Pseudonyms For Authors

Q. The October 2008 issue of Writer’s Digest on literary agents was nicely done and I enjoyed the variety of your articles.  Agent-related materials always intrigue me, and you gave me the opportunity to discover more about the author’s representation process.  On page 30, (the author) made the suggestion to look for an agent who would be able to handle all categories of an author’s work.  I am one of those multiple category writers.  I have a nonfiction project on humanity, outlines for several science fiction novels, and an almost completed song lyric project for a rock concept album.  Because my current professional career is in a field that may not associate well with my writing, I have opted to use different pseudonyms for each category.  How do you think an agent or an editor would feel when learning about an author with multiple pseudonyms for each of his work’s category? 
        – Christophe

A. Pseudonyms may very well come into play down the stretch since you’re working in different categories and you need to “brand” yourself.  The fact that you have some kind of career that does not mesh will is another logical reason to use a pen name.  However, there is plenty of time before any of these projects get published, so my advice to you is to simply relax and let your agent and editor work with you on this.
       When I told my literary agent that I had a children’s picture book in my bag of projects, her first remark was that it will probably need to come out under a pen name, as she was concerned about my nonfiction “brand.”
       So – yes – you’re on to something here, but you’ve got what I believe The Rejecter called “Thinking Too Far Ahead Syndrome.”  Relax – deal with this as it comes up.

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