Did you know that not only does Amazon allow you to use pen names and pseudonyms, but they’re actually very welcoming of writers who want to hide their identity. It seems like it would a shady practice to hide your name, but the truth is that many of the world’s best writers are known by their pseudonyms (look up George Orwell and Mark Twain as examples). Not only is this practical because it hides your identity, but it can help improve your sales if you are an eclectic writer.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider using several pen names, and how you can go about doing it.
Hide Real Identity
It might be a good idea hide your real identity. Even though you might be writing wonderful novels or how-to guides, you never know how these things might hurt you in the future. For example, you apply for a position as an executive, but a simple background search finds that you wrote a fantasy novel several years ago. The company you are applying to might only want serious thinkers, not someone who writes about swords and fairies.
You might also write in a niche that has more seedy undertones, like erotica or more extreme forms of horror. You don’t want to hurt anyone, and you certainly aren’t a terrible person. However, anyone looking you up online will find these books, and they will judge you by them one way or another.
Hiding your identity will keep you safe. Amazon will know your identity (they have to send the checks to someone!), but they won’t reveal your little secret unless you are sued, or if the information is pertinent to some legal proceeding. So, stay out of trouble, and Amazon won’t tell people your real name.
Every author seems to have a specific niche. They might sometimes step outside of that niche (like Dean Koontz’s brief flings with fantasy), but these outings are rare and they often carry the distinctive nature of that writer’s style. However, the truth is that many writers are multi-talented, if you will. They don’t want to write in a specific niche for the rest of their lives. They want to step into something new to spread their literary wings. Using multiple pen names allows you to do this because each book will be listed under a different name. They’ll even have different author pages, so once again, no one will know who you are.
This becomes even more practical if you’re writing both fiction and non-fiction books. Many writers like jumping into both arenas, but it can be difficult because readers will become suspicious. If you’re known for documentaries, then can you really craft good fiction? If you’re known for sci-fi, then can you separate truth and fiction in your book about making money or walking dogs? These are simple tasks for most writers, but it’s the readers that can be an issue.
Regardless of your niches or writing preferences, using several pen names allows you to bypass any issues. You can write whatever you want without being penalized for your track record.
Making Pen Names
Amazon offers an option for making a pen name. Go to the “Add More Books” section and select the book that you want to upload. You will see a listing that says: “If you write under a different name, then let us know.” Click that and enter your pen name. You’ll then be sent an email asking you to confirm the pen name. Congratulations, you just made your first pen name! It’s very simple. You can also have up to three different author pages for your account.
Now, what about making additional pen names? No problem! Login into Amazon and select the “Actions” button. Click, “Edit Book Details.” You can then add contributors, each of which will be a new pen name for your account. You’ll then be taken to a section where you set up rights and pricing. Just be sure to add your name as the one who gets paid, and you’ll be able to create as many pen names as you want.
There’s also an easy way to get around the limit of three author pages. Create a WordPress blog or similar website for each pen name. Considering the cost, this is best for pen names that are making money. It’s a little harder than making an author page, but it’s worth it for marketing.
You can also directly ask Amazon about having more accounts and pen names. Just tell them that you want additional pen names with author pages, and they will allow you to create a new login that is attached to your main account. Like I said, Amazon is very accommodating when it comes to pen names.
Pseudonyms are essential to the writing world, especially if you don’t have a book that you can retire on. Not only do they protect your life and rights, but they also help you marketing yourself in very diverse niches. Thankfully, Amazon understands this and is willing to work with writers. You can easily create as many pen names as you want without penalty, so go ahead and write whatever book you want without fear.
Filed under: kindle publishing
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!