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SPQ 009 – How Do I Publish on Amazon Using a Pen Name or Pseudonym?

Written by Steve Scott on January 2, 2015. Listen to SPQ: iTunes | Stitcher | RSS Feed
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SPQ 009 – How Do I Publish on Amazon Using a Pen Name or Pseudonym?

The Question…

Daniel wants to know if it’s possible to publish a Kindle book under a pseudonym and how to do it through Amazon.

Biggest Takeaway…

Steve’s Answer…

Many people wonder whether they should publish under their own name or use a pseudonym. Steve is especially qualified to answer this question because Steve Scott is actually his pen name. Back in 2005, he used his real name and home address on the World Wide Web. One day, a stranger knocked on his door and started asking questions about things Steve had written. It was a scary experience, especially when he thought about what might happen once he got married and had kids. He decided to use a pen name to insulate his personal life from his professional life.

 Using a pseudonym has pros and cons. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to protect your privacy. When you use a pen name in combination with a post office box, it is very difficult for someone to find you. Some entrepreneurs use pen names to prevent people from copying their websites or hurting their businesses. Using a pseudonym also gives you the freedom to try new things. If you want to write a racy book, you can do so without worrying that your friends or family members will find out about it.

One of the biggest drawbacks is that people may feel like you are hiding something. You don’t get the opportunity to show your friends how successful you are because your books aren’t published under your real name. It can also be confusing, especially if you attend in-person events where you register under your real name and use your pen name to introduce yourself to others.

If you decide to use a pen name, you can use it on Amazon. The big drawback is that you can’t have more than three separate author accounts. When you’re ready to upload a book, go to Amazon’s Author Central to claim your pen name. Create an account if you haven’t already done so.

Here’s how to claim your book on Author Central and create a pen name:

Choose Books –> Add More Books –> Enter Title –> This is my book

Go through these menu options and you will be prompted to create an author name.

Think very carefully about the pseudonym you choose because it’s very hard to change once you use it all over the Web.

Resource Links

Amazon Author Central

Amazon Author Central (UK)

Amazon Author Central (Germany)

  • Matt Stone

    Oh come on Steve, I’m not THAT scary. Plus, my van is more of a beige color. Not white. So you want me to pick the kids up from school today or what bro?
    Congrats on the podcast!

    • Steve Scott

      Haha…nice. It is funny, but there are some crazy people out there. Just not ready to leave my home address and real name for the whole world to know. Anywho…thanks for checking out the podcast.

    • Haha…nice. It is funny, but there are some crazy people out
      there. Just not ready to leave my home address and real name for the
      whole world to know. Anywho…thanks for checking out the podcast.

  • Steve,

    Pen names? Are you trying to tell me that Dr. Seuss wasn’t a doctor?

    It is all about the content. If you put out good stuff you can call yourself whatever you want. Although I can see how it might be tough for someone who has achieved your level of fame.

    Let’s just borrow a page from music. Eminem is Marshall Mathers and Slim Shady and I’m sure other names an old guy like me has never heard of.

    I do like using my own name and building the brand around that, especially when I got my website at http://www.george-rodriguez.com. The story about the stranger though was super creepy so I totally understand your reasoning.

    Off to episode…oh no wait…hurry Steve I need more episodes! Wait, off to iTunes to leave a review.

    George

    • Steve Scott

      Haha. Yeah, don’t think that’s Dr. Suess’ real name.

      Re: Pen names. It’s definitely a personal call. In retrospect, wish I went with my real name, but it’s also nice to know that my personal life is a bit insulated.

      And by the way, thanks for checking out all the episodes and leaving great comments!

    • Haha. Yeah, don’t think that’s Dr. Suess’ real name.

      Re: Pen names. It’s definitely a personal call. In retrospect,
      wish I went with my real name, but it’s also nice to know that my
      personal life is a bit insulated.

      And by the way, thanks for checking out all the episodes and leaving great comments!

  • Joy

    How do you handle the photo issue in that case? I mean – if you don’t
    want to be associated with your books, but you still want to give your
    readers a face to relate to.
    Thank you so much for putting up this podcast.! Love it
    .

    • Steve Scott

      Hey Joy — I figure the photo and showing my real face is okay. It’s more about putting my personal info out there for the whole world to see. If I’m recognized from the Interwebs one day, that’s okay. But I’m not sure I like the idea of having my home address and/or the names of my loved ones available for the whole world to see. Maybe I’m cynical, but I know that the .0001% of the population can be super scary.

    • Hey Joy — I figure the photo and showing my real face is okay. It’s
      more about putting my personal info out there for the whole world to
      see. If I’m recognized from the Interwebs one day, that’s okay. But
      I’m not sure I like the idea of having my home address and/or the names
      of my loved ones available for the whole world to see. Maybe I’m
      cynical, but I know that the .0001% of the population can be super
      scary.

  • Loving this podcast! Thanks Steve, or Tom, or Jason…

    This was timely for me because I published an ebook years ago (2006) with success under a pen name. I recently launched it on Amazon to understand the process. It’s been a great experiment.

    One promotional difficulty with my pen name was that I have no other online identity built up for it, whereas, with my real name I could connect my Twitter feed, share my business url, etc. So it appears to really do a pen name justice you’d have to work to really establish it. I do think I’ll keep my pen name around, just for experimentation’s sake.

    • Excellent point Katie. If you already have friends on these platforms, you’ll have those initial “fans” (or simply people who want to support you) who can support you.

  • Ryan Mendenhall

    Hey Steve. I know that you’re not doing the podcast anymore, but if you are still answering comments. I have a question: Do you know if you can have multiple versions on a name (pen names) go the the same Author Page? Or do you need to create a new page for each?

  • Hi Steve, may i know base on your experiences is it fine if our pen name not in english name ? How this effect of the sales ?