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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to try my hand at some historical romance stories.  Best advice on these boards is I should use a neutral penname as many romance readers won't buy books written by men.  When I set up the penname's About on Author Central, should I say it's a penname (as has the mighty Joe Konrath) or avoid that issue altogether?
 

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Let me check someone else out.  Brb.
RE Blake says it is a pseudonym.   
I would say whatever you are comfortable with.
 

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A couple of KB authors that write in Historical Romance have warned that the readers in that genre are super picky about getting the history right and they know more details than most of the authors. I think there was one instance 2-3 years ago where 'trenchers' were used/not used for a hundred years after someone's story or something written in the 12th century and multiple readers complained. However, I guess if you get the correct story/setting/details right the readers are fantastically loyal and voracious and recommend the stories to all their friends.

 

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Hmmm - This is hard for me, because if the book caught my eye I wouldn't care the gender of the author.

Here's my best guess.

Use initials or the gender-neutral pen name.

Go with what you are comfortable with as far as stating that it is a pen name. Lots of authors use pen names because they don't want people to know their real names, and they never mention they are using pen names. That wouldn't bother me.

Do NOT try and pretend you are a woman. That would bother me if I found out an author had lied about that. I mean, if you choose a woman's name as a pen name, and then your bio says "he" - people are going to figure out it is a pen name. I think most people will understand why you did it (although a few readers might not like it.) If you just somehow manage to write your bio without any gender info, that wouldn't bother me UNLESS you chose a pen name obviously designed to mislead.

I hope the above makes sense? In other words, if you just side-step the issue, and I find out your a man, I'm okay with that. If I feel like you've tried to trick me into thinking you are a woman, I feel a little betrayed. I know it is silly. But there you are.
 

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I don't mention that my pen name is a pen name on my (her) Amazon Author page, but it's kind of a silly name and there's no author profile picture, so I imagine people read between the lines anyway. ;) I would say it probably doesn't matter unless you get to the point where your pen name is selling well and you want to direct readers to try your other stuff too.

For the male/female thing, you can use initials and avoid any assumptions while not being too fictitious with your author profile (all the information I put in my pen name's profile is true; it just has a different focus from my other author page).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all - great advice!  That's the real value of KB - the chance to hear from folks who've been there, done that so you can avoid the pitfalls.  :)
 
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