the British tax service was among Those Who Knew, but that’s another story.) The two sides of the coin happened naturally, since she had established her author identity before meeting her husband-to-be, but it must have been a blessing as her life unfolded. Hidden in plain sight!

    Reply
  9. This very interesting thread made me think of the doyenne of our genre, who did not use a pseudonym but did go by two names. She was Georgette Heyer (birth name) to millions of readers, but Mrs. Ronald Rougier (married name) in her personal life. Supposedly few people were aware that the one was also the other. (Unfortunately, the British tax service was among Those Who Knew, but that’s another story.) The two sides of the coin happened naturally, since she had established her author identity before meeting her husband-to-be, but it must have been a blessing as her life unfolded. Hidden in plain sight!

    Reply
  10. This very interesting thread made me think of the doyenne of our genre, who did not use a pseudonym but did go by two names. She was Georgette Heyer (birth name) to millions of readers, but Mrs. Ronald Rougier (married name) in her personal life. Supposedly few people were aware that the one was also the other. (Unfortunately, the British tax service was among Those Who Knew, but that’s another story.) The two sides of the coin happened naturally, since she had established her author identity before meeting her husband-to-be, but it must have been a blessing as her life unfolded. Hidden in plain sight!

    Reply
  11. As a reader searching for book nirvana, when I find a writer of my dreams I like to search for all of the author’s titles. This leads to frustration when I discover that many different pseudonyms are used! For example googling ‘Amanda Quick pseudonyms’ comes up with Jayne Castle, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Jayne Taylor, Stephanie James and Jayne Anne Krenz is not even mentioned! It would be really helpful if all pseudonyms are printed somewhere in a book under the AKA title!
    I chose my own pseudonym ‘Quantum Phase’ as an internet name to minimize potential for identity theft but also as a suitable SciFi author name. Sadly the later did not materialize so no risk of confusion with my serious scientific writing!

    Reply
  12. As a reader searching for book nirvana, when I find a writer of my dreams I like to search for all of the author’s titles. This leads to frustration when I discover that many different pseudonyms are used! For example googling ‘Amanda Quick pseudonyms’ comes up with Jayne Castle, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Jayne Taylor, Stephanie James and Jayne Anne Krenz is not even mentioned! It would be really helpful if all pseudonyms are printed somewhere in a book under the AKA title!
    I chose my own pseudonym ‘Quantum Phase’ as an internet name to minimize potential for identity theft but also as a suitable SciFi author name. Sadly the later did not materialize so no risk of confusion with my serious scientific writing!

    Reply
  13. As a reader searching for book nirvana, when I find a writer of my dreams I like to search for all of the author’s titles. This leads to frustration when I discover that many different pseudonyms are used! For example googling ‘Amanda Quick pseudonyms’ comes up with Jayne Castle, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Jayne Taylor, Stephanie James and Jayne Anne Krenz is not even mentioned! It would be really helpful if all pseudonyms are printed somewhere in a book under the AKA title!
    I chose my own pseudonym ‘Quantum Phase’ as an internet name to minimize potential for identity theft but also as a suitable SciFi author name. Sadly the later did not materialize so no risk of confusion with my serious scientific writing!

    Reply
  14. As a reader searching for book nirvana, when I find a writer of my dreams I like to search for all of the author’s titles. This leads to frustration when I discover that many different pseudonyms are used! For example googling ‘Amanda Quick pseudonyms’ comes up with Jayne Castle, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Jayne Taylor, Stephanie James and Jayne Anne Krenz is not even mentioned! It would be really helpful if all pseudonyms are printed somewhere in a book under the AKA title!
    I chose my own pseudonym ‘Quantum Phase’ as an internet name to minimize potential for identity theft but also as a suitable SciFi author name. Sadly the later did not materialize so no risk of confusion with my serious scientific writing!

    Reply
  15. As a reader searching for book nirvana, when I find a writer of my dreams I like to search for all of the author’s titles. This leads to frustration when I discover that many different pseudonyms are used! For example googling ‘Amanda Quick pseudonyms’ comes up with Jayne Castle, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Jayne Taylor, Stephanie James and Jayne Anne Krenz is not even mentioned! It would be really helpful if all pseudonyms are printed somewhere in a book under the AKA title!
    I chose my own pseudonym ‘Quantum Phase’ as an internet name to minimize potential for identity theft but also as a suitable SciFi author name. Sadly the later did not materialize so no risk of confusion with my serious scientific writing!

    Reply
  16. I became Kaitlyn Dunnett for cozy mysteries and Kate Emerson for historical novels because my books written as Kathy Lynn Emerson weren’t selling all that well. The names also helped distinguish the genres I was writing in (as Kathy I’d been published in children’s books, nonfiction, contemporary romance, and historical mystery). Now I’ve gone back to Kathy to self publish nonfiction and more children’s novels. It’s just simpler! Back in the 1990s, I also wrote three romances for Silhouette as Kaitlyn Gorton, using the first name I always wanted instead of Kathy and my maiden name, a direct result of my mother demanding to know “Why do you always write under HIS name?”

    Reply
  17. I became Kaitlyn Dunnett for cozy mysteries and Kate Emerson for historical novels because my books written as Kathy Lynn Emerson weren’t selling all that well. The names also helped distinguish the genres I was writing in (as Kathy I’d been published in children’s books, nonfiction, contemporary romance, and historical mystery). Now I’ve gone back to Kathy to self publish nonfiction and more children’s novels. It’s just simpler! Back in the 1990s, I also wrote three romances for Silhouette as Kaitlyn Gorton, using the first name I always wanted instead of Kathy and my maiden name, a direct result of my mother demanding to know “Why do you always write under HIS name?”

    Reply
  18. I became Kaitlyn Dunnett for cozy mysteries and Kate Emerson for historical novels because my books written as Kathy Lynn Emerson weren’t selling all that well. The names also helped distinguish the genres I was writing in (as Kathy I’d been published in children’s books, nonfiction, contemporary romance, and historical mystery). Now I’ve gone back to Kathy to self publish nonfiction and more children’s novels. It’s just simpler! Back in the 1990s, I also wrote three romances for Silhouette as Kaitlyn Gorton, using the first name I always wanted instead of Kathy and my maiden name, a direct result of my mother demanding to know “Why do you always write under HIS name?”

    Reply
  19. I became Kaitlyn Dunnett for cozy mysteries and Kate Emerson for historical novels because my books written as Kathy Lynn Emerson weren’t selling all that well. The names also helped distinguish the genres I was writing in (as Kathy I’d been published in children’s books, nonfiction, contemporary romance, and historical mystery). Now I’ve gone back to Kathy to self publish nonfiction and more children’s novels. It’s just simpler! Back in the 1990s, I also wrote three romances for Silhouette as Kaitlyn Gorton, using the first name I always wanted instead of Kathy and my maiden name, a direct result of my mother demanding to know “Why do you always write under HIS name?”

