Do Authors Use Fictitious Names to Affect Book Sales?

Sometimes famous authors do this when they are branching out and don’t want people to buy their books just based on their names. Other authors start and finish their careers without ever using their real names. Below are some popular authors who have chosen not to use their real names on their books. How does doing this affect book sales?

Daniel Handler/Lemony Snicket

Daniel Handler is probably most famous for writing the Series of Unfortunate Events books. Handler is one of my authors who have used a fake name since the very beginning. This makes his already eerie children’s book series even more mysterious. Best author Daniel Handler has also published a few books under his real name. Some of these books include All the Dirty Paws, Girls Standing on the Lawn, and Bottle Grove. So, by doing this, Handler is able to increase his book sales by being able to diversify. This is something that he may not comfortably be able to do if he did not use a pen name, which could hurt his book sales in the long run. 

James Frey, Jobie Hughes, and Greg Boose/Pittacus Lore

Sometimes, when more than one person works on a book series, they will take on one name to put on the cover. This is the case for the group of people who write under the name Pittacus Lore to create the Lorien Legacies Series. This group goes the extra mile and claims (on the back cover of their books) that Pittacus Lore is a ruling elder from the planet Lorien. This is the planet that many of the main characters in the book come from. This helps the books to read a little more like reality, rather than pure science fiction. This can help to make the books more marketable by making them more attractive to a larger audience. As everyone knows, a larger audience means a bigger payday. 

Whether it is one person or many who is using a fictitious name, this small detail can add a world of wonder to a story. Should new authors try this tactic? Well, that’s entirely up to them!

Elements used to create Featured image Artwork provided by Created by Jill.

Leave a Comment