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19

Two reasons I know of: Personal - some people are exceptionally private, especially in this day and age, and would like to remain so in their personal lives. Professional - much like other artists, authors can be tied to a specific style of writing or genre. Existing fans can be upset if an author experiments in another genre, and new fans can't be picked ...


14

Yes, at least you can in the United States. If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office’s records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application. You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. Reference: U.S. Copyright Office - Pseudonyms


12

There are different levels of editing which are lumped together under the same term, which might be what's confusing you. "Syntax glitches and spelling" is line editing, aka proofreading, sometimes called copyediting. Similar to this is fact-checking, where the editor is looking up anything based in reality or researching anything made up for plausibility. ...


10

Also: there are two ways you can indicate your pseudonym with the Copyright Office. You can either use just your pseudonym or you can use your real name and indicate you are "writing as pen name." Using the pseudonym as the copyright claimant can pose potential legal problems should such issues arise, so the Copyright Office rightly suggest that if you go ...


7

If money and time is not a problem, then why shouldn't you? It can't hurt. The big benefit of a personal website is that you can list all your stories there (what answers the question what you should put there ;)). So you have one page where you can link to in your e-books or mention the URL in your paper books. If the reader liked your story he can go to ...


6

A good example you can study is the Harry Potter Lexicon case. A fan site wanted to publish a guide to the Harry Potter universe. Rowling disagreed, claiming she owed all the rights to the Harry Potter world, and nothing could be published about it without her approval. Judge Patterson said that reference materials were generally useful to the public ...


6

These guides are perfectly legal original work, and any copyrighted material used in them falls under "criticism, comment and news reporting" fair use clause. Of course the author needs to make sure to assign credit with diligence, to emphasize these are citations and not plagiarism. Now that doesn't mean the owner of the franchise won't try to stop the ...


6

I wouldn't say there's a particular name or title to give such a person, they just get credit for what they do. I bounce my ideas off my wife and she helps me develop them, so I would say something like; thanks to my wife for listening to my ideas and helping make my story the one you’re about to read. As for rights, they’re just helping you out. I don’t ...


5

If you are both publishing independently, then it doesn't much matter. Write up a contract spelling out everything, you both sign two copies, and Bob's your uncle. Examples of "everything": John Smith (hereafter "Author") is the creator of the SchmoopyWorld setting, environs, and characters (hereafter "Universe"). Copyright belongs to him, his assigns, ...


5

I'd stick with "we" when you have two or more authors unless it's clear that sections of the book were written by one particular author, such as in a compilation of essays. But you should ask your publisher for the final decision to save yourself pain later if they disagree with your choice.


5

Sometimes pen names are used to fit with an imaginary "true story". A great example is The Princess Bride, in which the real author (William Goldman) pretends it's a "true story" written by someone of the era (S. Morgenstern). Still, that falls under Marketing I guess. Another reason is that an author may want to be shelved with other authors of their ...


4

Zane hit the main ones: desire for personal privacy the other primary reason I know is marketing - same as actors, some authors will adopt snazzier-sounding names to sound good on the bookshelf. Beyond that, you've got a lot of exceptional cases - Joe Hill is a pen name to avoid the otherwise-painfully-blatant connection to his father; Alice Bradley Sheldon ...


4

We're the ones who take your manuscript and make sure you've succeeded in getting an idea from your head onto the paper. We look for plot holes, grammar mistakes, and things that just don't make sense. Any good editor also knows what sells. They will offer suggestions and advice on parts of your book that a majority of readers may not like. They'll look for ...


3

One unusual reason I haven't seen touched on: Some people do it to access a side of them that they want to express, creating a kind of virtual "person" with different attributes. Some people call it their "muse" and other pet names. It's a way of allowing themselves to overcome some mental barrier by pretending to be someone else, with special "powers", ...


3

Women writers used to do it because only men authors were taken seriously. Sometimes people don't want the fame from their writing they just want to do it for the art. The pen name allows them peace from the hype of their book. Sometimes people are afraid of critics and feel better if its not actually their name being bashed it makes it feel less personal.


3

Of course that depends on the country and internal laws but, since there may have Brazilians and Portuguese writers here, I'll answer based on those countries. I just registered a book with IGAC, the institute that handle such requests in Portugal and it required my true name - what makes sense since it has to track who I really am - and my pen name - ...


3

Legally, it depends. If you're asking in terms of legality, then it varies depending on many factors including country of publication, the nature of the original work and the new work, how old the original is, and where the original was first shared. In terms of "best practices," always provide what information you can. The original purpose of citation is ...


2

I've located an article that might be of some help: http://www.dsattorney.com/qa-pseudonyms-in-contracts/ The author (Daniel N. Steven, a practicing attorney in Maryland and former publisher/editor) says that you can maintain privacy by using a PO Box and unlisted phone number with your pseudonym, but that a Social Security Number would still be needed for ...


2

I'm a scientist who also does programming. The way I've always done it with my colleagues is this: If the success of your project depends upon my computer code, then I'm a co-author on your FIRST journal paper. After that, if you're just re-using the same code, then I just get an acknowledgement. But if I have to do significant re-coding (not just bug ...


1

Depends on your contract and the legal situation in your country. In Germany the law gives the author the possibility to check the accounting records of the publisher. I spare you the details (I am not a lawyer anyway). So you do not have to blindly trust them, but which tools are in your hands to check their account books depends on the law of your ...


1

From the perspective of a reader, I see no issue with it as long as the story is good; I've read a number of books written by multiple authors, but these are written by known authors. Still this implies that there is no particular issue with multi-authored novels. A few examples: The Empire Trilogy by Janny Wurts and Raymond E Feist Good Omens by Terry ...


1

I would check with the publishers. As a general rule though if you will be listed as co-author then the correct form is usually "we"(If you are contracted to re-write it but it will be published only under the original title and author, you would say "I".) The final decision is usually the publishers'.


1

Of the Brontë sisters' motivation to use pseudonyms Wikipedia has to say: In 1846, the sisters' poems were published in one volume as Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. The Brontë sisters had adopted pseudonyms for publication: Charlotte was Currer Bell, Emily was Ellis Bell and Anne was Acton Bell. Charlotte wrote in the "Biographical ...


1

To answer your specific question about Seanan/Mira, see http://seananmcguire.com/writefaq.php#mira. In her case, she's using different names for urban fantasy vs science fiction. There's also the classic midlist death spiral--author doesn't sell enough, publisher drops them, author changes name so they can sell new books.



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