    Reply
  20. I became Kaitlyn Dunnett for cozy mysteries and Kate Emerson for historical novels because my books written as Kathy Lynn Emerson weren’t selling all that well. The names also helped distinguish the genres I was writing in (as Kathy I’d been published in children’s books, nonfiction, contemporary romance, and historical mystery). Now I’ve gone back to Kathy to self publish nonfiction and more children’s novels. It’s just simpler! Back in the 1990s, I also wrote three romances for Silhouette as Kaitlyn Gorton, using the first name I always wanted instead of Kathy and my maiden name, a direct result of my mother demanding to know “Why do you always write under HIS name?”

    Reply
  21. I loved reading this post! I had no idea that I have read so many books by Andrea until I started reading your Wenches blog. Having a pseudonym sounds like it could be a blessing for some who continue to have a “day job”.

    Reply
  22. I loved reading this post! I had no idea that I have read so many books by Andrea until I started reading your Wenches blog. Having a pseudonym sounds like it could be a blessing for some who continue to have a “day job”.

    Reply
  23. I loved reading this post! I had no idea that I have read so many books by Andrea until I started reading your Wenches blog. Having a pseudonym sounds like it could be a blessing for some who continue to have a “day job”.

    Reply
  24. I loved reading this post! I had no idea that I have read so many books by Andrea until I started reading your Wenches blog. Having a pseudonym sounds like it could be a blessing for some who continue to have a “day job”.

    Reply
  25. I loved reading this post! I had no idea that I have read so many books by Andrea until I started reading your Wenches blog. Having a pseudonym sounds like it could be a blessing for some who continue to have a “day job”.

    Reply
  26. I usually know when the name is a pseudonymm but in general I do not care. I can see some advantage in having differen names for different genre, but again I do not care.
    I keep a “card catalog” database on my computer. When I know that an author has more than one name, I list them all under uner the main name, with the pseudonym attached. And therefore Jayne Ann Krentz has the messiest list in my entire database —although Will Jenkins would come close if I had ever bought any of his books except SF writer Murry Leister.

    Reply
  27. I usually know when the name is a pseudonymm but in general I do not care. I can see some advantage in having differen names for different genre, but again I do not care.
    I keep a “card catalog” database on my computer. When I know that an author has more than one name, I list them all under uner the main name, with the pseudonym attached. And therefore Jayne Ann Krentz has the messiest list in my entire database —although Will Jenkins would come close if I had ever bought any of his books except SF writer Murry Leister.

    Reply
  28. I usually know when the name is a pseudonymm but in general I do not care. I can see some advantage in having differen names for different genre, but again I do not care.
    I keep a “card catalog” database on my computer. When I know that an author has more than one name, I list them all under uner the main name, with the pseudonym attached. And therefore Jayne Ann Krentz has the messiest list in my entire database —although Will Jenkins would come close if I had ever bought any of his books except SF writer Murry Leister.

    Reply
  29. I usually know when the name is a pseudonymm but in general I do not care. I can see some advantage in having differen names for different genre, but again I do not care.
    I keep a “card catalog” database on my computer. When I know that an author has more than one name, I list them all under uner the main name, with the pseudonym attached. And therefore Jayne Ann Krentz has the messiest list in my entire database —although Will Jenkins would come close if I had ever bought any of his books except SF writer Murry Leister.

    Reply
  30. I usually know when the name is a pseudonymm but in general I do not care. I can see some advantage in having differen names for different genre, but again I do not care.
    I keep a “card catalog” database on my computer. When I know that an author has more than one name, I list them all under uner the main name, with the pseudonym attached. And therefore Jayne Ann Krentz has the messiest list in my entire database —although Will Jenkins would come close if I had ever bought any of his books except SF writer Murry Leister.

    Reply
  31. Very interesting topic. I did not realize how many pseudonyms authors use. Now since these are not your given name – how then can you prove that you are the author? How do you “legalize” your pseudonym? I guess your publisher would know who wrote the book and your new name.
    I can understand not publishing under your given name – I think I would come up with a new name if I was ever so talented to write a book. I would not want folks to know who wrote a book they loved or did not like – a nice way to hide and accept the praise or other.
    What percentage of current authors publish under the given name?

    Reply
  32. Very interesting topic. I did not realize how many pseudonyms authors use. Now since these are not your given name – how then can you prove that you are the author? How do you “legalize” your pseudonym? I guess your publisher would know who wrote the book and your new name.
    I can understand not publishing under your given name – I think I would come up with a new name if I was ever so talented to write a book. I would not want folks to know who wrote a book they loved or did not like – a nice way to hide and accept the praise or other.
    What percentage of current authors publish under the given name?

    Reply
  33. Very interesting topic. I did not realize how many pseudonyms authors use. Now since these are not your given name – how then can you prove that you are the author? How do you “legalize” your pseudonym? I guess your publisher would know who wrote the book and your new name.
    I can understand not publishing under your given name – I think I would come up with a new name if I was ever so talented to write a book. I would not want folks to know who wrote a book they loved or did not like – a nice way to hide and accept the praise or other.
    What percentage of current authors publish under the given name?

    Reply
  34. Very interesting topic. I did not realize how many pseudonyms authors use. Now since these are not your given name – how then can you prove that you are the author? How do you “legalize” your pseudonym? I guess your publisher would know who wrote the book and your new name.
    I can understand not publishing under your given name – I think I would come up with a new name if I was ever so talented to write a book. I would not want folks to know who wrote a book they loved or did not like – a nice way to hide and accept the praise or other.
    What percentage of current authors publish under the given name?

    Reply
  35. Very interesting topic. I did not realize how many pseudonyms authors use. Now since these are not your given name – how then can you prove that you are the author? How do you “legalize” your pseudonym? I guess your publisher would know who wrote the book and your new name.
    I can understand not publishing under your given name – I think I would come up with a new name if I was ever so talented to write a book. I would not want folks to know who wrote a book they loved or did not like – a nice way to hide and accept the praise or other.
    What percentage of current authors publish under the given name?

    Reply
  36. I was still working for a newspaper when I started writing romance novels, and that’s why I chose a pseudonym. I didn’t want the two to be confused. My pen name is actually the name of my aunt who died just before I was born—I kind of like the idea of keeping her alive.
    Then I discovered a second benefit—it’s easier to keep my private life off social media.

    Reply
  37. I was still working for a newspaper when I started writing romance novels, and that’s why I chose a pseudonym. I didn’t want the two to be confused. My pen name is actually the name of my aunt who died just before I was born—I kind of like the idea of keeping her alive.
    Then I discovered a second benefit—it’s easier to keep my private life off social media.

    Reply
  38. I was still working for a newspaper when I started writing romance novels, and that’s why I chose a pseudonym. I didn’t want the two to be confused. My pen name is actually the name of my aunt who died just before I was born—I kind of like the idea of keeping her alive.
    Then I discovered a second benefit—it’s easier to keep my private life off social media.

    Reply
  39. I was still working for a newspaper when I started writing romance novels, and that’s why I chose a pseudonym. I didn’t want the two to be confused. My pen name is actually the name of my aunt who died just before I was born—I kind of like the idea of keeping her alive.
    Then I discovered a second benefit—it’s easier to keep my private life off social media.

