There are benefits to using a pen name, but I believe there are many more downsides to using a pseudonym than upsides.

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While your parents had something to say about what appears on your driver's license, you have a chance to craft the name that appears on your book cover. Take a look at this infographic from printerinks.com: how many of these pen names are new to you? Who got left off the list? Are you motivated to come up with one of your own? You can always use your first pet's name and the street you grew up on. No, wait, that's a different name generator...

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I've always wondered why authors (particularly genre writers) use pen names, and whether it's better to use a pseudonym or pen name, or if you should write under your real name. I asked all four "writers" (e.g., Jennifer) why she write under different pen names.

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