From Sharing with Writers e-newsletter:

Q&A a la Ann Landers

On Pseudonym Conundrums
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I don’t know if Frugal Promoter addresses it and if it does, I’ll read
through when it arrives. In case it does not, here’s a question: If you
publish under a pen name (as I do –  – Dan Haight), how do you handle
author head shots without being creepy or weird?


I do address pseudonyms in The Frugal Book Promoter, Dan. Be sure to use
the index to check references to pseudonyms and associated keywords so
you’ll get the complete picture. But here is the short answer:

I’m not much in favor of pen names –  – not from the standpoint of
marketing. The reason you give (headshots—creepy!) is only one of my
objections. Although I’ve certainly heard of some very good reasons to use
pen names, they are a pain when it comes to marketing. Maybe you shouldn’t
use a headshot at all. Instead, use your book cover image for avatars and
about every occasion you come across where one assumes headshots are
required. I don’t write under a pseudonym and I have to tell you that I
still use lots of book cover images instead of avatars. Here are a couple
reasons why:

1. Book covers sell books.
2. People need to be familiar with a book (probably see or hear about it
seven or so times before they buy so there is an advantage in doing so).

That’s not to say that head shots aren’t great, too. People love to
associate/know the author.

But you said it. Creepy is not good.


To subscribe to Sharing with Writers send
an e – mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to or go
   for an auto subscribe box.


Filed under writing, Writing blogs

2 responses to “Pseudonyms

  1. Joy, thank you so much for reprinting this from my SharingwithWriters newsletter. I’ll be sure to put the link to it in the thank you section of that same newsletter.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Excited about the new edition (expanded! updated! even more helpful for writers!) of The Frugal Book Promoter, now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (

  2. I use book covers and winning certificates–and, of course, Blizzard–as my avatars here and there, though you can find a photo (I have two I choose from when people demand them) if you search. While I’ve never used a pseudonym and don’t plan to, I have one waiting in the wings that I like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s