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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping to collect some opinions on the idea of using pen names.  For the past 10 years, I have made a name for myself as a web programmer and graphic designer.  Just recently, I began writing and set a goal to publish my first novel this year as well as several short stories and anthology submissions.  The novel I am nearly complete with is erotica and will be clearly stated as such.  Since I have made a name for myself amongst authors, editors, and publishers as a graphic designer, would it be acceptable and welcomed for me to branch out as an author using the same name I use for my design business?  Also, will it hurt my business relations if the fact comes out I am an author of graphic romance novels?  I'm bouncing back and forth whether to keep my two identities separate or piggyback on the connections I've already made and use my real name.

Of course, I know how odd it seems that I am asking this sort of question in a public forum.  But keep in mind, the connections I have within the literary world are not my concern.  My main concern is my existing business clients and personal relations that may not accept this new venture.  I will have to make a decision soon as I am submitting a short story to an anthology in less than a month.

Thanks to all in these boards.  I've heard some great discussions so far and the support is really helpful.
 

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You and I are on the same page...I have been in the internet marketing/ webmaster field for nearly 9 years. If I tell a client I write, they ask what and it's not always easy saying Erotica. ( I write more than just that of course)  I have a large number of pen names to avoid issues. Not everyone is a fan of erotica so I recommend you go with a pen name. It's all about building a brand of course. Use your business name for books that work within your niche and use a pen name for everything else. Good luck with your book. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you sweets!  (And sorry for the double post - my internet hiccuped and now I have two identical threads going.)

I'm glad to hear this coming from someone who is in the same field as I am.  Makes me breathe a sigh of relief to know I'm not the only web programmer out there that has an itch to write fiction!  Sometimes we need to steer away from the mundane analytical crap and get creative!

Thanks again!
 

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I agree that if you have built a particular platform using your real name and are concerned that the material you are writing will be detrimental to that platform, or even the way around, then a pen name is the way to go.

I also used to want to have a pen name as a measure of privacy for my family. As it happens, I write under my own name and am fine with it, but for instances such as already described, then yes, I would go pseudonym all the way.
 

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I write in several related genres (mystery/crime/spec fic/horror) and I also do cover design, but as a side career. (I was a professional editor for most of my adult life, but switched careers last year because I found editing was not fun anymore and had become instead something to dread.) I've never used an alias, although I think I would consider it if I had a very niche genre, especially erotica. (And nothing against erotica, it's just that sometimes people have very, well, heated opinions about it.) I think a lot of it depends on how you see yourself and your business(es). What makes you feel both secure and professional? For me,  I think it also might be nice to have an alter ego sometimes. :)

BTW, looked over your cover designs, and you have some very lovely stuff! Best of luck with all your career paths. :)
 

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I have six names.  There's so much benefit to Pen Names, number one being branding.  You want to brand your work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback and compliments.  I love what I do, especially when it comes to graphic design (although that doesn't pay nearly as much as web programming, but is well worth the pay cut).  Building the branding for my pen name seems to be what I look forward to the most!  A whole other side of me that I can choose to allow people to know or not.  Yes, I am concerned the family members may not welcome such a spicy subject matter, but I think I'm definitely leaning more towards the pen name so I can choose whether to let someone know this side of me.

Again, all your views are greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
 
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