Pen Name Generator

Discover the most iconic pen names to start your writing career. Our Pen Name Generator provides you with over 30,000,000+ random names in different languages and genders.

Landon Ritter

BESTSELLING AUTHOR

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What is a Pen Name?

A pen name, also known as a pseudonym or alias, is a fictional name used by an author instead of their real name. Pen names are often used by authors who want to hide their true identity or who want to separate their different writing styles or genres. For example, an author may use one name for writing fiction and another for writing non-fiction. Pen names are also used by authors who have a name that is difficult to pronounce or spell, or who simply want to use a name that is more memorable or marketable.

A blue book titled "What is a Pen Name?" and several pen name examples below the title

 

 

Why Do Authors Use Pen Names?

Authors choose to use a pen name for various reasons. Some authors may want to protect their privacy, while others may be experimenting with different writing styles. In this section, we’ll discuss the various reasons why authors may choose to use a pen name.

Shadow figure of a book author holding up a glowing book.in front of a blue background of multiple pen names

 

Concealing Identity

Some authors may choose to use a pen name to protect their privacy or to avoid unwanted attention. A pen name can be useful for authors who write about sensitive or personal subjects and want to avoid public scrutiny.

 

Exploring New Styles and Genres

Authors can also use pen names to experiment with different styles, genres, or audiences. For example, a children’s book author may choose to use a pen name when writing adult fiction, so as not to confuse readers or limit their potential audience.

 

Avoiding Stereotyping or Discrimination

Authors from marginalized communities may use pen names to avoid discrimination or to be taken more seriously in their field. For example, a female author may choose to use initials or a gender-neutral pen name to avoid being dismissed as less credible in a male-dominated genre.

 

Collective Authorship

Pen names can also be used by a group of two or more authors who want to present their work as the work of one author. This can be done to conceal the number of contributors or simply for similar reasons as the ones listed above.

 

Real Name is Already Used

Sometimes, an author may choose to use a pen name if their real name is already being used by another author. This can prevent confusion and ensure that readers can easily find and identify an author’s work.

 

How to Choose a Pen Name

Choosing a pen name is an important decision for any author, as it can have a significant impact on their career and their readers’ perception of their work. Here are some steps to help you choose the perfect pen name:

A thinking book author standing in front of a pinboard with several pen names to choose from

 

Consider the Genre

If you’re writing in a specific genre, it’s important to choose a pen name that fits with that genre. For example, if you’re writing romance novels, a pen name that sounds sophisticated or romantic might be more fitting than one that sounds comedic or action-packed.

 

Think About Your Audience Demographics

It’s also important to consider your target audience when choosing a pen name. For example, if you’re writing for young adults, a pen name that sounds youthful and modern might be more appropriate than one that sounds traditional or old-fashioned.

 

Pronunciations and Spellings

While uniqueness aids in discoverability, it’s still important that your pen name is easy to pronounce and spell. This will make it more memorable for readers, and easier for them to find and recommend your work.

 

Check the Availability

Before finalizing your pen name, check whether it’s already in use by someone else. See if the name is available as a website domain, and also search for it on social media platforms, Amazon, Goodreads, etc. You don’t want to inadvertently infringe on someone else’s rights or have your work confused with someone else’s.

By considering these factors, you can choose a pen name that fits your literary genre, appeals to your target audience, is easy to pronounce and spell, and is not already in use by someone else.

 

How Do I Use a Pen Name?

Choosing a pen name is just the first step—it’s just as important to know how to use it properly. Consistency, transparency, and protecting your rights are key to ensure that your work is properly credited and that readers can easily find your work and connect with you. Here are some tips to help you navigate the world of pen names:

A blue book with the title "How to use a Pen Name?" and the pen name "Sam Ovens" burned into the book

 

Consistency is Key

Once you’ve picked your pen name, stick with it across all of your work, at least in that particular genre or field, and all of your online and offline platforms. This will help readers and potential publishers easily find you and identify your work.

 

Inform Your Publisher

If you’re working with a publisher, make sure they also have your legal name when you let them know you’ll be using a pen name. This will help ensure proper credit and compensation for your work.

 

Protect Your Rights

It’s important to properly copyright your work under your pen name to protect your rights as the author. This will ensure that you are legally recognized as the creator of your work and prevent others from using it without your permission.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to use your pen name effectively to promote and protect your work, as well as connect with your readers.

