Pen Names: What Are They and How To Use Them

This blog was written by me, but inspired by my fans’ comments on my YouTube video, NaNoWriMo Publishing Edition: Day 24.

So what is a pen name? If you’re curious what a pen name is, or sometimes referred to as a pseudonym, they’re names on works that hide identities, organize works into groups, used as a marketing strategy – they’re used for all sorts of things!

Maybe your genre doesn’t match with what name you’re writing under. Rainbow Rowell wouldn’t be found on a horror novel. Maybe R. Rowell would be preferred. This is a marketing strategy. The author still wants to put their books under the same name, but they switch around how they spell out or initial their name on the cover to better fit the genre.

Some people want privacy. Maybe Rainbow Rowell isn’t her name at all. Maybe she’s writing horrors and romances under this fake name so her family doesn’t know her secret fascination with fictional characters. This is still a nice strategy, even when matching names with genres – because you can still change from using initials to full names. It’s just not your real name.

There’s something about being unable to sign your real name on the book cover that is so heartbreaking for some. But deciding on your name is something I would consider at the beginning of your career, before you release anything. Once you start on a path, like using your real name, it’s hard to use anything else. You can, but it’s like starting over, because you’re basically being labeled as a new author.

One of my published fans told me he wrote in pen names. He used totally different names for different genres and got less revenue from that because fans didn’t know the books were written by the same person, so there was a marketing rift.

One fan said she could never use her real name, afraid her family might find out. But from what I can gather, she is still publishing under that name and has made a decent amount of success from it. She was consistent in using the same name, even if it wasn’t her real one.

A few other reasons you might want to use a pen name is because your name is too long, or your name is hard to pronounce, or it reads wrong in translation. I met a waiter once who called himself Erin, because people couldn’t pronounce his real name, Eran with a squiggle over the “a.”

So consider your situation, what you’re writing, and what you’re comfortable with. You never have to use your real name. You don’t have to use your real name or always use your fake name. But you can if that is what you’d rather do. You can use abbreviations or initials.

What I can gather from the comments is that “your name is your brand,” and to build your brand, you should try to keep your name(s) as consistent as possible. The route I’m going to take with my books is to use my real name and mess around with initials when I write a completely different genre. Mainly, I’m going to look at the cover and ask, “Will they take my book seriously with that name on there?” If I think it’s fine, I’ll leave it. It all comes down to the cover for me.

Thanks for reading guys!

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Advertisements

Making an Audiobook! (ACX)

ACX is a great way to get an audiobook out for your book! Although there are negative aspects to it, it offers more than any other company. They’re planning to catch up with their other platforms soon so that the author can make even more money.

Positives:

ACX will distribute your audiobook through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, which are the leading providers for audio! Not convinced yet? Let me keep going.

ACX also allows you to distribute through other platforms besides the ones I listed above. You will, however, no longer be “exclusive” with ACX if you distribute through other platforms besides Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, and will get a smaller royalty payout. Exclusive receives 40% of their royalties, whereas nonexclusive gets 25%. My advice is if you are confident enough in other platforms besides the top distributors, then definitely go nonexclusive!

You can give 25 promo codes away for free to anyone who wants your audiobook!

Professional narrators will make your story sound crisp and follow the necessary guidelines to sell on ACX. You can choose your payment plan with them at the start of the project. If you decide to split the royalty rate with your narrator, you have to go exclusive so both of you get at least 20%. But if you want to keep all 40%, just do it yourself!

Negatives:

ACX does NOT provide CD distributions. (If you go nonexclusive, you can find someone else who will make the CDs!)

ACX does NOT distribute to libraries or schools, not even digital copies (again, you can go nonexclusive for this option).

ACX controls the price of your product. Below is the chart they use to price your audiobook:

  •  under 1 hour: under $7
  •  1 – 3 hours: $7 – $10
  •  3 – 5 hours: $10 – $20
  • 5 – 10 hours: $15 – $25
  • 10 – 20 hours: $20 – $30
  • over 20 hours: $25 – 35

I’ve personally found more benefits behind going non-exclusive. You’d still be part of the biggest distributors and have easy access to narrators. Since I’m voicing my own, I have to make the decision of choosing between going through the leading distributors without libraries, CDs, or schools, or go through leading distributors along with other distributers with CDs, libraries, and school, but lose 15% royalties from all leading platforms.

If my audiobook ends up being ten hours long, selling at $20 on leading sites, 15% can make a difference of $3. So I have to be confident that the schools, libraries, CD sales, and other smaller distributors will match the difference. Which it could be possible.

Thanks for reading,
WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: The Spindlers

The Spindlers

Read from June 21 to August 05, 2015

Hi, fellow readers!

Do you remember around the time when you first started reading? Elementary? Middle School? Do you remember the first book you liked?

I want you to picture yourself at that young age. Mine was in middle school. I was reading quite a few books set in this age group (my favorite being the Pendragon series 🙂 ).

As I try to give this book a grade, I’m looking through my younger self’s eyes. I don’t think The Spindlers was completely for me. I LOVED the beginning. It didn’t go exactly where I hoped it would to go as I read on. It built back up to a climax around page 180, which is pretty far into the book. And the resolution (last chapter) was okay.

There were moments where I was flying through the pages and others where I was shouting “clique.” I think the kid in me would’ve appreciated the beginning and the climax build up. But for the rest, I would’ve cared less for.

I gave The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver a 3/5. See rating system below.

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Book Review: Yes, Please

Read on August 3, 2015

I think this was a wonderful recreation of Amy Poehler’s career story. The only reason I gave this book a 4/5 and not a straight 5 was because there were many references to people and places I wasn’t familiar with. I am sad to say I don’t do good with names and matching them to well-known celebrities. I’ve finished watching Parks & Rec luckily, but if you haven’t, this book does have spoilers if you’re currently watching it on Netflix. If you’re not planning on watching, there’s a whole chapter dedicated to it and you might be slightly confused.

Naturally, Amy is a great talker. She’s very charismatic. Each sentence that spewed from her mouth was entertaining and intentional, I think. This is not a comedy as much as it was a life history essay. And though it’s funny many, many times, it made me feel things more than just laughter. She’s a romantic. She loves to push your buttons. THANKS, AMY. YOU’RE ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS THIS WEEK.

I gave Yes, Please a 4/5 stars, and you can see my rating system below.

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Read on July 25, 2015
I think this audiobook was a fantastic choice for me, as someone who is working toward her dreams.
I can relate to a lot of what she says about friendships. I can relate to the struggle of climbing to the top.
The author made a witty attempt to explain situations many of us might find awkward, and how to deal with them.
It’s conservative fun! Short listen! Great for a little 4 1/2 hour trip away from home, which is its approximate length. 🙂 I give it a 4/5 stars, and you can see my rating system below.

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: