Authors use nom de plumes for various reasons. Erotica writers for instance, who don’t want their families to find out how they’re earning their crusts. Fictionalised memoirs are also books that sometimes could cause major problems for their authors if the people in their lives that are also in their memoirs find out. Especially if they are painted in an unfavourable light. This can lead to legal action, apart from any other sort of revenge the “injured” party might think to take. Hugely successful authors, like Stephen King who wrote as Richard Bachman, have dipped their toes into these waters for various reasons. Sometimes to see if they would be as successful if readers didn’t know their books had been written by them (I knew with King and Bachman though – before the truth was told), and sometimes simply because they don’t want to anger readers of a certain genre they write in by publishing a totally different genre, thereby possibly incurring accidental purchases of genres that are not enjoyed.
If you write horror, romance, and also children’s books, you can publish them all under your own name, and have them all listed on your Amazon Central Author Page, comfortable that the very different covers and blurbs are sufficient for readers to be aware of the genres. Or you can use three nom de plumes, and still list them all on your one Author Page, preferring that all your writings are kept in the same place. Possibly horror and children’s books don’t belong on the same page though.
Amazon allows you to have three separate Author Pages using nom de plumes on your one Kindle account. Only you will ever know that the books listed on them are yours, unless you choose to market them using your own name and marketing avenues. This means that you still have your current fan base to share the books you publish under your new nom de plume, and you can even add your real name either on the cover or somewhere in the front matter of all your books, as well as list them all on your website. The choice is yours though. Sometimes totally incognito is the way to go, while still being able to sell your wares, in which case open websites, Twitter accounts and so on using your nom de plume. Here’s how you do it.
1. Publish your book as usual, using only your nom de plume as the author, then find it and claim it as yours.
2. When the box opens for you to stake your claim, you’ll see the following:
You are not listed as the author of this book.
Do you see your name below?
Do you have a pen name?
If you write under a different name, let us know.
3. Click on let us know in the final option.
4. When you get a confirmation email from Amazon, simply click to confirm that you are the actual author of the book, and Bob’s your uncle!
You can then easily toggle between your newly linked Author Pages on Author Central from a drop down menu right beside your name, where it helpfully says, Click here to switch pen names. Then zoom off to assume your third alter ego, close the curtains, lock the doors, and write anything at all that takes your fancy. Your privacy is assured.
If you have more than three alter egos, then you need to open a second Author Central account with a different email address, but I’m pretty sure that three should do you very nicely.
Don’t forget to do the same on all the Amazon sites that you sell your books from. Happy flying under the radar scribblers.