    Reply
  40. I was still working for a newspaper when I started writing romance novels, and that’s why I chose a pseudonym. I didn’t want the two to be confused. My pen name is actually the name of my aunt who died just before I was born—I kind of like the idea of keeping her alive.
    Then I discovered a second benefit—it’s easier to keep my private life off social media.

    Reply
  41. I love all of these stories! It’s fascinating. My mother, Edith Felber, became Edith Layton and it’s a long story but in short “Felber” or her maiden name was deemed too “ethnic” which is a polite way of saying Jewish. She came close to being Edith Leighton, but the psychologist on Signet staff said the “g” looked too harsh. Do they even employ psychologists now? I highly doubt it. 😆

    Reply
  42. I love all of these stories! It’s fascinating. My mother, Edith Felber, became Edith Layton and it’s a long story but in short “Felber” or her maiden name was deemed too “ethnic” which is a polite way of saying Jewish. She came close to being Edith Leighton, but the psychologist on Signet staff said the “g” looked too harsh. Do they even employ psychologists now? I highly doubt it. 😆

    Reply
  43. I love all of these stories! It’s fascinating. My mother, Edith Felber, became Edith Layton and it’s a long story but in short “Felber” or her maiden name was deemed too “ethnic” which is a polite way of saying Jewish. She came close to being Edith Leighton, but the psychologist on Signet staff said the “g” looked too harsh. Do they even employ psychologists now? I highly doubt it. 😆

    Reply
  44. I love all of these stories! It’s fascinating. My mother, Edith Felber, became Edith Layton and it’s a long story but in short “Felber” or her maiden name was deemed too “ethnic” which is a polite way of saying Jewish. She came close to being Edith Leighton, but the psychologist on Signet staff said the “g” looked too harsh. Do they even employ psychologists now? I highly doubt it. 😆

    Reply
  45. I love all of these stories! It’s fascinating. My mother, Edith Felber, became Edith Layton and it’s a long story but in short “Felber” or her maiden name was deemed too “ethnic” which is a polite way of saying Jewish. She came close to being Edith Leighton, but the psychologist on Signet staff said the “g” looked too harsh. Do they even employ psychologists now? I highly doubt it. 😆

    Reply
  46. As a reader, I don’t really have an opinion about the use of pseudonyms. If I were writing, especially in this day and age, I would probably use one just to avoid an unwanted invasion into my private life.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  47. As a reader, I don’t really have an opinion about the use of pseudonyms. If I were writing, especially in this day and age, I would probably use one just to avoid an unwanted invasion into my private life.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  48. As a reader, I don’t really have an opinion about the use of pseudonyms. If I were writing, especially in this day and age, I would probably use one just to avoid an unwanted invasion into my private life.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  49. As a reader, I don’t really have an opinion about the use of pseudonyms. If I were writing, especially in this day and age, I would probably use one just to avoid an unwanted invasion into my private life.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  50. As a reader, I don’t really have an opinion about the use of pseudonyms. If I were writing, especially in this day and age, I would probably use one just to avoid an unwanted invasion into my private life.
    Interesting post.

    Reply
  51. Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Metz. All those women have provided me a great amount of enjoyment. I think I understand why publishers want people to use pseudonyms…..with a different name you will never find your way home if you forget it.
    I am very interested in whether someone is writing under their birth name. I am more interested in what they write and how well they write.
    Thanks so much for the insights. Y’all have made me realize that the life of an author is not always one glamorous event after another. You do not spend all your time being feted and going to sophisticated cocktail parties and wearing expensive designer gowns.
    I do have a suggestion…..I have my name printed on my chest, upside down. So, I can easily read it. It also says “this side up”. I am getting older and do not want to forget the really important stuff.
    I hope y’all are well and happy, whoever you may be.

    Reply
  52. Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Metz. All those women have provided me a great amount of enjoyment. I think I understand why publishers want people to use pseudonyms…..with a different name you will never find your way home if you forget it.
    I am very interested in whether someone is writing under their birth name. I am more interested in what they write and how well they write.
    Thanks so much for the insights. Y’all have made me realize that the life of an author is not always one glamorous event after another. You do not spend all your time being feted and going to sophisticated cocktail parties and wearing expensive designer gowns.
    I do have a suggestion…..I have my name printed on my chest, upside down. So, I can easily read it. It also says “this side up”. I am getting older and do not want to forget the really important stuff.
    I hope y’all are well and happy, whoever you may be.

    Reply
  53. Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Metz. All those women have provided me a great amount of enjoyment. I think I understand why publishers want people to use pseudonyms…..with a different name you will never find your way home if you forget it.
    I am very interested in whether someone is writing under their birth name. I am more interested in what they write and how well they write.
    Thanks so much for the insights. Y’all have made me realize that the life of an author is not always one glamorous event after another. You do not spend all your time being feted and going to sophisticated cocktail parties and wearing expensive designer gowns.
    I do have a suggestion…..I have my name printed on my chest, upside down. So, I can easily read it. It also says “this side up”. I am getting older and do not want to forget the really important stuff.
    I hope y’all are well and happy, whoever you may be.

    Reply
  54. Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Metz. All those women have provided me a great amount of enjoyment. I think I understand why publishers want people to use pseudonyms…..with a different name you will never find your way home if you forget it.
    I am very interested in whether someone is writing under their birth name. I am more interested in what they write and how well they write.
    Thanks so much for the insights. Y’all have made me realize that the life of an author is not always one glamorous event after another. You do not spend all your time being feted and going to sophisticated cocktail parties and wearing expensive designer gowns.
    I do have a suggestion…..I have my name printed on my chest, upside down. So, I can easily read it. It also says “this side up”. I am getting older and do not want to forget the really important stuff.
    I hope y’all are well and happy, whoever you may be.

    Reply
  55. Elizabeth Peters, Barbara Michaels, Barbara Metz. All those women have provided me a great amount of enjoyment. I think I understand why publishers want people to use pseudonyms…..with a different name you will never find your way home if you forget it.
    I am very interested in whether someone is writing under their birth name. I am more interested in what they write and how well they write.
    Thanks so much for the insights. Y’all have made me realize that the life of an author is not always one glamorous event after another. You do not spend all your time being feted and going to sophisticated cocktail parties and wearing expensive designer gowns.
    I do have a suggestion…..I have my name printed on my chest, upside down. So, I can easily read it. It also says “this side up”. I am getting older and do not want to forget the really important stuff.
    I hope y’all are well and happy, whoever you may be.

    Reply
  56. Thanks for a fascinating post (and thank you, Pamela DG, for inspiring it).
    The only publishing I’ve done was a doctoral thesis and some articles in academic journals; those were published under my true name. Like Quantum, my online posting name was selected for privacy reasons.

    Reply
  57. Thanks for a fascinating post (and thank you, Pamela DG, for inspiring it).
    The only publishing I’ve done was a doctoral thesis and some articles in academic journals; those were published under my true name. Like Quantum, my online posting name was selected for privacy reasons.

