Writing Question

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Writing Question

Postby Kunoichi » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:52 pm

I have an idea for a book but would like it to be anonymous. Is it possible to have it anonymous as an author or would I have to use a pseudo-name? Anyone know?

Thanks!
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Postby Nate » Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:59 pm

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Maybe I should get me one of them pseudonames.

STRONG SAD: {hyperactive, leans in from the left side of the screen} It's "-nym"! It's "-nym"! It's pseudonym! Not pseudoname! I can't take it any more! Nym nym nym! It's a Greek word for "name"! Pseudonym! Pseudonym! {leans back out}

Realistically though, you can't publish works anonymously because you have to sign contracts with publishers, get paychecks, so on, and no publishing company would ever allow anonymous publishing for legal reasons (lawsuits and so-on). There really is no way to publish anonymously...even if you wanted to photocopy and bind your own books, you'd have to find a way to sell them that would allow people to find out your identity.

So yes, a pseudonym is really the only option if you don't want to use your real name.
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Postby Kunoichi » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:03 pm

Lol Nate. Thank you for the spelling correction.

Also, okay that makes sense. Thank you for answering that.
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:05 pm

According to The Beginning Writer's Questions and Answers Book, it is possible to be anonymous to even your publisher (presumably with a pen name) if you have an agent; but such an arrangement is unusual, I believe.

Having a pseudonym is a fairly common practice, and writers established in one genre are often advised to use one if they write something outside their usual genre.

...So I've read, anyway.
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Postby rocklobster » Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:16 pm

right on, fu. Nora Roberts does this for her mysteries. Or so I heard, I don't read her stuff, but my mom does.
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Postby Atria35 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:01 pm

Lots of times, I've seen books published under a pseudonym that had an author blurb in the back saying that "such'and'such' is a pseudonym for 'this person', who has written other books under....." so I'm not sure how useful writing under a pseudonym would actually be....
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Postby Lynna » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:46 pm

I'll probably have to use a psydonym, because although I mostly write fantasy, I like to write other stufdf too...
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Postby bigsleepj » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:19 pm

It is possible to publish a novel without giving your name, and certainly anything "by anonymous" would attract attention. A good example would be the best-selling political novel, Primary Colors by Joe Klein, which was published as "by Anonymous" (and still is, come to think of it).

Off course, it is possible to have a vague pseudonym and still have an air of mystery. A good example would be B Traven, an author from the first half of the twentieth century. B Traven studies exist, and so successful was this author in keeping his identity from the public and publishers that most of the studies go in trying to figure out who he was. Today it is still impossible for many to say just who he was.
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Postby LadyRushia » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:09 am

The problem is, with the technology we have now, keeping your name from the public would be a very difficult thing to do. People would find out eventually if you got popular enough. Your best bet is probably to write under a pseudonym and just not ever talk to the public.
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Postby Kunoichi » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:31 am

Thank you so much for all your responses. The reason I wanted to know if staying anonymous would be possible is because the book I want to write would be a non-fiction biography. It contains things my family does not know about and things I do not wish them to know about. I know I can do a pseudoname..though I suppose it would be difficult to remain anonymous.

I wouldn't be speaking to the public. I would not even care about getting money for it and probably wouldn't except it. Frankly, I'm doing it so people can know about things that go on in this world. hopefully it will encourage and inspire hope in the people that I want it to.
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Postby LadyRushia » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:11 am

Yeah, I know someone else who has the same idea. The nice thing about being an author is that you can be as public or as private as you want no matter how popular your books become. Cormac McCarthy, for example, never did interviews until the one time he decided to go on Oprah. He keeps to himself and people leave him alone even though his books are very well known and a lot of people like him.
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Postby Nate » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:38 am

And of course there's always Thomas Pynchon.
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Postby Kunoichi » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:37 am

Lady Rushia and Nate: Thank you so much for this advice and reassurance. I have had this on my heart for a while...fear seems to be the only main thing stopping me. so thank you very much. I have no real excuse now lol
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