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Real Name or Pen Name

Updated on July 17, 2012

Who Are You?

This is Wilson Jennings
This is Wilson Jennings

Who Is Writing Your Book?

You've spent months writing your book. It's the best it can be. You've run it through your writer's group and made some of the suggested corrections. You've even given it to an editor so the grammar and mechanics have been cleaned up. It's a go.

Who is the author of this tremendous effort? Are you writing under your own name? I do. You can find me under Rebecka Vigus at amazon and Barnes and Noble. My books are there. But what if you have written a mystery and want your author to be mysterious?

Well the photo above is my friend Wilson Jennings. Wilson Jennings is the brain child of two writers. They are planning to release their first novel in 2013. I will not be a spoiler and tell you about them. But I will tell you what they are doing.

First Wilson Jennings has it's own Facebook author page. As of this writing they have twenty-two likes and have only been up twenty-four hours. They have also created a LinkedIn page for Wilson Jennings and set up an e-mail account.

In other words they are creating hype. Wilson will have a bio and Jennings will have a bio. Readers will know they are two people. But are they male or female or one of each? Where do they live? What are their lives like? These are things that may or may not be revealed to the reader. Since they are writing a mystery, the persona of their pen name is in keeping with that.

I have done my part for my friends. I have put a couple of teasers on my blog. I've told my friends to check out their Facebook page. So, while I know who they are, I'm playing along with all this hype. Their publisher is going along with it as well. Soon I expect to see them up on the publisher's site with their bios and photo. Yes, same photo you see here. Not sure if you'll ever get another photo of them.

I've been fielding questions from my friends, fans, and writer friends as to who this dynamic duo is. My lips are sealed.

If you are going to use a pen name, what do you want your readers to know about your author? How much information are you going to give them. I met someone once who wrote a book under the name Anonymous. He did it for safety reasons. He was writing about covert operations. Names were changed but places and incidents were not.

If you're using your own name, what private information do you want known about you? Do you want your family dragged into your writing? I do that on the dedication pages. My family is my support system and a fount of ideas if I need them, but they are not the author and their lives do not go into my bio. I tend to be a private person and that probably influences my decision,too.

Find the name, persona, and background that fits who you are. Get that name known even before you have your final draft in hand. Name recognition is as important as having a good story to tell. Getting known ahead of time means that you might be able to get advance orders when your book is ready. That's always a good thing.


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    • Duchessoflilac1 profile image

      Rebecka Vigus 5 years ago from Johns Island, SC

      I write under my own name for my novels. It's easier. I don't have to be someone else. I only need one set of business cards.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I have been using a pen name when writing some of my fan fiction short stories online because it was one of the requirements for the site. Some sites will let you use your own name and I do that as well. I'm still thinking about the idea when comes to writing elsewhere. Fan fiction has given me good practice for writing fiction, but I want to expand into writing a novel. I'm not sure what to think about using a pen name this bigger project.