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Chris A. Baird | June 13, 2020
Do I need to use my real name when publishing my book?

You are free to choose whether to use your real name or just a pen name but it is an important factor that you must not ignore. Check out below to find different tips that will help you decide on what name you should use when publishing your book.

Things To Be Considered

Today's question has three answers. The third one is a secret as to how using pen names can make you a lot more money.

So, let's get into it. The question that was sent to me was, do I need to use my real name when publishing my book? This is a normal question most people would be thinking.

If you wrote a book then you want to use your actual name, since that would give you credit for that book that you put out. But there are several reasons that it's worth considering why you might not want to do that.

For example, some people might be thinking, I don't want to draw attention to myself in this way. Other people might be thinking about the type of writing that I'm doing. I don't want to be associated necessarily with that writing.

Check out this related article: Using A Pen Name In The Early Stages Of Your Career?

You may have a message but you may not wish to have your name directly on that. Since they may undermine other things that you're doing.

The third is you might have a side to your main job. Something you don't want to be doing. Something that a secondary side thing.

That could be a problem there. So these are a number of the challenges that people face when they're trying to get started.

When I first started with self-publishing, I did use my own name. I broke several rules that I probably shouldn't have done which we'll get into under the answer section.

But I figured, why not do books under my own name? Before I get into the answers, I just want to let you know you can check out my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist.

Competitions In The Market

After I had published several books, after taking courses, watching videos, and reading other books on the subject, I began to realize there is a serious reason. You would not want to use your own name for all the books that you're publishing.

Some of them are not quite obvious. The first is, you're free to use any name you would like. So there is no problem whatsoever doing that.

People do it for many different reasons. One of the reasons you might do it is because you may not wish to be associated with the writings that you're doing.

Another reason that you might want to do it is that you have competition. And your competition can leave negative reviews on your books if they know which books are your books.

This is one of the reasons some people choose not to go on this route. For leaving their names on their own books. To prevent their competition from paying people to leave negative reviews or leaving directly negative reviews.

There's nothing dishonest about using a pen name. Many famous authors have done it like Mark Twain and others. The other is you should not use a famous name.

Check out this related article: Am I Allowed To Use An Alias When Using Amazon KDP Service?

So that's a very important thing to keep in mind. If you're going to be using a pen name. But the third answer is the secret answer for today that will answer the question, "do I need to use my real name when publishing my book?".

It is the main focus here. Which is how exactly using pen names can make you more money? The answer is you will sell more books if each pen name that's being used is for a specific genre.

So for example, if you're writing cookbooks and then you're also writing books on fiction. Then, at the same time, you're writing books on spirituality or something.

And you're writing books on sleeping better. So we're blending across different categories. You're going to sell fewer books.

Because you're not going to have the same level of authority as you would. If each of those pen names or each of these author names is focused on only one type of book.

Preferred Genre

It just sort of makes sense. Because how could anybody be an expert in everything, if they're writing books on everything? Well, they are maybe not an expert on anything. 

Maybe they're just dealing a little here and a little there. Whereas, a person who puts out 10 to 20 books on one specific subject, let's say vegan diets, well, that person would be establishing themselves as an authority in the field of vegan diets.

This would be something that you would definitely want to consider. You will always make more money if each author's name or pen name that's being used is focused on a single genre.

It's okay to use your own name but just choose the genre you want to stick with. Don't keep switching around from one to another. Otherwise, it is very strategic to go about.

Check out this related article: Which Kind Of Books Or Genres Are More Successful When Self-Published?

Choose a name that is not going to sound like in other author's names. That will get you in trouble. I would not do that either.

Some people have thought if you were going to come out with let's say a series like Harry Potter, and you figure out J.K Rowling or something like that, this would not be suggested by tricking readers to read your book.

It's not a good way that will result in getting low, bad, or poor reviews because your readers become confused. They purchased the book and are dissatisfied with what they did.

They thought they were going to be getting something else. And the one thing we always want to do is deliver on whatever a person thinks they're going to be getting. That they will, in fact, be getting it.

What have you found? Have you tried using pen names? Have you had any success with that or have you preferred using your own name or your real name when publishing your book?

If so, what are the reasons you've done that? Go ahead and let me know below in the comments. And check out my other blogs and videos to see more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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