    Reply
  58. Thanks for a fascinating post (and thank you, Pamela DG, for inspiring it).
    The only publishing I’ve done was a doctoral thesis and some articles in academic journals; those were published under my true name. Like Quantum, my online posting name was selected for privacy reasons.

    Reply
  59. Thanks for a fascinating post (and thank you, Pamela DG, for inspiring it).
    The only publishing I’ve done was a doctoral thesis and some articles in academic journals; those were published under my true name. Like Quantum, my online posting name was selected for privacy reasons.

    Reply
  60. Thanks for a fascinating post (and thank you, Pamela DG, for inspiring it).
    The only publishing I’ve done was a doctoral thesis and some articles in academic journals; those were published under my true name. Like Quantum, my online posting name was selected for privacy reasons.

    Reply
  61. All true, Mary M. I think Heyer’s first book was published when she was something like 19. Once can’t blame the Inland Revenue for knowing both names and expecting to collect the taxes due! If I recall correctly, she and her husband had a very good income but tended to overspend.

    Reply
  62. All true, Mary M. I think Heyer’s first book was published when she was something like 19. Once can’t blame the Inland Revenue for knowing both names and expecting to collect the taxes due! If I recall correctly, she and her husband had a very good income but tended to overspend.

    Reply
  63. All true, Mary M. I think Heyer’s first book was published when she was something like 19. Once can’t blame the Inland Revenue for knowing both names and expecting to collect the taxes due! If I recall correctly, she and her husband had a very good income but tended to overspend.

    Reply
  64. All true, Mary M. I think Heyer’s first book was published when she was something like 19. Once can’t blame the Inland Revenue for knowing both names and expecting to collect the taxes due! If I recall correctly, she and her husband had a very good income but tended to overspend.

    Reply
  65. All true, Mary M. I think Heyer’s first book was published when she was something like 19. Once can’t blame the Inland Revenue for knowing both names and expecting to collect the taxes due! If I recall correctly, she and her husband had a very good income but tended to overspend.

    Reply
  66. Quantum–“Jayne Ann Krentz” probably wasn’t listed because it wasn’t a pseudonym. *G* Yes, JAK was very prolific and had a LOT of names. She still uses three, I think.
    If you had been published in sff, at least you would have received some respect. Science fiction is considered honorable; romance isn’t!

    Reply
  67. Quantum–“Jayne Ann Krentz” probably wasn’t listed because it wasn’t a pseudonym. *G* Yes, JAK was very prolific and had a LOT of names. She still uses three, I think.
    If you had been published in sff, at least you would have received some respect. Science fiction is considered honorable; romance isn’t!

    Reply
  68. Quantum–“Jayne Ann Krentz” probably wasn’t listed because it wasn’t a pseudonym. *G* Yes, JAK was very prolific and had a LOT of names. She still uses three, I think.
    If you had been published in sff, at least you would have received some respect. Science fiction is considered honorable; romance isn’t!

    Reply
  69. Quantum–“Jayne Ann Krentz” probably wasn’t listed because it wasn’t a pseudonym. *G* Yes, JAK was very prolific and had a LOT of names. She still uses three, I think.
    If you had been published in sff, at least you would have received some respect. Science fiction is considered honorable; romance isn’t!

    Reply
  70. Quantum–“Jayne Ann Krentz” probably wasn’t listed because it wasn’t a pseudonym. *G* Yes, JAK was very prolific and had a LOT of names. She still uses three, I think.
    If you had been published in sff, at least you would have received some respect. Science fiction is considered honorable; romance isn’t!

    Reply
  71. Maryellen, true, particularly if the ‘day job’ is on the prim and proper side. I was a freelance designer before–no one would have cared. But academics and medical people may need to be more discreet.

    Reply
  72. Maryellen, true, particularly if the ‘day job’ is on the prim and proper side. I was a freelance designer before–no one would have cared. But academics and medical people may need to be more discreet.

    Reply
  73. Maryellen, true, particularly if the ‘day job’ is on the prim and proper side. I was a freelance designer before–no one would have cared. But academics and medical people may need to be more discreet.

    Reply
  74. Maryellen, true, particularly if the ‘day job’ is on the prim and proper side. I was a freelance designer before–no one would have cared. But academics and medical people may need to be more discreet.

    Reply
  75. Maryellen, true, particularly if the ‘day job’ is on the prim and proper side. I was a freelance designer before–no one would have cared. But academics and medical people may need to be more discreet.

    Reply
  76. All good questions, Margot, and mostly I have no answers. My guess is that the majority of writers use their given names, but that’s just a guess. Since most writers are introverts, hiding under another name is actually rather appealing.

    Reply
  77. All good questions, Margot, and mostly I have no answers. My guess is that the majority of writers use their given names, but that’s just a guess. Since most writers are introverts, hiding under another name is actually rather appealing.

    Reply
  78. All good questions, Margot, and mostly I have no answers. My guess is that the majority of writers use their given names, but that’s just a guess. Since most writers are introverts, hiding under another name is actually rather appealing.

    Reply
  79. All good questions, Margot, and mostly I have no answers. My guess is that the majority of writers use their given names, but that’s just a guess. Since most writers are introverts, hiding under another name is actually rather appealing.

    Reply
  80. All good questions, Margot, and mostly I have no answers. My guess is that the majority of writers use their given names, but that’s just a guess. Since most writers are introverts, hiding under another name is actually rather appealing.

    Reply
  81. Did they even have staff psychologists then? That could have been an example of Edith’s droll sense of humor. The person who nixed Leighton might have been a marketing or senior editor type person. We’ll never know now!

    Reply
  82. Did they even have staff psychologists then? That could have been an example of Edith’s droll sense of humor. The person who nixed Leighton might have been a marketing or senior editor type person. We’ll never know now!

    Reply
  83. Did they even have staff psychologists then? That could have been an example of Edith’s droll sense of humor. The person who nixed Leighton might have been a marketing or senior editor type person. We’ll never know now!

    Reply
  84. Did they even have staff psychologists then? That could have been an example of Edith’s droll sense of humor. The person who nixed Leighton might have been a marketing or senior editor type person. We’ll never know now!

    Reply
  85. Did they even have staff psychologists then? That could have been an example of Edith’s droll sense of humor. The person who nixed Leighton might have been a marketing or senior editor type person. We’ll never know now!

    Reply
  86. LOL, Annette! Particularly at the idea that writers lead glamourous lives. “Scruffy” comes closer, especially when under deadline. As for Barbara/Elizabeth, I once read in an interview with her that she was a fast writer and her publisher didn’t want more than one book a year from her. So she invented another persona to add to her native Barbara Mertz.

    Reply
  87. LOL, Annette! Particularly at the idea that writers lead glamourous lives. “Scruffy” comes closer, especially when under deadline. As for Barbara/Elizabeth, I once read in an interview with her that she was a fast writer and her publisher didn’t want more than one book a year from her. So she invented another persona to add to her native Barbara Mertz.

