WHY NOT A PEN NAME?
- At times using a pen name can be for the wrong reasons. Many book publishing agreements require authors to give the publisher a first look at their next book and not to publish anything competitive without their knowledge. Does using a pseudonym avoid these restrictions? It’s very dependent on your publisher and can get you into trouble.
- Tax fraud. You are required to register your pen name and any income earned from that does especially if you are working as a full time writer. Well, at least you can still claim tax rebates on other things.
- A rose by another name. Using another persons name is a great reason why NOT to do it. Wouldn’t you just love to kick start you career with a book by James Patterson? Well, think again. We all have to put in the time to get discovered.
Even if your reasons for using a pseudonym are innocent, there are still a few things to consider:
- Advances and Royalties can be a bitch under more than one name.
- Too much privacy in your pseudonym can make it hard for fans to really see you either at a book launch or tour.
- When you die, your pen name can be a can of worms to your heirs.
- Failing to register your pen name with the Copyright Office could shorten you copyright protection.