Pseudonyms For Authors

Author:
Publish date:

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.

Dyslexia Is a Writer's Superpower (With Help)

Dyslexia Is a Writer's Superpower (With Help)

Author PJ Manney shares how dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia should not be viewed as impediments to becoming a writer. Rather, they should be viewed as writing superpowers, especially when paired with certain technologies.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Falsely Accused

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Falsely Accused

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character get falsely accused for something.

By Any Means Necessary: Finding Unorthodox Ways to Break-In

By Any Means Necessary: Finding Unorthodox Ways to Break-In

Novelist D. Eric Maikranz gives advice for how to get your readers to sit up and take notice of your work in untraditional ways.

M.M. Chouinard: On Jumping From One Project to Another

M.M. Chouinard: On Jumping From One Project to Another

Novelist M.M. Chouinard immediately started writing her second book after finishing her first and shares here why that was the best decision she could have made.

How to Write a Eulogy When the Need Arises

How to Write a Eulogy When the Need Arises

While plenty of eulogies are delivered by a clergy member, the perspective provided by a close friend or family member can retell cherished memories of the deceased. If you find yourself needing to pen one, let this advice by Paul Vachon guide you.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 564

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a disappointment poem.

How to Approach Friends and Family About Your Memoir

How to Approach Friends and Family About Your Memoir

No one can decide whether showing your memoir to loved ones before it goes to press is the right choice for you. However, if you're planning to approach your friends and family about it, let memoirist Ronit Plank give you 3 tips for doing so.

Emily Henry: On Writing the Second Book

Emily Henry: On Writing the Second Book

Romance author Emily Henry describes the ups and downs of writing your second book, using her experiences writing her latest release, People We Meet on Vacation.