From the moment you decide on your pen name, that name becomes an actual brand. You need to start building your pen name brand immediately. Waiting to publish your first eBook is just wasting time you could use doing something valuable for the brand itself.
Anytime you put on your “author cap,” consider yourself in brand-building mode. Use your author name anytime you network or engage online, be it on your website, blog, social media networks, forums or virtual events.
But what if you plan to use your real name to publish eBooks on Amazon and the likes? The same exact rules apply. You must consistently put in the work needed to build your authoring brand around that name if you want to be successful at selling eBooks online.
Real Name Vs Pen Name
What is a pen name? Also known as a pseudonym, it’s a fictitious name used by an author, writer or outsourcing publisher instead of her/his real name. Pen names are most often used for fiction when the content producer doesn’t want their real name tied to their chosen genre or niche for some reason.
Numerous fiction writers use pseudonyms. Many extremely famous authors have never published under their real names. Some popular examples of celebrity pen names include:
Dr. Seuss is actually Theodore Seuss Geisel
J.K. Rowling is actually Joanne Rowling
Mark Twain is actually Samuel Clemens
Perez Hilton is actually Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr.
Woody Allen is actually Allen Stewart Konigsberg
In some cases, fans never discover the true identity of their favorite authors. For example, Professor X, author of In the Basement of the Ivory Tower, has never revealed his government name.
When should you use your real name? What if you’re penning nonfiction?
Well, if your content is related to your actual industry/field/niche, publishing in your real name helps you establish yourself as an industry expert. And that’s always good for business.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber publishing HOW TOs on DIY plumbing. This could be great for business. Say a potential customer lands on your website after searching for local plumbers on Yelp. She decides to Google you looking for reviews for your services.
And right there on the first page of the search results are multiple plumbing-related eBooks published under your real name. Curiously, she clicks through to check them out on Amazon. Right in front of her, are multiple 5-star reviews from people who read your DIY plumbing eBooks and found them very useful.
In her mind, you are definitely an expert who knows what he’s doing. You’ve just landed yourself a new local plumbing customer because she has no intentions of buying the eBook to learn how to fix those pipes herself!
Your Readers Are Who Matter… Not You
At the end of the day, marketing your eBook is about getting sales. Whether you use a pseudonym or your real name, eBook marketing is not about you. It’s about your target readers. And whether your content is fiction or nonfiction, its purpose must be to solve some type of problem for your target audience.
For nonfiction writers, that means figuring out what problems your target market is currently having within the industry. Then, you do the research needed and put in the work to produce eBooks, paperbacks, audiobooks, videos, podcasts, webinars, online courses, offline courses, a website, blog posts and other types of content that solves those problems.
I’ve had numerous people ask me how this applies to fiction… because they assume their content isn’t the answer to someone’s problem. When people conduct online searches on sites like Google and Amazon, they are having some sort of problem and they expect to solve it by using the internet.
This eBook shows you how to brand your pen name and/or publishing company, so you become that industry expert in their eyes. Learn how to brand yourself as the solution to your target market's problems.