    Reply
  88. LOL, Annette! Particularly at the idea that writers lead glamourous lives. “Scruffy” comes closer, especially when under deadline. As for Barbara/Elizabeth, I once read in an interview with her that she was a fast writer and her publisher didn’t want more than one book a year from her. So she invented another persona to add to her native Barbara Mertz.

    Reply
  89. LOL, Annette! Particularly at the idea that writers lead glamourous lives. “Scruffy” comes closer, especially when under deadline. As for Barbara/Elizabeth, I once read in an interview with her that she was a fast writer and her publisher didn’t want more than one book a year from her. So she invented another persona to add to her native Barbara Mertz.

    Reply
  90. LOL, Annette! Particularly at the idea that writers lead glamourous lives. “Scruffy” comes closer, especially when under deadline. As for Barbara/Elizabeth, I once read in an interview with her that she was a fast writer and her publisher didn’t want more than one book a year from her. So she invented another persona to add to her native Barbara Mertz.

    Reply
  91. I too am just a reader not a writer but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this post. I like the picture you have posted Mary Jo of the book Dark Mirror. Is this still available? I can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
  92. I too am just a reader not a writer but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this post. I like the picture you have posted Mary Jo of the book Dark Mirror. Is this still available? I can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
  93. I too am just a reader not a writer but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this post. I like the picture you have posted Mary Jo of the book Dark Mirror. Is this still available? I can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
  94. I too am just a reader not a writer but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this post. I like the picture you have posted Mary Jo of the book Dark Mirror. Is this still available? I can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
  95. I too am just a reader not a writer but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this post. I like the picture you have posted Mary Jo of the book Dark Mirror. Is this still available? I can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
  96. When I decided to publish, this was something I struggled with quite a bit. My maiden name is one that very few can pronounce correctly, my birth first name is beautiful but much longer than my common known name then there was the issue of how I was known in the romance community. I decided to stick with the name I’m best known as in the community as a reader and editor. It’s one of the reasons I kept my married name – it sounds like someone who writes romance. I am still considering using my birth first and second name as pen name if I venture outside romance because it is me but also that other person I always wanted to be.
    This was fun hearing the reasons and how names came about. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  97. When I decided to publish, this was something I struggled with quite a bit. My maiden name is one that very few can pronounce correctly, my birth first name is beautiful but much longer than my common known name then there was the issue of how I was known in the romance community. I decided to stick with the name I’m best known as in the community as a reader and editor. It’s one of the reasons I kept my married name – it sounds like someone who writes romance. I am still considering using my birth first and second name as pen name if I venture outside romance because it is me but also that other person I always wanted to be.
    This was fun hearing the reasons and how names came about. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  98. When I decided to publish, this was something I struggled with quite a bit. My maiden name is one that very few can pronounce correctly, my birth first name is beautiful but much longer than my common known name then there was the issue of how I was known in the romance community. I decided to stick with the name I’m best known as in the community as a reader and editor. It’s one of the reasons I kept my married name – it sounds like someone who writes romance. I am still considering using my birth first and second name as pen name if I venture outside romance because it is me but also that other person I always wanted to be.
    This was fun hearing the reasons and how names came about. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  99. When I decided to publish, this was something I struggled with quite a bit. My maiden name is one that very few can pronounce correctly, my birth first name is beautiful but much longer than my common known name then there was the issue of how I was known in the romance community. I decided to stick with the name I’m best known as in the community as a reader and editor. It’s one of the reasons I kept my married name – it sounds like someone who writes romance. I am still considering using my birth first and second name as pen name if I venture outside romance because it is me but also that other person I always wanted to be.
    This was fun hearing the reasons and how names came about. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  100. When I decided to publish, this was something I struggled with quite a bit. My maiden name is one that very few can pronounce correctly, my birth first name is beautiful but much longer than my common known name then there was the issue of how I was known in the romance community. I decided to stick with the name I’m best known as in the community as a reader and editor. It’s one of the reasons I kept my married name – it sounds like someone who writes romance. I am still considering using my birth first and second name as pen name if I venture outside romance because it is me but also that other person I always wanted to be.
    This was fun hearing the reasons and how names came about. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Reply
  101. Another reason for pseudonyms that I read about on Kristine Kathryn Rush’s blog. She has 3 pseudonyms, one for romance, one for mystery and one for SF/everything else. She said that book stores (especially in the bad old days) kept track of book sales by author name. If you wrote multiple genres under one name, they lumped all your sales together. They didn’t know which of your genres did better than the others, and might not order more copies of your best sellers. So, if you wrote in three genres and sold 20 copies in genre 1, 10 copies in genre 2 and 6 copies in genre 3, they would say you sold 36 copies, and for the next order they would buy 12 copies of each book. You would probably lose money because there weren’t enough copies of your genre 1 book and too many of genres 2 and 3. Nowadays, especially with ebooks, you can use one name as long as you brand the covers and book descriptions correctly.

    Reply
  102. Another reason for pseudonyms that I read about on Kristine Kathryn Rush’s blog. She has 3 pseudonyms, one for romance, one for mystery and one for SF/everything else. She said that book stores (especially in the bad old days) kept track of book sales by author name. If you wrote multiple genres under one name, they lumped all your sales together. They didn’t know which of your genres did better than the others, and might not order more copies of your best sellers. So, if you wrote in three genres and sold 20 copies in genre 1, 10 copies in genre 2 and 6 copies in genre 3, they would say you sold 36 copies, and for the next order they would buy 12 copies of each book. You would probably lose money because there weren’t enough copies of your genre 1 book and too many of genres 2 and 3. Nowadays, especially with ebooks, you can use one name as long as you brand the covers and book descriptions correctly.

    Reply
  103. Another reason for pseudonyms that I read about on Kristine Kathryn Rush’s blog. She has 3 pseudonyms, one for romance, one for mystery and one for SF/everything else. She said that book stores (especially in the bad old days) kept track of book sales by author name. If you wrote multiple genres under one name, they lumped all your sales together. They didn’t know which of your genres did better than the others, and might not order more copies of your best sellers. So, if you wrote in three genres and sold 20 copies in genre 1, 10 copies in genre 2 and 6 copies in genre 3, they would say you sold 36 copies, and for the next order they would buy 12 copies of each book. You would probably lose money because there weren’t enough copies of your genre 1 book and too many of genres 2 and 3. Nowadays, especially with ebooks, you can use one name as long as you brand the covers and book descriptions correctly.

    Reply
  104. Another reason for pseudonyms that I read about on Kristine Kathryn Rush’s blog. She has 3 pseudonyms, one for romance, one for mystery and one for SF/everything else. She said that book stores (especially in the bad old days) kept track of book sales by author name. If you wrote multiple genres under one name, they lumped all your sales together. They didn’t know which of your genres did better than the others, and might not order more copies of your best sellers. So, if you wrote in three genres and sold 20 copies in genre 1, 10 copies in genre 2 and 6 copies in genre 3, they would say you sold 36 copies, and for the next order they would buy 12 copies of each book. You would probably lose money because there weren’t enough copies of your genre 1 book and too many of genres 2 and 3. Nowadays, especially with ebooks, you can use one name as long as you brand the covers and book descriptions correctly.

