At some point in every writer's career, the issue of whether or not to use a pen name arises. (Spoiler Alert: Anna Banks is my pen name! Muhahahahahaha!)
Here are some good reasons to use a pen name:
1.) Privacy. This is not one of the reasons for my own decision to use a pen name. Here in Small Town, Florida, everyone knows you, your business, and whose cows you tipped when you were thirteen years old. So they already know that you slipped on a cow pie and fell flat on your back in it (which you completely deserved, because tipping cows is evil). Yup, if you came to Small Town right now and asked around, you could probably get my address and blood type quicker than an ice cold sweet tea.
2.) Real Estate. Meaning location on the shelf at a bookstore. Books are stocked on the shelves according to author last names. My real last name begins with a Z. No bueno.
3.) If your last name is absurd. Like, if my last name were Banana...Enough said.
4.) If your last name is common. Like Smith, Johnson, Frufugutzen. You might not want to be lost among the other Smiths, Johnsons, and Frufugutzens. Which is perfectly fine.
5.) If you plan on writing in different genres. For instance, if you intend to write erotic romance as well as eye-twitchingly sweet YA, possibly you'd want to consider a pen name for one (ahem, or both) genres.
What other reasons are there for using a pen name? What are the cons? You tell me.
And don't forget, today is the last day to enter my Swag giveaway for the month of August. Don't miss out on a chance to win Maggie Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, in hardcover. For the official rules, go here.