Looking to self-publish under a different name than your own? Read on for the A-Z of pen names and what they mean for Rowanvale’s authors.
The definition of a pseudonym is ‘an assumed name used by a writer instead of their real name’. Another term for this is a ‘pen name’, or the rather fancy French synonym ‘nom de plume’, which translates into ‘the name of the feather’. Though we are no longer writing with such feathered instruments in 2022, pseudonyms are still alive and kicking in the literary scene, as famously used by household names such as Stephen King and J. K. Rowling.
1. Brainstorm using the alphabet: Go through the alphabet one letter at a time and list all the first names that spring to mind. Repeat again for the second name!
2. Connect the name to a deeper meaning: This is a prime opportunity to portray what you want to represent as a writer. What name holds the most significance to you?
3. Consider an online pen name generator: If you are completely stuck, why not make use of an online name generator to aid you in the search for the perfect pseudonym?
1. Is it available? We advise you scour through some bookselling sites to see whether anyone else is using this name. We recommend Goodreads as a useful place to conduct your searches.
2. Is it registered? Check the Trademark Office for the country’s official name registrations list to avoid any cease-and-desist notices and ensure you will be able to register your own domain in the future.
3. Is it available to use as a domain listing? If you are planning to publish multiple books or even create your own book business, it is highly likely you will want to create a website at some point in the future. We recommend using an online domain checker to ensure your name is free to use.
1. Register your name as a trademark before using it to self-publish. You can do this on the UK’s Trademark Office website.
2. Choose and purchase a domain that is linked to your pen name. Registering a domain name will cost you money, however it is an absolute necessity for self-published authors who wish to become authorpreneurs and create a personal online marketplace. This can be done through individual registrants--we recommend watching The Domain UK’s useful video on how to choose the right one for you.