Are pen names a bad idea?

I’m not in favor of pen names unless you are moving outside your brand and are afraid of confusing people. We all know what happened to Coke when they tried to redesign their image – it flopped. So if you are a mystery writer who wants to take up travel books, you might consider doing them under a pen name. Otherwise, if you are a first time author, you have to be willing to stand up for your book and be the face of your conversation. Otherwise, who does the media contact? Who is going to do the interviews? Transparency is a big word being thrown around these days and readers want to be able to get to know their authors and see their faces, look them up on social networking sites and learn about their daily lives. I think it is imperative, especially if you are in the earlier stages of your career, that you build a brand around your books. That you remain consistent with your messaging, that you stick with a single theme and set of core values that guide your writing and benefit your reader. Let your name become synonymous with your message and do so with pride.

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