    Reply
  105. Another reason for pseudonyms that I read about on Kristine Kathryn Rush’s blog. She has 3 pseudonyms, one for romance, one for mystery and one for SF/everything else. She said that book stores (especially in the bad old days) kept track of book sales by author name. If you wrote multiple genres under one name, they lumped all your sales together. They didn’t know which of your genres did better than the others, and might not order more copies of your best sellers. So, if you wrote in three genres and sold 20 copies in genre 1, 10 copies in genre 2 and 6 copies in genre 3, they would say you sold 36 copies, and for the next order they would buy 12 copies of each book. You would probably lose money because there weren’t enough copies of your genre 1 book and too many of genres 2 and 3. Nowadays, especially with ebooks, you can use one name as long as you brand the covers and book descriptions correctly.

    Reply
  106. Will Jenkins is his real name. He wrote in many genre; each genre had a different pseudonym.
    As far as I know he only wrote one article under his real name. He developed the idea behind the blue screen, and he wrote about that as Will Jenkins. (If I remember correctly, he was a consultant on Lost in Space when he developed the idea.)

    Reply
  107. Will Jenkins is his real name. He wrote in many genre; each genre had a different pseudonym.
    As far as I know he only wrote one article under his real name. He developed the idea behind the blue screen, and he wrote about that as Will Jenkins. (If I remember correctly, he was a consultant on Lost in Space when he developed the idea.)

    Reply
  108. Will Jenkins is his real name. He wrote in many genre; each genre had a different pseudonym.
    As far as I know he only wrote one article under his real name. He developed the idea behind the blue screen, and he wrote about that as Will Jenkins. (If I remember correctly, he was a consultant on Lost in Space when he developed the idea.)

    Reply
  109. Will Jenkins is his real name. He wrote in many genre; each genre had a different pseudonym.
    As far as I know he only wrote one article under his real name. He developed the idea behind the blue screen, and he wrote about that as Will Jenkins. (If I remember correctly, he was a consultant on Lost in Space when he developed the idea.)

    Reply
  110. Will Jenkins is his real name. He wrote in many genre; each genre had a different pseudonym.
    As far as I know he only wrote one article under his real name. He developed the idea behind the blue screen, and he wrote about that as Will Jenkins. (If I remember correctly, he was a consultant on Lost in Space when he developed the idea.)

    Reply
  111. I use Byron to track my romance books, and one neat thing the search function does is list all the books by any given author under all her various pseudonyms. Often there are quite a few and the author will use different names for different publishers (the author I know as Ellen Fitzgerald used five other names), or have two names for the same publisher or line so as not to publish two titles too close together (Joan Smith did this with Jennie Gallant, and Marion Chesney was also Ann Fairfax). If I liked an author I wanted to read her whole backlist, and if I didn’t, I didn’t want to be fooled into buying another book by her.
    So thanks to Connie, I know most of your secret names. She lists Cara Elliott separately and I will let her know about that.

    Reply
  112. I use Byron to track my romance books, and one neat thing the search function does is list all the books by any given author under all her various pseudonyms. Often there are quite a few and the author will use different names for different publishers (the author I know as Ellen Fitzgerald used five other names), or have two names for the same publisher or line so as not to publish two titles too close together (Joan Smith did this with Jennie Gallant, and Marion Chesney was also Ann Fairfax). If I liked an author I wanted to read her whole backlist, and if I didn’t, I didn’t want to be fooled into buying another book by her.
    So thanks to Connie, I know most of your secret names. She lists Cara Elliott separately and I will let her know about that.

    Reply
  113. I use Byron to track my romance books, and one neat thing the search function does is list all the books by any given author under all her various pseudonyms. Often there are quite a few and the author will use different names for different publishers (the author I know as Ellen Fitzgerald used five other names), or have two names for the same publisher or line so as not to publish two titles too close together (Joan Smith did this with Jennie Gallant, and Marion Chesney was also Ann Fairfax). If I liked an author I wanted to read her whole backlist, and if I didn’t, I didn’t want to be fooled into buying another book by her.
    So thanks to Connie, I know most of your secret names. She lists Cara Elliott separately and I will let her know about that.

    Reply
  114. I use Byron to track my romance books, and one neat thing the search function does is list all the books by any given author under all her various pseudonyms. Often there are quite a few and the author will use different names for different publishers (the author I know as Ellen Fitzgerald used five other names), or have two names for the same publisher or line so as not to publish two titles too close together (Joan Smith did this with Jennie Gallant, and Marion Chesney was also Ann Fairfax). If I liked an author I wanted to read her whole backlist, and if I didn’t, I didn’t want to be fooled into buying another book by her.
    So thanks to Connie, I know most of your secret names. She lists Cara Elliott separately and I will let her know about that.

    Reply
  115. I use Byron to track my romance books, and one neat thing the search function does is list all the books by any given author under all her various pseudonyms. Often there are quite a few and the author will use different names for different publishers (the author I know as Ellen Fitzgerald used five other names), or have two names for the same publisher or line so as not to publish two titles too close together (Joan Smith did this with Jennie Gallant, and Marion Chesney was also Ann Fairfax). If I liked an author I wanted to read her whole backlist, and if I didn’t, I didn’t want to be fooled into buying another book by her.
    So thanks to Connie, I know most of your secret names. She lists Cara Elliott separately and I will let her know about that.

    Reply
  116. This topic was brought up in Goodreads in about 2013 and Simon Vance chimed in on it. He said that when he came to the US his friend David Case (Fredrick Davidson) said it was standard in audio to use a different name for each company so for Blackstone he used Robert Whitfield and Recorded Books, Richard Matthews.
    In a different post, somewhere, Jayne Ann Krentz said as a new, naive author she didn’t understand her contract. She had agreed that if she left that publisher she could not use her maiden name Jayne Castle, for ten years.
    I like her use of a different name for each genre.
    Thank you Janice for the tip for Byron.

    Reply
  117. This topic was brought up in Goodreads in about 2013 and Simon Vance chimed in on it. He said that when he came to the US his friend David Case (Fredrick Davidson) said it was standard in audio to use a different name for each company so for Blackstone he used Robert Whitfield and Recorded Books, Richard Matthews.
    In a different post, somewhere, Jayne Ann Krentz said as a new, naive author she didn’t understand her contract. She had agreed that if she left that publisher she could not use her maiden name Jayne Castle, for ten years.
    I like her use of a different name for each genre.
    Thank you Janice for the tip for Byron.

    Reply
  118. This topic was brought up in Goodreads in about 2013 and Simon Vance chimed in on it. He said that when he came to the US his friend David Case (Fredrick Davidson) said it was standard in audio to use a different name for each company so for Blackstone he used Robert Whitfield and Recorded Books, Richard Matthews.
    In a different post, somewhere, Jayne Ann Krentz said as a new, naive author she didn’t understand her contract. She had agreed that if she left that publisher she could not use her maiden name Jayne Castle, for ten years.
    I like her use of a different name for each genre.
    Thank you Janice for the tip for Byron.

