If you are self publishing using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, or as it is more commonly called, Amazon KDP.
There is a good chance that you might want to use a pen name, or just any name which is not your own.
On some services this can be troublesome since occasionally the name will need to line up with the one used for giving payments, but most services make it relatively simple now to make your author name something different from your actual name.
So on Amazon KDP, how do you use a pen name? First, you are going to add the new name of your choice to the author’s name section which is in the contributors section.
This is done when you are preparing to publish the book. When doing this you need to make sure that the contributor is labelled as the author, and that you are writing as the primary author.
If you have done this correctly, when you get around to publishing the book on Amazon, it will show on the bookshelf page of your account with the other books that you have published as well. So, when you do this you will not have your true identity exposed anywhere on the page when it has been published, so you do not have to worry about this being linked to the page.
They will see the pen name as the author. You will also want to add a new author central account author page as well. This will make it a lot easier for you to promote your books using Amazon KDP as well.
This is also an appropriate method for publishing a book on behalf of a minor who is not able to make an account yet as well! So, now you know how to change the pen name using Amazon KDP, you should know if it is the right decision for you.
If you are here, chances are you have already decided that you want to use a pen name. However, there are good reasons to use a pen name, and not to use a pen name, so let’s go through them here!
Why You Might Want To Use A Pen Name On Amazon KDP
So, as we just mentioned, if you are here, chances are that you have already decided to use a pen name. If you ever have people asking you why you chose a pen name, it is useful to have some clear-cut reasons on why this is such a good idea.
So, if this is something you need, keep reading to get our explanations!
This is especially important if you are writing about controversial topics, or anything that is divisive, it can be a good idea for your personal sake to not have your name attached to the book. There is a good chance that if your book gains traction that you could receive hate online, and even worse, like cyberstalking and even death threats.
Even if you think that you might discuss certain topics in a well thought out and balanced way, there is a good chance that people can misinterpret what you are saying, or that they just flat out do not agree.
So, if you want to save yourself from personally being attached to a work that could face dangerous backlash, then using a pen name is a good idea.
If you know that you want to go into publishing, but you are not ready for a big debut, or just want to experience what the world of publishing is like, without making too much of a commitment, then using a pen name is a good idea.
Similarly to the previous point, it is a good way to prepare yourself for getting criticism on your work without having to have that work permanently attached to yourself. So, if you want to test what it is like to be a published author, then using a pen name is a good strategy.
Similarly to the first point, but there are plenty of safety reasons why you might not want to publish a book under your real name. A lot of people are trying to escape physically or emotionally abusive situations and do not want someone to be able to track their work, or be able to attach something to them.
Or if you are publishing sensitive information, you might not want to be attached to it. You need to remember that if you are getting paid, Amazon KDP will have access to your identity on record!
Why Not To Use A Pen Name On Amazon KDP
So, while there are plenty of reasons why using a pen name on Amazon KDP is a good idea, there are just as many reasons why you might want to avoid using a pen name.
Even if you are dead set on using a pen name, it is still good to know what the negatives are so you can find a way to work around any problems if you run into them.
Hard To Promote
One of the most problematic reasons you might want to avoid publishing under a pen name is that it will be a lot harder to promote your book. This point is dependent however, especially if you already have a following under your pen name on social media for example.
However, if you want to promote your book under more traditional methods, then this will be a lot more challenging if you are using a pen name.
There are ways to get around this, but if you get to the point where you could have massive opportunities to promote your book that require an in person presence, then you may have to unveil yourself.
Can Not Take Credit
If you are not attaching a real identity to your work, then there is a chance that someone else will. It is quite simple for someone else to start taking credit for your work, and even if this can be easy to disprove, it can still be annoying and is hard to discredit unless you want to unveil your identity.
Could Be Doxxed
Even if you are hiding your identity, if someone is obsessed enough, they could still find a way to doxx you and discover and expose your identity, so make sure to still be careful!
Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need on how to use a pen name on Amazon KDP. Using a pen name is something which you want to assess properly before you commit to.
The main reason for this is that once you have decided to use a pen name, and publish a book under this name, it is a pretty strong commitment. Because of this, make sure that you are happy with the pen name you have chosen since it will be permanently linked to the books you publish.
Even if you decide to stop using a pen name, most of the audience who read them when using the old name will still associate the book with this, and it can make finding reviews and supplementary content about your book challenging as well!