Pen names and websites etc.

edited May 2016 in Writing
Trying to conjure up a pen name for my brand of writing. Someone suggested a name, and to use something like,, etc, for my social media sites.

Not being conversant with search engines etc, just wondering if I did that, have my author's pen name on my ebooks, and then a slightly different one on my social media, website etc, would this allow potential followers to connect the two, as one brand...? To try to gain a loyal fan base...?


  • Is there a reason you want to use a pen name rather than your own name?
  • Just feel I want to keep my private affairs just that.

    Think it is better to create a pen name so I can keep separate all the things in my private life, away from my business brand. The two things are quite different, in reality..
  • When you say “ a slightly different one on my social media” do you mean a different version of your pen name? The easiest way to allow for most followers is to stick to one name (even if it is pseudo).

    You can have two FB, Twitter, etc. accounts if you want to keep things separate – plenty of writers I know do that and it works just fine for them :)
  • Yeah, that's what I thought. About keeping to one version of an author's name. Someone suggested it might be more catchy if the name was retitled like that, WildeWriting. Does sound more exciting than a plain name, but you're right, would cause confusion..
  • Additionally, does having a long pen name on a website, etc, make loading it less quick for search engines, deterring curious types from locating that name?
  • Well, the first thing that's going to happen is people are going to get a few million results for Oscar Wilde. Even without the space the majority of Google results are for Oscar. There is a WildeWriting group that comes up on FB, and a lot of WildeWriting on writing sites (unless that's you?).

    I can't speak for everyone else, but I'm not a fan of "catchy" or "clever" names, I just want to see a name, plain and simple. Of course changing it to something more suitable for your branding, or genre, or to avoid confusion may work, but I'd keep it Firstname Lastname...unless you're doing the middle initial thing :P
  • Length of name makes no difference.
  • I find that 'snailmale' allows me much the same level of anonymity as my real name
  • You might alienate readers if it's too obviously a pen name. One reason authors use social media is to connect with their readers. Okay, some very successful authors have pen names, but you do need to be careful.
  • That's not the name under discusdion for a possible pen name. Just an example I gave. So don't worry. My writing is never going to be grandiose!

    The middle initial might be wise. And, yep, I am being advised on what name to choose.

    Here. I'll illustrate it to see what other's think. Lydia Rose Thorne. Does that sound contrived, and should I drop the Rose, and/or use an initial there, instead?

    Just trying to find a name that doesn't conflict with others on search engines etc. To make my business brand name stand out from the crowd...?
  • Lydia Rose Thorne
    Lydia R Thorne
    Lydia Thorne

    Hmm, I kinda like all three...I like it with the R best I think.
  • Yep, might allow for easier recognition in search engines, that?
  • Rose Thorn(e) sounds contrived.
  • *smacks head* I did not spot that. Oh, the shame!
  • What a prick! Seriously, choosing a name isn't easy. It cannot be rushed.

  • Any suggestions for names? My own name is quite distinct, as it has foreign extraction to it. Italian influences. And there won't be many with that name, I wouldn't have thought. Just a bit reluctant to use my own one. How to keep my business brand separate from my personal life.. Does anyone here use their own name?
  • edited May 2016
    I do – for fiction and non-fiction.
  • I do – for fiction and non-fiction.
    I use my own name for both as well.

    The only thing I have a pen name for is my books for children, because horror and kids books don't mix...well they do, but not my kind of horror :P
  • So it is possible to keep both sides of one's life separate from the other?

    Just worried that things that I might have written under my own personal name, previous to setting up my business brand account, might conflict with my writing persona?

    How to avoid that happening when you can't delete things from off the internet..
  • Oh hell yeah it's easy to keep separate.

    Why would the things you've conflict? In what way?
  • What will happen when you want to arrange local signings? People will recognise you. If you ignore your local market you will miss out on local press coverage - and lose sales.
  • I tend to be on the extreme left when it comes to politics, and most people have an element of right wing flavour to them, so if potential readers get a whiff of my extremist views, they might be dissuaded from buying my ebooks and following my social media...

    As for book signings, I have a mobility problem these days, and cannot face crowds, too, so that is totally out of the question. The only promotion available for my business brand will be online..

    It is how good I will be at selling myself that will prove the key, I suspect...
  • Does anyone here use their own name?
    I write for children and for adults and use my actual name for both. I have separate websites, with specific titles, but again, each time with the inclusion of my real name.

    The only time I would use a pseudonym is if I decided to go down the erotic fiction route... and that's only because of the conflict with children's fiction.
  • Perhaps I should go with my own original name? Just, as I said, the material I have put out previously might be considered controversial...?
  • Is it obscene or offensive? I wouldn't worry.
  • To be honest you could be the most polite and reserved and non-opinionated person int the world...and you're still going to piss someone off or 'make enemies'. Just do what feels right for you and concentrate on the writing.
  • Yeah, I guess that is it. No matter what you write, someone is bound to take offence at it.

    No, it isn't really offensive or anything, just outside the norm of people's expectations, and that usually implies that people have difficulty processing something that doesn't fit into their normal everyday dialogue..
  • Just put the idea of LV Thorne, to something assisting me in finding a pen name for my brand of writing.

    LV Thorne has a certain ring about it? Suggestive of hidden depths, therefore mysterious undertones...