    Reply
  119. This topic was brought up in Goodreads in about 2013 and Simon Vance chimed in on it. He said that when he came to the US his friend David Case (Fredrick Davidson) said it was standard in audio to use a different name for each company so for Blackstone he used Robert Whitfield and Recorded Books, Richard Matthews.
    In a different post, somewhere, Jayne Ann Krentz said as a new, naive author she didn’t understand her contract. She had agreed that if she left that publisher she could not use her maiden name Jayne Castle, for ten years.
    I like her use of a different name for each genre.
    Thank you Janice for the tip for Byron.

    Reply
  120. This topic was brought up in Goodreads in about 2013 and Simon Vance chimed in on it. He said that when he came to the US his friend David Case (Fredrick Davidson) said it was standard in audio to use a different name for each company so for Blackstone he used Robert Whitfield and Recorded Books, Richard Matthews.
    In a different post, somewhere, Jayne Ann Krentz said as a new, naive author she didn’t understand her contract. She had agreed that if she left that publisher she could not use her maiden name Jayne Castle, for ten years.
    I like her use of a different name for each genre.
    Thank you Janice for the tip for Byron.

    Reply
  121. Or maybe “staff psychologist” was a nickname for one of the editors. NAL wouldn’t have anyone on staff who was earning their keep. Though maybe publishers do need house therapists? *G*

    Reply
  122. Or maybe “staff psychologist” was a nickname for one of the editors. NAL wouldn’t have anyone on staff who was earning their keep. Though maybe publishers do need house therapists? *G*

    Reply
  123. Or maybe “staff psychologist” was a nickname for one of the editors. NAL wouldn’t have anyone on staff who was earning their keep. Though maybe publishers do need house therapists? *G*

    Reply
  124. Or maybe “staff psychologist” was a nickname for one of the editors. NAL wouldn’t have anyone on staff who was earning their keep. Though maybe publishers do need house therapists? *G*

    Reply
  125. Or maybe “staff psychologist” was a nickname for one of the editors. NAL wouldn’t have anyone on staff who was earning their keep. Though maybe publishers do need house therapists? *G*

    Reply
  126. Teresa Broderick, the Dark Mirror YA trilogy is currently out of print, but it’s near the top of my backlist project list. I intend to have them up this year–preferably before mid-year. I’ll be sure to tell everyone when that happens!

    Reply
  127. Teresa Broderick, the Dark Mirror YA trilogy is currently out of print, but it’s near the top of my backlist project list. I intend to have them up this year–preferably before mid-year. I’ll be sure to tell everyone when that happens!

    Reply
  128. Teresa Broderick, the Dark Mirror YA trilogy is currently out of print, but it’s near the top of my backlist project list. I intend to have them up this year–preferably before mid-year. I’ll be sure to tell everyone when that happens!

    Reply
  129. Teresa Broderick, the Dark Mirror YA trilogy is currently out of print, but it’s near the top of my backlist project list. I intend to have them up this year–preferably before mid-year. I’ll be sure to tell everyone when that happens!

    Reply
  130. Teresa Broderick, the Dark Mirror YA trilogy is currently out of print, but it’s near the top of my backlist project list. I intend to have them up this year–preferably before mid-year. I’ll be sure to tell everyone when that happens!

    Reply
  131. Jane–it’s so true that in the early days, most of us fledgling authors were pretty naive. It we were lucky, we didn’t make any disastrous mistakes. I’m glad I was advised to just use my own name. It’s made my life simpler.

    Reply
  132. Jane–it’s so true that in the early days, most of us fledgling authors were pretty naive. It we were lucky, we didn’t make any disastrous mistakes. I’m glad I was advised to just use my own name. It’s made my life simpler.

    Reply
  133. Jane–it’s so true that in the early days, most of us fledgling authors were pretty naive. It we were lucky, we didn’t make any disastrous mistakes. I’m glad I was advised to just use my own name. It’s made my life simpler.

    Reply
  134. Jane–it’s so true that in the early days, most of us fledgling authors were pretty naive. It we were lucky, we didn’t make any disastrous mistakes. I’m glad I was advised to just use my own name. It’s made my life simpler.

    Reply
  135. Jane–it’s so true that in the early days, most of us fledgling authors were pretty naive. It we were lucky, we didn’t make any disastrous mistakes. I’m glad I was advised to just use my own name. It’s made my life simpler.

    Reply
  136. I remembered this website long after I sent my comment. At one time some libraries shelved all an author’s books under their real name. Our library did, then when locating to a new facility started the task of finding and re-labeling. The pages were going out of their mind trying to find books.
    Staff sent us this link. It may help someone…
    http://www.trussel.com/books/pseudo.htm

    Reply
  137. I remembered this website long after I sent my comment. At one time some libraries shelved all an author’s books under their real name. Our library did, then when locating to a new facility started the task of finding and re-labeling. The pages were going out of their mind trying to find books.
    Staff sent us this link. It may help someone…
    http://www.trussel.com/books/pseudo.htm

    Reply
  138. I remembered this website long after I sent my comment. At one time some libraries shelved all an author’s books under their real name. Our library did, then when locating to a new facility started the task of finding and re-labeling. The pages were going out of their mind trying to find books.
    Staff sent us this link. It may help someone…
    http://www.trussel.com/books/pseudo.htm

    Reply
  139. I remembered this website long after I sent my comment. At one time some libraries shelved all an author’s books under their real name. Our library did, then when locating to a new facility started the task of finding and re-labeling. The pages were going out of their mind trying to find books.
    Staff sent us this link. It may help someone…
    http://www.trussel.com/books/pseudo.htm

    Reply
  140. I remembered this website long after I sent my comment. At one time some libraries shelved all an author’s books under their real name. Our library did, then when locating to a new facility started the task of finding and re-labeling. The pages were going out of their mind trying to find books.
    Staff sent us this link. It may help someone…
    http://www.trussel.com/books/pseudo.htm

    Reply
  141. http://www.byronref.com for Byron Book Reference Database. It’s a one time purchase and then you can get periodic updates of the new data. I’ve had it for maybe 15 years or so. I like that there is an unlimited notes page where I can store my own info about any given title. So it becomes a personalized resource. I refer to it often.

    Reply
  142. http://www.byronref.com for Byron Book Reference Database. It’s a one time purchase and then you can get periodic updates of the new data. I’ve had it for maybe 15 years or so. I like that there is an unlimited notes page where I can store my own info about any given title. So it becomes a personalized resource. I refer to it often.

    Reply
  143. http://www.byronref.com for Byron Book Reference Database. It’s a one time purchase and then you can get periodic updates of the new data. I’ve had it for maybe 15 years or so. I like that there is an unlimited notes page where I can store my own info about any given title. So it becomes a personalized resource. I refer to it often.

