Identity and Publishers

Questions for the resident (former) agent
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Identity and Publishers

Post by CharleeVale » November 4th, 2011, 12:39 pm

So, it recently came to light on here the Charlee Vale, is in fact a pseudonym. A very complete one. I have gone to great lengths to create this identity, and keep my private life private, and my non-writing career separate.

Here's my question: When I get to the querying stage, would I query as my actual name, and specify the pseudonym in the query letter? Or, because I have a fairly large online presence, query as Charlee Vale, and handle the details later?


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Re: Identity and Publishers

Post by Sanderling » November 9th, 2011, 12:29 am

I've heard that you're supposed to query under your pen name, the name you'd intend to publish under, but I can't remember where I heard that now. Perhaps query under the pseudonym and include your real name in the closing paragraph? I'd personally be inclined to use my real name because that's what I'm used to doing all my correspondence under, but you've been using your pen name long enough you'd be comfortable with either, I imagine. The main thing will be when it comes time to sign a contract and cut a cheque, will you be able to do that under your pen name or will you need to use your real name? There's some interesting comments on this blog post about the legality of pseudonyms in situations like yours, Charlee: ... 1/jul/25/1
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Re: Identity and Publishers

Post by Collectonian » November 10th, 2011, 1:51 am

From what I've seen on Query Shark, the preference seems to be to sign the query as "Real Name, Writing As Pseudonym"

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Re: Identity and Publishers

Post by cheekychook » November 10th, 2011, 9:04 pm

You can query as either. If it comes time to actually sign with an agent you'd tell them both your real name and your pen name. When you actually sign a contract with a publisher the contract will ask you to list your legal name and what name will be appearing on your publication. If you have an internet presence under your pen name make sure an agent knows which name to look for to find that presence. "Real Name writing as Fake Name" is absolutely a common and acceptable way to go.

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Re: Identity and Publishers

Post by Nathan Bransford » November 14th, 2011, 5:36 pm

So sorry for the delay on this response, I've been on a work trip and things have been very hectic. I think opinions on this vary somewhat and however you go about it would probably be fine. When I was an agent I preferred to be queried by the name of the real person, but this is one of those conversations you can have with the agent when the time is right.

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