    Thinking it may be better to use that premise. The idea of the author's gender not being clear. That way more people are likely to check out my writing on my social media sites, initially and be intrigued enough to become followers and even purchase some of my ebooks, when completed...?

    Does this sound like a better idea, not a contrived name, as Baggy Books suggested it did(is that your pen name by the way?! That'd prick people's Curiosity!!!
  • LV, to me, is Liverpool and Victoria insurance.
  • That just shows what a great imagination you have! Cos your a writer, of course!

    I doubt most readers, seeking a good tale, would associate those two initials with an insurance company, and if they do, maybe I'll hear the kerching of tills ringing up sales! Fire!
  • You could focus on a name that has some personal connection. What about family names? Maiden names? Choosing a name should be personal.
  • Think I might have cracked that task. In collaboration with someone who is assisting me on this one.

    Waiting for her to get back to me on that. She is checking to see if if it is usable for handles and domain names for my website, social media etc, useless at that, me...!
  • edited May 2016
    I tend to use my initials and surname for my solo stuff - mainly because of the genre I dabble in and the fact there's already an American author with my name and she writes Christian fiction (veeery different to mine, I don't think her fans will want to read what I write).

    Pseudonym for collab writing with writing partner is our first initials and a combination of our surnames. So we didn't go very far out to find it.

    The only time the length of a name comes into play is on Twitter. You only have 140 characters at @'ing someone with a long username makes communication hard.

    Make sure you google your possible names first though. As said before my name brings up another author.
  • Does anyone here use their own name?
    I write for children and for adults and use my actual name for both. I have separate websites, with specific titles, but again, each time with the inclusion of my real name.

    The only time I would use a pseudonym is if I decided to go down the erotic fiction route... and that's only because of the conflict with children's fiction.
    Hmm TN, you have just made me think about that, as I have a wide genre which includes Children's books, but just finishing off a novel with two erotic sex scenes. Not given thought to having a pseudonym,even had a job to spell it.

  • I think you have to be a little more careful when children are involved as they could very easily seek out your other material.
  • Funny that. That so many writers want to write for that market. The children's. That's never really interested me. Prefer relating adult tales...
  • For me, each has its own attraction.
  • I think I will seriously think about a pseudonym, glad the subject was brought up.
  • No good me having a pseudonym. I've forgotten who I am by lunchtime these days
  • edited May 2016
    sm, leave the toasted sandwich maker alone and go back to the instant coffee. Not the old stuff you remember that came in a bottle. I think I was told by my elders it was called Camp Coffee and sold in a bottle. have a cuppa and give us that novel you have promised.
  • LizLiz
    edited May 2016
    Virtually every author I know uses the same name as their normal one.

    the repercussions of having a pseudonym are many and complicated and it's just a load of time-wasting pointlessness.

    I am Liz brownlee the poet, have my own Facebook page which I have complete control over, no-one else can see anything to do with my private life on it. I also have an author page which is separate from my private one.

    Anything you do on Twitter you will want to do it as your author name, but then how are all the people you know going to notice you or know it's you on Twitter if you aren't using your real name?

    When you have an author photo on the inside of your jacket, are you going to 'fess up' as to what your real name is? Can you tell me the point in having a pseudonym on the front and a real name inside?

    If you become famous people will know you as your pseudonym but want to know a bit about you. That could be awkward.

    It's up to you how private your life is but if you want to make a success of your writing being who you are and promoting yourself instead of an image is slicker, easier and makes a lot more sense.
  • And, if you write sex scenes, why does that mean you need another name for a children's book? Young children don't really read adult books. They might read YA as soon as they are old enough but if they are old enough to be reading that sort of book they are old enough to be aware of sex. Many children's writers also write YA - with sex in. A 7-8 yr old is hardly going to pick up something from the YA section with its gazillions of words and close text and mistake it for a famous five adventure.
  • Famous Five! Yeah!! Takes me back to those days of innocence. And, no, I wouldn't have Understood a thing about sex scenes in novels at such a young and tender age. I pity today's youth, as their innocence seems to have been destroyed before they have a luxury of luxuriating in that. Everyone should be allowed days in their childhood which are just spent enjoying the freedom of simplicity, without the complications of an adult complex or psyche added on as an adjunct.. Must have been blessed...?
  • I think you probably were - i had already had my innocence removed by a man by 8.

    My interests, however, were firmly with Enid Blyton!
  • Terribly sad that. And such a common experience. So many stories are written around such betrayals. I can't read those type of books. I've no vocabulary for them and they totally shock and disgust me..
  • I use a contracted version of my name, Louise Treleaven, for my writing name, which is Lou Treleaven. I like it because it's gender neutral and keeps my writing persona slightly separate, but still recognisably me. I think that's easier than having a completely different pen name.
  • My advisor and I, have settled on LH Thorn as my new pen name. As you suggest, it is gender neutral, so more open to curious types browsing through a search engine for inspiration. I hope it works for you, that method? That's always the desired for result..
  • LH Thorn is nice. It sounds like a real writer, if you know what I mean!
  • I chose it because I wanted to hint at the darker themes that I will be hinting at in my future writings.the idea that 'everything in the garden is rank with weeds...'. Hence the Thorn tag... And the neutral gender initials, to open up the possibilities there. The suspense of mystery...
  • Is it possible Yorkshirerites may get a little confused and think your name is t'horn.
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