Using a Pen Name

Many authors and writers tend to consider the decision to use a pen name to be a personal choice. I too have been taking this under some consideration. Yes, I have published works under my legal name, and something similar to my legal name for some of my works depending on the work that I’m publishing.

Furthermore, some very well known authors such as Nora Roberts and J. K. Rowling have used pen names for various reasons for their work. J.K. Rowling’s reason for using a pen name was so that she could be judge on your writing merits so that readers would not buy her works of fiction just because of the success that came from the Harry Potter Series. Nora Robert’s using of a pen name was due to her writing in a different genre.

There are many reason that writers chose to use a pen name rather than their preferred name. The reason that I bring this up is that there have been a number of theories as of late that William Shakespeare was a pen name, not an actual person. You might be shocked by this news, but let me tell you this has been an interesting topic in the literary world.

Last night, while I was working I was listening to Coast to Coast AM Radio and they had an author on there by the name of Katherine Chiljan, who wrote a book called Shakespeare Suppressed: The Uncensored Truth about Shakespeare and his words. During the discussion of the book, the subject of whether or not Shakespeare was a real person or a pen name for a person of high importance was addressed. Chijan stated that if Shakespeare was the pen name of a Lord, and it was found out who the real Shakespeare was it would have been somewhat of a scandal to say the very least. But this is also not the first time that the theory has been addressed either, for there was a movie titled, Anonymous that addressed this theory as well.

Granted, today we, as writers, have aspirations to be published and to be read by readers. However, there was a time when that depending on your place in society would have been a taboo. Granted, we know that throughout history that women writer’s were turned away since readers at the time would only read works by a male writer. So there were many women writers who took on the pen name that reflected a man’s name so that way they would have a chance to be published even it was in a literary magazine at the time.

Boy have times changed, and know writers of both genders are being read and that alone is something to be amazed at. I’m not taking away that we still have social injustices at work in the word that still have to be defeated. But if writing can pave the way for change, why can’t other things as well.

I will say that for an author to use a pen name is a personal choice and one that should not be made lightly, unless you don’t want others to know that it is you writing and publishing a work of fiction or even nonfiction for that matter. Furthermore, using a pen name should be something that reflects you as an author, your genre and how you want to be known.

Issues that are impacting the Writer Community

Hello and welcome back! I want to first start by saying that the Castle Rock Writer’s Conference for 2018 will be held on the evening of Friday, September 28 and throughout the day on Saturday, September 29. So if you are going to be in Colorado and want to attend, you might want to watch their website,  http://castlerockwriters.com, for when you can RSVP for the event.

Secondly, there is a lot going on in the writing community, like I said the last time that I was on here Amazon is going to be releasing their changes sometime in July, which is fast approaching. Furthermore, there is a lot to be said about #cockygate, book stuffers and the alike.

I have been watching a lot of different authors on youtube as of late, and there is one that speaks out on the issues that are affecting the indie author community as a whole. I appreciate her for what she says and feel that there is just a lot that is going wrong with different injustices that are taking effect to us indie writers. These injustices are making me feel that there are certain practices that should not be taking place in general.

The first one being that there is an author, I don’t know her name, but she posted on youtube that an “author” can make a six-figure salary by hiring ghostwriters and then publishing what a ghostwriter has put out and taking credit for it. Yes, this practice has been going on for a long time, but I feel that ghostwriters should be given the credit that is due to them for their hard work. They, being ghostwriters, work just as hard as the rest of us authors. But for someone to take advantage of that and then call themselves “authors” for this is entirely not what this community should be about. Furthermore, it’s plagiarism plain and simple.

I hate to put this out here, but we as writers work hard to put out our work. We work hard to get agents, and publishers to pick us up on the interigity of our work. Yes, we may need our work to be edit, but who doesn’t need that? But if our community is over run by cheaters, scammers, and those that seek to take advantage of the systems that have been put in place for legitimate writers/authors then who pays for that? We do, the people that do the actual work and work to tell stories.

I’m not saying, by any means that Amazon is innocent in any of the policies that have been put in place in the past, but more needs to be done to protect legitimate authors. This community has so much to offer but if we are being taken advantage of then, our community will suffer for it. I’m not saying that I’m giving up on writing, for I still have the stories in mind that I want to tell, but what I am saying right now is that I will be doing more homework on everything that I put out that I want to publish to make sure that my readers can find my work and not some pirated copy of it.

 

I’m back…

I would like to star again by apologizing for not being on here for a while. But I was taking a bit of a break from writing. I know that’s bad, but I was getting ready for shearing season. The alpacas got sheared on Sunday and now I’m getting back to writing, and above all trying to get back to giving advice on writing. Also, things are happening in the writing community besides #cockygate that are having an effect on us writers.

I would say at this point, pay very close attention to what Amazon is currently doing in the next couple of weeks or even the next month. Amazon makes most of its changes during the month of July so any policy changes will be taking effect then. I do know of a couple of changes that Amazon is going to be putting in place, such as when you release a book you can only have 5 advanced copies. Anything more than 5 will have to be purchased or your readers will have to purchase so that they can leave a review of the book. One reason for this change is that there are so-called scammers, who would get over 1,000 advanced copies and would say that they are advanced copies and those readers would put out reviews. This was giving a disadvantage to those that could not get a whole lot of advanced copies. Therefore, Amazon is trying to make it fair for all.

Granted, there are bad and good things to come from this change. But there are other changes that may be taking place too, as I said before that will affect us, writers. As for readers, they are also becoming aware of the changes that are coming into play for us and some are like it’s good to know information and there are others that really don’t care. That’s fine, but right now our job as writers is to assure our readers that what we are doing is not changing, for we are still going to be putting up content and writing the stories that they want to read.

In other news, there is so much discussion going on with traditional publishers, indie publishers, vanity presses and the like that I want to write a post on this. The issue that it boils down to is that you and me, as writers trying to publish our works, should not have to pay a so-called “publisher” to publish our books, and therefore, some of these different avenues for publishing are considered as scams. So when I get into that it will probably be lengthy, as we as writers, even first time published authors should not be taken advantage of.

So I know that you are all probably wondering about The Raven Prophecy. The book itself is still being written, the front cover is done, for I do not have any more desire to re-make my front cover. But I have also been spending some time making/working on the back cover, which I will put down below both the front and back cover images. Overall, I just got back to working on the draft, for I last touched it on May 27. Trust me, when I say looking at it again it’s been a while but on the bright side, I knew where I left off so I wasn’t lost again.

As much as I say this, I’m back and I want to get more content on here about writing, what is going on in the writing world, what is going on with my writing, and furthermore some tricks and tips that we as writers can take on with our projects. But I must say that I’ve missed you all and hope that you will look forward to what I have in store to share with all of you.

So here is the latest design for the front cover and the back cover:

The Raven Prophecy-new14-page-001The Raven Prophecy Back Cover 9-page-001