Perhaps conundrum is an overstatement. Especially given I know which way I’m leaning.
It’s also not a pressing concern, considering I’m only done the first draft. And I might rewrite the entire thing in first person. (At least it’s only 75k words.)
Regardless, I just finished writing a young adult (YA) novel and began pondering the case for pseudonyms. Seeing as I haven’t made any name for myself, the issue is far down my list of concerns. Somewhere just above who to include in my Edgars acceptance speech.
However, I’ve also wanted to give self-publishing a shot–both to learn the ropes and see how it goes. In that case, the question rockets to the top like the 1999 St. Louis Rams.
Stephen King wrote under the nom de plume Richard Bachman to circumvent an industry that penalized prolificacy.
J.K. Rowling stated that it was “wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
Then there’s erotica. Some sources estimate that 103% of all erotica is written under a pseudonym.
Obviously I do not share the concerns of either King or Rowling. And I’m not writing erotica. But many make the argument to use a pen name when writing a different genre.
Iain Banks wrote mainstream fiction as such, then ever so sneakily wrote science fiction as Iain M. Banks. (More for clarity than obfuscation.)
John Grisham writes young adult fiction and non-legal-thrillers under one name. Many authors write in multiple genres under one name, including the aforementioned King.
The argument is often made that using a pen name allows the reader to know what they’re getting. But there’s a thing called a description. They could always read that first.