Author Topic: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?  (Read 309 times)  

Offline Puddleduck

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Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« on: October 12, 2017, 04:08:49 PM »
I'm considering attempting to write a to-market urban fantasy story, only I want to do one with a male lead. What I'm wondering is what people think about using my usual female pen name or if I should make a new, male or gender neutral name to use.

I'm wondering if readers will be more critical of a first person male narrator if they know the author is female. Or if there are any other concerns or things to consider regarding female-written first person stories with a male main character.

Online KhaosFoxe

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 04:10:31 PM »
My biggest selling series is UF with a gay male lead. I have Holly Evans on the cover and no one's commented negatively, quite the opposite I've had many compliments.  :)

Bisexual writing LGBT+ UF. Celestial Tears to be published late November.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 04:11:41 PM »
My biggest selling series is UF with a gay male lead. I have Holly Evans on the cover and no one's commented negatively, quite the opposite I've had many compliments.  :)

Do you know what percentage of your readership is male?

I'm more concerned about male readers being critical of a first person male voice than I am about women being critical of it.

Online KhaosFoxe

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2017, 04:14:11 PM »
I don't know the percentages, no. I have had men compliment the book though (both gay and hetero men), and a few of my most devoted fans are men.

Bisexual writing LGBT+ UF. Celestial Tears to be published late November.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 04:15:43 PM »
I don't know the percentages, no. I have had men compliment the book though (both gay and hetero men), and a few of my most devoted fans are men.

Well, that's encouraging.

I've heard that some men simply won't read books written by women, but I would guess that's not so much in the UF genre.

Online Annie B

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 04:53:56 PM »
Women are the majority of readers in almost all genres. Don't fret about it.

Any guy who won't read a book by a woman isn't a reader you want, imo.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 04:58:52 PM »
Any guy who won't read a book by a woman isn't a reader you want, imo.

That's probably true.

Incidentally, Annie, it's your post about how you made so much money by writing to market that got me thinking about trying it myself. I may not end up doing it right away (got a current series I'm writing), but it's not something I'd even seriously considered before. So the thoughts about pen name are related to highest possible marketability for a male-MC UF, and I'm hoping to determine if it's worth doing as a separate pen name or just using my usual one.

Online Annie B

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 05:46:02 PM »
 I made a list of everything *I* loved to read about, and wrote a series that fit that list.  It's writing with market (ME) in mind, I guess, but I also wrote UF because I love the genre and am very well-read in it and understand it.  The people who read male-MC UF and the people who read female-MC UF are mostly the same groups of people as far as I can tell from looking at alsoboughts and reviews and who sends me emails etc. So don't worry about it. 

My advice would be to focus on what you and other readers of UF love about UF and making the character(s) interesting, compelling, and someone to root for. That will be FAR more important to the success of your book than if your name sounds female or not, trust me.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 04:27:29 AM »
Gender neutrality on a name will help you sell books to those who refuse to read male/female because of prejudice.

I wouldn't discard women who won't read male authors or men who won't read female authors. Everybody has their tastes. If you can put out a good story, and both buy it, why not?

I'd lean to tell you gender neutrality.  ;)
 

Online C. Gold

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2017, 06:11:44 AM »
Twenty-Sided Sorceress and Dresden Files are equally fun reads but the characters do match the gender of their authors. I guess it might be weird reading a different gender than the author name if you think about things like that. I went gender neutral so it wouldn't be a distraction for anyone who might possibly care.

Offline Puddleduck

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Re: Should a pen name for a UF with a male lead be male/neutral?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 08:53:49 AM »
I'm definitely doing it based on what I personally love about that genre, and I've asked my family who reads it for their opinions as well (they pretty much like the same things I do about the genre, so I guess it's nice to see some consensus there).

I do notice that most UF authors with clearly gendered pen names do tend to match the gender of their MC. I can only think of one example I've read where I knew the male-MC book was written by a woman, and I only found that out when I looked her up, since she has a male-sounding first name.