Chris A. Baird | June 28, 2021
Pen Names for Authors: Pros & Cons

Have you finished writing your books but you are not fully decided whether to use your real name or not as the author? Check this out to find the answer to your question about pen names for authors: pros & cons and to know more self-publishing tips.

Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. It is a secret as to the absolute top strategy when it comes to using pen names. Perhaps you are an author, you've got your first book but now you're trying to decide, do you use your name on your book?

Instead, do you use a pen name that is a name that you've chosen? So that people maybe wouldn't be able to identify this book with you. Or maybe you've written several books and are looking for the next set of books.

To use pen names on those and you're wondering maybe that's a good strategy for you. The problem is that you're thinking well because if you put your name on it and your writing is terrible, then you're going to get judged for it.

This is one common reason many authors don't put their real names. They do use pen names instead of their name. You're coming out with books and all sorts of genres and maybe some of them are controversial.

There's a whole series of genres that are a bit controversial. It could be giving financial advice or it could be on different health issues that would be a little bit controversial. Perhaps you're doing it on substances that are not legal everywhere that has become a popular niche on Amazon.

Or maybe it's romancing novels and things like that. For different people, different books will be controversial and maybe you wish to use a pen name for that. That's a completely acceptable reason to go about using a pen name.

But there are several things you're going to want to keep in mind. And there's no need to get super excited or anxious about this problem of using a pen name. We're going to get into that because today's article is on pen names for the authors: pros & cons.

But before we get into the answers, check out my Checklist. It's a free checklist on the secrets of self-publishing. To help you make sure you're not skipping any of the key steps to self-publishing.

When I first started self-publishing, I did it under some niches. You might be wondering why I did this at the same time? Well, the thing was I figured I'd started with the initial niche which was "achieving your goals".

I thought this is an exciting issue it's something I'm interested in. I thought I want to jump into the world of Kindle Publishing but I didn't know how to go about doing it. So I chose the niche and then I thought "I've done that now what do I do?".

Maybe I can do one on "habits" and then maybe one on "sleep". There are some things I find on the productivity side which I am very much interested in a lot of ideas. But there's a huge problem here, it's because I was jumping from niche to niche.

Different areas on Amazon are broken down into health and fitness, beauty, and other things. Then productivity would be one of them and you might have some of them that are based on food, culinary, the arts, and all sorts of niches or categories that we find there.

Then sub-niches and sub-categories for each of these. So what happened was I was writing books in all sorts of categories. Just choose a topic you find interesting and write a book on it which is okay in theory. This was a terrible idea because I was losing authority in each of those niches.

Building Audiences

In other words, I would have been better if I'd just chosen one niche and written multiple books on it. A person who did this strategy was somebody is called Steve Scott and I have had a series of interactions with him in the past. The thing is that he went for habits.

Every one of his books was written on habits, different aspects of habits. What about the miracle morning books? The guy who wrote the Miracle Morning For Entrepreneurs, Miracle Morning For Authors, and Miracle Morning For Addicts, I know he did one on that.

I heard recently and that's it, Hal Elrod. The thing is sticking with that same niche or genre or sub-genre and just hammering into it. You build expertise and that is a very important point that I made huge mistakes on when I was first getting started.

The same goes for even a YouTube channel, imagine if, on my channel, you can see a video on Minecraft. Then after that, it would be on funny animals. And after that maybe I do it on interior decorating, can you see a problem here?

We would slowly be moving through all of these videos on different topics that are all over the place. You'd be like "I don't care about interior decorating or gardening". Maybe it's auto mechanic work or maybe I'm telling a short story on that one.

After that, I might be interested in these topics but there's no reason to subscribe to that channel. They're just going to do it, I saw another entrepreneur who recently did exactly this. Because they were doing it and one of them would be making money online doing copywriting and things like that.

Check out this related article:  Where Is My $$$! Understanding Amazon

It is fine and then they would do Taekwondo or Kung Fu that they were doing. They were mixing videos between the two of them. For me, I didn't care about Kung Fu but I did find it enjoyable their comments on entrepreneurship and small businesses.

You have to sort of getting into it and decide is this a good idea? Are they functionally doing well? I mean are they good entrepreneurs? Are they good at Kung Fu or are they trying to say they're good at both?

This is a really big problem, it's best to hold to one thing. Whether it's a YouTube channel or a series of books that you're going to come out on. Remember the number one marketing technique when we're trying to get our books out?

It's in the top ten I've mentioned this in some of the comments that people have gone back and forth with. But the number one thing or one of the top ones you're going to want to know and is the best way to sell more books is to build an audience of readers who want to read your books.

Where are you going to find them? The best way to find them is to sell them books. Which books? The many books that you're coming out with. Because if you write one book, they read it, and then that was the end of that.

But if you're writing multiple books, these people are going to come back again and again. They're going to keep bugging you "When are you writing the next book? I can't wait to read more of your books because they're so amazing".

Establishing Expertise

This is one of the things that's a little bit difficult. It's the idea, "I want the one book I'm going to write to be flawless. I'm going to use years and years and years to write it".

But then you see where the problem comes on this one. So coming out with more books and keeping them within the same niche. And the final point here is since then, I have used a pen name.

Using any additional niches, I was going to go into because I discovered that there were many books I wanted to have written that I couldn't write because I wasn't interested in the subject. But I saw them as profitable niches and so I had other people write the books.

I'd never put my own, I've never put another name for a book that I didn't write. It's completely acceptable to do that but personally, if my name's on it, I wrote the book. And if somebody else's name is on one of the books that I own, then somebody else wrote it.

That's just a rule that I generally stick by and I tell you, you'll see it here in the three points for today why. So pen names for authors: pros & cons, the first thing is you're going to establish expertise. Choosing one at a time as I mentioned if you want to become an expert at this.

The second thing is it's a common practice for authors who've been doing it forever like Mark Twain and many other authors. These aren't their actual names I don't think Shakespeare was named Shakespeare's probably somebody else. I don't know but many authors in the past use pen names completely acceptable.

There's nothing unethical about it, the disadvantage would be you could be building your brand on yourself. Using a pen name as opposed to your name would mean you're not maybe going to be connecting with readers. In the same way as looking them in the eye.

This is my face, this is what I have to offer and this is my personality. We're going to lose a lot of the marketing value of actually connecting with our readers in person. If you were going to do book signings and then suddenly show up somebody of the opposite gender.

You know, signing the books could be a little bit of a challenge for you. If you're using pen names here, there, and all over the place, that's one of the downsides. Our secret point of the day which our third point of the day is that it is the only winning strategy if you want to publish in multiple niches.

Check out this related article: Book Royalties In Self-Publishing

So this isn't even questionable. You want to publish multiple initiatives, choose a pen name but at least make your primary niche. Use it with your name and face so that we can do most of the marketing there.

Then, if we have side interest, we'll then use a pen name for those. Do not put them under your name, you can tell your readers if you want that you're using a pen name. I have seen that done sometimes, just adding a middle initial is what some people would do.

That's the key secret, the top strategy when using pen names is don't use a pen name for your books if it's possible. As long as they're in the same niche and then you just switch it. So, pen names for authors: pros & cons?

Have you used a pen name for your books? I want to know so write "Yes" below in the comments if you have used a pen name. And write "No" if you've never used a pen name. Check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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