When an author publishes a book, they need to make a decision before the book hits the market.

Do they want to use a pen name?

Here are six reasons why a writer may want to use a pen name.

1. You write erotica: There is nothing wrong with writing in the genre, but writers may want to choose a pen name because they don’t want close friends or relatives to know. They may want to hide that book from dear old dad.

2. You write under different genres: If an author writes under several genres, they may want to use a different name to not confuse their readers. Some readers may enjoy an author’s literary fiction, but not their science fiction.

3. You want to keep your private life – private: By using a pen name, you don’t have to subject all your public information to the world. You get to keep your life to yourself for as long as that name stays private.

4. You have a crazy, unpronounceable name (check the byline): You may want to change your name to something more pronounceable or recognizable. Perhaps your name has too many vowels strung together and may be too hard to spell.

5. Another author has the same name: If there is an author in the same genre as you write, you may want to use a pen name to avoid confusion.

6. You were previously published and reviews weren’t kind: Maybe things didn’t go well the first time you published a novel: reviews were bad or you had public problems with readers or other authors. For whatever reason, you want a fresh start.