    Reply
  144. http://www.byronref.com for Byron Book Reference Database. It’s a one time purchase and then you can get periodic updates of the new data. I’ve had it for maybe 15 years or so. I like that there is an unlimited notes page where I can store my own info about any given title. So it becomes a personalized resource. I refer to it often.

    Reply
  145. http://www.byronref.com for Byron Book Reference Database. It’s a one time purchase and then you can get periodic updates of the new data. I’ve had it for maybe 15 years or so. I like that there is an unlimited notes page where I can store my own info about any given title. So it becomes a personalized resource. I refer to it often.

    Reply
  146. Jane in those days publishers used to “own” your pseudonym — or at least they tried to — and included it in your contract. I suspect that’s why they encouraged authors to use pseudonyms. They couldn’t prevent you from using your real names.
    I had a real battle with Harlequin to retain mine when I moved to Berkley back in 2005, but I’d been pre-warned, having heard of other authors battling to keep the name they’d made famous. I persisted and they eventually gave in. Though probably by then they could see the writing was on the wall.
    Once authors formed email groups and information began to be shared, that’s when a lot of those bad practices began to be challenged

    Reply
  147. Jane in those days publishers used to “own” your pseudonym — or at least they tried to — and included it in your contract. I suspect that’s why they encouraged authors to use pseudonyms. They couldn’t prevent you from using your real names.
    I had a real battle with Harlequin to retain mine when I moved to Berkley back in 2005, but I’d been pre-warned, having heard of other authors battling to keep the name they’d made famous. I persisted and they eventually gave in. Though probably by then they could see the writing was on the wall.
    Once authors formed email groups and information began to be shared, that’s when a lot of those bad practices began to be challenged

    Reply
  148. Jane in those days publishers used to “own” your pseudonym — or at least they tried to — and included it in your contract. I suspect that’s why they encouraged authors to use pseudonyms. They couldn’t prevent you from using your real names.
    I had a real battle with Harlequin to retain mine when I moved to Berkley back in 2005, but I’d been pre-warned, having heard of other authors battling to keep the name they’d made famous. I persisted and they eventually gave in. Though probably by then they could see the writing was on the wall.
    Once authors formed email groups and information began to be shared, that’s when a lot of those bad practices began to be challenged

    Reply
  149. Jane in those days publishers used to “own” your pseudonym — or at least they tried to — and included it in your contract. I suspect that’s why they encouraged authors to use pseudonyms. They couldn’t prevent you from using your real names.
    I had a real battle with Harlequin to retain mine when I moved to Berkley back in 2005, but I’d been pre-warned, having heard of other authors battling to keep the name they’d made famous. I persisted and they eventually gave in. Though probably by then they could see the writing was on the wall.
    Once authors formed email groups and information began to be shared, that’s when a lot of those bad practices began to be challenged

    Reply
  150. Jane in those days publishers used to “own” your pseudonym — or at least they tried to — and included it in your contract. I suspect that’s why they encouraged authors to use pseudonyms. They couldn’t prevent you from using your real names.
    I had a real battle with Harlequin to retain mine when I moved to Berkley back in 2005, but I’d been pre-warned, having heard of other authors battling to keep the name they’d made famous. I persisted and they eventually gave in. Though probably by then they could see the writing was on the wall.
    Once authors formed email groups and information began to be shared, that’s when a lot of those bad practices began to be challenged

    Reply
  151. When I was writing for Harlequin Temptation, I was told I would have to have a pseudonym. I was delighted – since most people I met never seemed to get my real name: Binnie Syril Braunstein. So I sat there with a legal pad and came up with about 40 names. All of which easier and more fun than my own. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to insist that Binnie was indeed my real name. So, my 40 possibles included, among others, versions of my grandmother’s name (Leah) and Barbara, which I ‘d been called in 9th grade Spanish class, since there was no Spanish word for “Binnie.” So I gave my list to my editor at Harlequin. And her response was: Let’s just use “Binnie Syril.” Go figure…

    Reply
  152. When I was writing for Harlequin Temptation, I was told I would have to have a pseudonym. I was delighted – since most people I met never seemed to get my real name: Binnie Syril Braunstein. So I sat there with a legal pad and came up with about 40 names. All of which easier and more fun than my own. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to insist that Binnie was indeed my real name. So, my 40 possibles included, among others, versions of my grandmother’s name (Leah) and Barbara, which I ‘d been called in 9th grade Spanish class, since there was no Spanish word for “Binnie.” So I gave my list to my editor at Harlequin. And her response was: Let’s just use “Binnie Syril.” Go figure…

    Reply
  153. When I was writing for Harlequin Temptation, I was told I would have to have a pseudonym. I was delighted – since most people I met never seemed to get my real name: Binnie Syril Braunstein. So I sat there with a legal pad and came up with about 40 names. All of which easier and more fun than my own. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to insist that Binnie was indeed my real name. So, my 40 possibles included, among others, versions of my grandmother’s name (Leah) and Barbara, which I ‘d been called in 9th grade Spanish class, since there was no Spanish word for “Binnie.” So I gave my list to my editor at Harlequin. And her response was: Let’s just use “Binnie Syril.” Go figure…

    Reply
  154. When I was writing for Harlequin Temptation, I was told I would have to have a pseudonym. I was delighted – since most people I met never seemed to get my real name: Binnie Syril Braunstein. So I sat there with a legal pad and came up with about 40 names. All of which easier and more fun than my own. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to insist that Binnie was indeed my real name. So, my 40 possibles included, among others, versions of my grandmother’s name (Leah) and Barbara, which I ‘d been called in 9th grade Spanish class, since there was no Spanish word for “Binnie.” So I gave my list to my editor at Harlequin. And her response was: Let’s just use “Binnie Syril.” Go figure…

    Reply
  155. When I was writing for Harlequin Temptation, I was told I would have to have a pseudonym. I was delighted – since most people I met never seemed to get my real name: Binnie Syril Braunstein. So I sat there with a legal pad and came up with about 40 names. All of which easier and more fun than my own. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to insist that Binnie was indeed my real name. So, my 40 possibles included, among others, versions of my grandmother’s name (Leah) and Barbara, which I ‘d been called in 9th grade Spanish class, since there was no Spanish word for “Binnie.” So I gave my list to my editor at Harlequin. And her response was: Let’s just use “Binnie Syril.” Go figure…

    Reply
  156. There are copies available through Discover books. Their website is Discoverbooks.com
    Not sure this message will get to Teresa Broderick

    Reply
  157. There are copies available through Discover books. Their website is Discoverbooks.com
    Not sure this message will get to Teresa Broderick

    Reply
  158. There are copies available through Discover books. Their website is Discoverbooks.com
    Not sure this message will get to Teresa Broderick

    Reply
  159. There are copies available through Discover books. Their website is Discoverbooks.com
    Not sure this message will get to Teresa Broderick

    Reply
  160. There are copies available through Discover books. Their website is Discoverbooks.com
    Not sure this message will get to Teresa Broderick

    Reply

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