One question that I see a lot is whether or not someone should publish under a pseudonym and well, honestly, you’re the only person that can make that decision. While Bree Vanderland isn’t the name that I was born with it is the name that I’m most known by as Bree has been a childhood nickname. Under Bree Vanderland, I have published multiple YA books meant for teenagers and those interested in those kinds of Fantasy books. I do plan on publishing more mature pieces under Brianna Vanderland, and just haven’t finished on as of yet to put out there for the world.
While considering whether you should publish under a pseudonym, consider the following questions:
– How comfortable are you with having your real name all over the internet?
Because this will happen. I never thought that my own name would be out there so much, but I have 6,000+ likes on my author page now and there are people who friend me and inbox me, wanting to talk about my books! I swear, some of them might know more about me than some of my friends!
– Are you likely to attract more readers with your book subject as a male or female?
Okay, so I think this one is less important, but let’s face it, JK Rowling did it, didn’t she?
– Which name would be easier to remember?
Because the hardest thing the reader has to do is struggle saying their favorite author’s name and not being able to get it out because they can’t pronounce it right. Consider something that is easier on the eyes and tongue if leaning towards a pseudonym.
– Could your name be confused with someone else?
You wouldn’t want to be mixed up with someone else! Think of something that is somewhat original. I don’t think there are any other Bree Vanderland’s or Brianna Vanderland’s out there that I am aware of that I need to worry about, but what about your name? If your name is something like Jane Smith, I would recommend a pseudonym, in fact, I would encourage one.
– How comfortable are you with the fact that your readers might be able to find your name and phone number in a phone book?
This is an important question to ask IF your name and phone number is in a phone book (but who uses a phone book nowadays), but what about online? Do you have children? Would you want the readers to be able to find out where you live too?
– Is your preferred pseudonym easy to spell and remember?
– Are you planning to write in multiple genres?
This was the one that got me because I wanted to start off in the YA Fantasy genre and go from there. I actually didn’t think about writing anything else until the idea for Tempting Fate came into my mind and I just HAD to be sure that my YA readers couldn’t go to my Amazon author page and accidentally click on it to buy! That would be BAD.
For better or worse, your pseudonym will follow you throughout your novel writing career. It will become your brand, characterizing your public persona and the types of books that you write.
Like any decision, choosing a pseudonym has its pros and cons. It can offer you a layer of protection from the public and help you retain a degree of privacy.
While deciding whether or not to write under a pseudonym, I encourage you to research the privacy rights that public figures are entitled to under the law.
That way, you’ll start your novel writing career with your eyes wide open.