ASP 83: Pen Names: Should You Use One?

“The decision to use a pen name was nothing more than a desire to compartmentalize my life.”

– Ashwin Sanghi

In this episode, Steve makes a “surprising” confession about his name. Steve and Barrie also discuss the pros and cons of using pen names and the factors you need to consider in choosing one.

“The decision to use a pen name was nothing more than a desire to compartmentalize my life.” - Ashwin Sanghi

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The story of Steve’s pen name
  • The pros and cons of pen names
  • Questions to ask yourself when choosing a pen name:
    • Do you publish in a sensitive market where you don’t want friends and family knowing about it?
    • Do you feel it’s important to protect your personal life?
    • Do you have a unique name where it’s easy to “track you down”?

Pros of Pen Names

  • You remain anonymous
  • It protects your personal life
  • It can “Americanize” your name
  • Allows you to build different brands

Cons of Pen Names

  • Some people feel it’s deceptive.
  • It can lead to weird, awkward in-person conversations
  • It can create confusion on legal documents

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