 

25 Examples of Famous Pen Names

Many famous authors throughout history have used pen names, either to protect their privacy, appeal to a different audience, or separate their work in different genres. Here’s a collection of some of the most famous authors and their pen names:

Pen Name

Real Name

 

Richard Bachman

Stephen King

 

Robert Galbraith

Joanne Rowling

 

Silence Dogood

Benjamin Franklin

 

Boz

Charles Dickens

 

Dr. Seuss

Theodore Seuss Geisel

 

Anne Rice

Howard Allen Frances O’Brien

 

Mary Westmacott

Agatha Christie

 

Ayn Rand

Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum

 

Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

 

C.S. Lewis

Clive Staple Lewis

 

Lemony Snicket

Daniel Handler

 

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair

 

E.L. James

Erika Leonard

 

Voltaire

François‐Marie Arouet

 

Bell Hooks

Gloria Jean Watkins

 

Saki

Hector Hugh Munro

 

Joseph Conrad

Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski

 

A.M. Barnard

Louisa May Alcott

 

Anthony Gilbert

Lucy Beatrice Malleson

 

Maya Angelou

Marguerite Annie Johnson

 

George Eliot

Mary Ann Evans

 

Sapphire

Ramona Lofton

 

Pablo Neruda

Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto

 

Mark Twain

Samuel Clemens

 

O. Henry

William Sydney Porter

 

 

More Pen Name Generators

Haven’t found the right pen name for your writing journey yet? Below you will find even more pen name generators that will inspire you with plenty of iconic pseudonyms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Best Seller Rank mean on Amazon?

    Amazon’s best seller rank (BSR) is an indicator of popularity based on sales volume. The lower the BSR, the more popular the item. So, the top-selling book on the whole of Amazon will have a BSR of 1 while books with low sales will have a BSR in the millions.

  • How does Amazon’s Best Seller Rank work?

    Amazon’s best seller rank (BSR) is an algorithm-based ranking system that ranks books based on sales data. The BSR is calculated based on both the number of units sold and the average price per unit and takes into account a number of historical and current data.

  • Why is Amazon’s Best Seller Rank important?

    The higher the Amazon Best Seller Rank, the more likely it is that people will buy your book. In fact, the top 100 bestsellers account for 50-60% of all book sales on Amazon.com and the top 10% of all titles sell almost twice as much as the bottom 90%.

  • Why does your Amazon Best Seller Rank fluctuate?

    The Amazon Best Seller Rank is calculated daily and updated hourly. The BSR is determined based on the number of units sold within 24 hours, not including returns, but also takes into account the number of times a product has been sold since its listing date. The BSR is updated daily, so even though a book may not be ranked highly today, it could move up or down tomorrow.

  • How to see the Amazon Best Seller Rank

    You can find a book’s BSR displayed on the book’s page. Another way to see which book has a higher BSR is to check out the search results pages: the page will display books with a higher BSR first.

    Product Detail Page

    You can view the BSR for any item by clicking on the “view details” link. You will see various pieces of information, including the name of the product, category, subcategory, ISBN number, and BSR.

    DS Amazon Quick View

    DS Amazon Quick View is a free Google Chrome Extension that lets you quickly view all of your items listed on Amazon.com. It is like having one-click access to your entire inventory. 

    Once logged in, you are able to see all of your listings, including new ones added since the last time you checked, sorted out by price, title, or seller name.

    Besides important product information such as product ASIN, BSR, sales ranking, customer rating, and more, DS Amazon Quick View lets you quickly view all orders placed on an Amazon.com product within 24 hours of placing them.

  • Why doesn't my Book have a Best Seller Rank?

    If a book doesn’t display a BSR, it could mean that the book has never had a sale. This is by far the most common reason for a book with no BSR. Since BSR comes from sales and KENP (pages read through Kindle Unlimited), no rank can be given without at least one sale. 

  • What’s the Difference Between Amazon Best Sellers Rank and Organic Rank?

    The Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) measures sales volume. 

    The organic rank determines where a book will appear on the results page once a reader searches for a specific keyword. It measures popularity based on other factors such as Keyword Relevance, Click-Through Rate, Conversion Rate, Reviews, Number of Views, etc. 

    Since it’s related to the keywords used for a search, organic ranking is particularly important for reader searches. So, a book with a high organic rank will appear first when people search for keywords related to it.

    The two ranks do not necessarily correlate. For example, an item may be highly ranked because it has been reviewed positively by customers but still sell poorly overall.

  • What does having multiple Amazon Best Seller Ranks mean?

    When looking at a book page, you will notice that there may be more than one BSR listed. Usually, a book will have a higher category BSR than an overall one.

     

    Overall Best Seller Rank

    The overall Best Seller Rank measures a book against all other books that have been sold on Amazon. To calculate it, Amazon takes into account all sales activity throughout the day and against the book’s historical average sales performance as well as the average price per unit.

     

    Category Best Seller Rank

    Each category has its own Best Seller Rank. This shows readers how popular a book is in its genre or subgenre – i.e. within a specific category. So, a book may rank #500,000 overall but still be #1 in its category because this particular subcategory includes just a handful of books. As long as your book is the most popular among them, it can even display the coveted best seller badge. 

    A book may also be listed under more than one subcategory and have a different BSR for each of these.

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