Help with Author Name/Pen Name


Yeah I get you!!

That’s why I like this name. It works well and is kind of ambiguous. It can work for a lot of genres, or be shorthanded if needed.

That’s why I recommend going with a neutral last name. That way you don’t have to change it in the future. But if you’re name is Genevieve Valentina, then I could see where some people looking for action books might second guess that name.

Then again, you can always make your name small on the first books and focus on the title. Once you gain a following, no one will care about your name. If anything, having a few kick ass action novels can eventually make “Genevieve Valentina” look cool.


I also really like the name Jules. That would work really well


Your name does work well! Its just picking that is the hard thing… Did you have a particular process or is that your real name?

My concern with it though is building online. I’d like to start with writing blog posts (about writing) and social media first, to have a little branding before I publish the first thing I have in line. I am just self publishing at this point, because the first thing is a novella. So I don’t want to build branding for one name and then change it.


On someone asked:

Can two authors have the same name? My name is the same as a best selling author. I want to sell books under my name, but I don’t know if the other author can sue me for writing books under my real name.

The answer was:

You can’t be sued for using your own name. However, you could be liable if somehow you give readers the impression that your books were actually written by the other author with the same name. If you’re each writing in a different literary genre, there shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re both writing romance novels, for example, the likelihood of readers getting the two of you confused grows significantly.


You could switch your initials around. E. J . (Last Name). Or just do J. (Last Name). Or you could shorten Julia to Jay. That’s kind of gender neutral though I think it does lean a little masculine. I liked the suggestion Jules a lot. I’d say it’s probably your best bet as far as keeping it simple and personal.

For me I’m currently using my real name to write but considering I plan to write in several different genres I came up with a pen name that I think suits many genres. It took a lot of time playing with names and words and different spellings, but it’s unique and suits my purposes.

If you have a habit of changing your mind, I’d narrow your list down to a few and sit on it for awhile. See how you feel about them after a little bit of time has passed before you make any decisions.


If you use a pen name, all you have to do is get a DBA, so you can do business in that name – or you can continue to use your real name behind the scenes and never sign a contract with the pen name.

A pen name really is no big deal. If you’re doing it for this sort of reason, there’s no secrecy involved, so you can openly market to friends and family and everyone else, linking your name with the pen name for those who know you. If you’re using a pen name because you don’t want your real identity known, it’s a lot more difficult, because you can’t market to friends and family at all, and you have to be UBER careful to keep your personas separate.

If you pursue trad pub, talk over the pen name issue with your agent. If you have self pubbed works with an established brand that have sold well, she’ll likely want you to keep that name because you’ll have a big step up on building an audience. (Starting from scratch sucks.) If you don’t have good sales, then she’ll likely want you to use a different name before approaching a publisher.