Writer Mom Life Episode 9: Joanne Macgregor and Pen Names

Sign up for WML extras and get all the show notes delivered to your inbox automatically!

Joanne Macgregor is what’s known as a "hybrid author" – she has books out with traditional publishers as well as self-published books. Her most recent, The Law of Tall Girls, falls into the latter category, and we talk a bit about her inspiration for it, as well as a few of her thoughts on marketing and Facebook for her indie works. Joanne is at a point with her writing that she is down to part-time at her non-writing job as a psychologist, and we were interested to find out how the two jobs can influence each other.
In this (first international!) episode, we talk about:

  • Her definition(s) of success

  • Her writing schedule

  • The universal theme of her new book

  • The importance of Facebook author groups

  • Her feelings on NaNoWriMo

  • Psychology and storytelling overlap

  • Her choice to not use a pen name

  • An important message for moms: you are more!

Joanne's Author Links

Her book The Law of Tall Girls

Joanne's website: http://www.joannemacgregor.com/

J. R.'s tips and links:

Have you been asking yourself the question: Should I use a pen name?
Before you decide on an answer, consider the pros and cons to both having a pen name and not having a pen name. There are definitely benefits to be had, but there are just as many drawbacks to consider, as well.
As I mention on the episode, pen names add complications, so you should have some really good reasons for creating a pen name if you're going to do it.

  • A really great article that discusses the good reasons for creating a pen name, as well as some of the complications that go along with it, is this one from Writer's Relief: Pen Names: What You Need to Know About Using a Pseudonym.

  • There is also the very useful run down of the legal ramifications of using a pen name right here

  • If you decide to use a pen name, they have a helpful article on how to handle queries with it here.

  • And even one for non-fiction authors on how to protect yourself with a pen name here.

  • The Book Designer has a great article detailing the differences between claiming your copyright (if you choose to do so, even though copyright is already yours as soon as you write the book) under your real name vs under your pen name here. Definitely check this one out if you're strongly considering a pen name.

  • And, very important, if you are publishing on Amazon under a pen name, READ THIS ONE on how to link the book to your pen name, as well as set up an Author Central account under your pen name. Simply scroll down a bit to the heading "Linking Your Pen Name to Amazon Author Central". 

It's important to think about the decision to have a pen name or not carefully. Don't just make up a pen name for the sake of having a pen name. Unless you really, legitimately need one, it's far simpler to not do it!

Hopefully these articles will provide you with thorough, detailed information so you can make a wise, informed decision on the matter and proceed with confidence!