A historical tour of pen names [Infographic]

pen names

There are many decisions facing you as an author: your writing style and choice of topics, your promotional endeavors, your publishing options… and your name. 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.

There are many reasons to consider a pseudonym. Perhaps you want the freedom anonymity can provide. Maybe your new adult romance novel conflicts with your notoriety as a children’s author. Or maybe your last name is just plain impossible to pronounce and you want to re-brand yourself. Authors have been using pen names since the dawn of the written word, and the folks at printerinks.com have put together this infographic of notable authors over the centuries who worked under a pseudonym, and their reasons for doing it.

Take a look, 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…

Click to enlarge
pen names
This infographic originally appeared on printerinks.com.

Planning a Book Launch free guide


  1. I don’t know about Daniel Foe vs Daniel Defoe, but Robinson Crusoe as his pen name?

    And while I might be prepared to consider the street where I grew up as a pen-surname, there is no way I would entertain Chum as a pen-first name.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.