Having a pen name is one of the oldest traditions of being a writer. Even Homer, the famed author of the Illiad, is more of a mythical figure than a real person.
Writer’s select pen names for a variety of reasons. Some feel their “real” lives might be harmed if it is known what they write, others just think a new name sounds better and still others want to try two different writing styles or subjects without interference from past works. In fact, even publishers can demand an author use a pen name, as was the case with J.K. Rowling.
But while there are many good reasons to select a pen name for your writing, being anonymous or pseudonymous comes with a set of legal risks that one has to consider and be aware of.
Simply put, both the law and society in general treats anonymous works differently and it’s important to at least be aware of the problems and challenges an anonymous author will face. [Read more…]