"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Was Shakespeare right? I have been having this nagging thought the past few weeks and the more and more I see other people mentioning it, I thought it was time to bring the matter up for discussion myself.
Why do authors use Pen Names and should I consider it?
My hesitation lies in the fact that I am not sure I would like to have gone through all the blood, sweat and tears that I have, to not see MY name on my work. I think, in the end, good or bad, I would want to see my name written on my accomplishment To say, yes I did this, I finished it.
I struggle to understand or even comprehend any reason why someone would want to use a pen name. The concept is just not quite within my grasp. I know of only a couple indie authors who have revealed that they use pen names. Recently Aaron Niz explained on his blog that he has been secretly writing under a pen name and has been seeing more success with it than on his name. Indie Author Megg Jensen also writes under a pen name as revealed in her blog.
I have found countless reasons online, why authors use pen names, however, I have also read that using a pen name causes a big barrier in effectively marketing your book. Being an indie author is difficult enough, so why make things more complicated on yourself? Or do authors use pen names to act as a shield from critics; as some authors can save face by using a pen name for certain works. Or perhaps your name is just not very marketable or difficult to pronounce and you want something that is easier for your readers to remember.
Some very popular and well-loved authors use pen names:
Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Mark Twain, Nora Roberts, Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling
Just to name a few. But what it looks like it boils down to is personal opinion. As much as I am flipping back and forth on the subject I most likely will not use a pen name. Finding it this difficult to just use a pen name, I can't imagine how frustrating it would be for me to have to then choose a name. Although I will most likely not join in on this trend, I do wish those who have the best of luck.