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Does anybody use a pen name?

pros and cons

8:43 pm on Dec 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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i'm in the very early phases of creating a new web site. it's a guide to blah, blah, blah... type of site. i plan on writing articles for the site and wondered if i want to use a pen name for the articles. i'm not sure why i wondered about using a pen name, privacy and a little fun i guess. everything is on the up and up and i am not trying to hide anything. i will be using my real name in all the day to day business and other necessary areas of the site.

do any of you use a pen name for articles you write for content? wish you had? wish you hadn't?

right now i plan not to use a pen name.

12:10 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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There can be some really good reasons to use a pen name, but be aware that if you do you may be lumping yourself together with those who use a pen name for less honorable reasons. Hide your identity and you could be sacrificing a certain amount of trust. But, it all depends on your reasons. Not everybody is out to con other people, and if you just want to have a pen name to distinguish different styles and genres of writing then most people find that acceptable.

Using a pen name for articles to make a one-person operation appear to be bigger than it is isn't all that uncommon. But can you make your writing style distinct enough to convince your readers? If not, being unmasked could be embarrassing.

7:00 pm on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My partner and I have a site that is very heavy on information content and sells related items to a niche public. The entire site is pen-named. By that I mean, we created a person, whose site it is, and who writes all the articles and responds to the tons of emails requesting advice on this subject. This imaginary person is actually both of us, and this person has a distinct personality. This personality really drives the website.

Our prices are little higher than some of the competitors, but we have loyal customers who will only buy from "Pen name" because they trust HER so much.

I can't imagine doing it any other way. It has been very successful. This imaginary person now has a growing number of fans who tell their friends about her. It is all part of creating the ambience for the site and giving it a real feeling that there is a real person there, and not just another (industry name) site.

I have lots of other sites where I do not do this. But it has been effective (and fun) using a pen name in this particular type of website.


6:05 am on Dec 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I use a pen name for all my site's content. Reason? My site is movie related, I review movies, and I'm also a screenwriter/would-be filmmaker. Can you imagine if I run across a movie producer who is considering buying one of my scripts, when he/she realizes I was the one who savaged one of his/her movie?

See? Pen names are sometimes your best friends.

5:58 pm on Jan 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I agree. As a professional writer I have written under my own name and as a ghost writer on other people's behalf. Many famous authors wrote and write under a pseudonym (George Elliot for example), it's nothing to be ashamed of.

However, if you are producing articles for a single web site under various guises, you may arouse suspicions of an intent to deceive, and that should not be constructive.


1:31 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The only drawback to writing under a pen name is those infrequent but memorable, "Oh, you wrote that? Well, why didn't you use your real name?" which is a tedious qustion to answer more than 5 times.
3:33 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We are all writing under pen names in this very forum. The only one CLOSE to their own name seems to be Rosalind, but "dohs" and "webwoman" are pen names without a shadow. Every reason for using a pen name here applies to writing other work.


6:25 pm on Feb 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't see anything wrong with using pen names as long as it's not to hide some unscrupulous intent. I've done it before and it can be really beneficial.

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