Do i need to copyright my pen name [Expert Review]



Last updated : Sept 29, 2022
Written by : Vickey Higginson
Current current readers : 51
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Do i need to copyright my pen name

How much does it cost to copyright a pen name?

Yes, if you haven't written yet, you can still have a pen name. Does copyrighting something cost money? Yes, $35-$55 if you do it yourself or $250-$500 if you hire an attorney to help you.

How does copyright work with a pen name?

When an author places a pseudonym on the copies or phonorecords of a work protected by copyright instead of using the author's real name, the work may be considered a pseudonymous work under copyright law, but only when the author's real name does not appear anywhere on the work.

How do you legally write under a pen name?

When filing for copyright protection for your writing, use your real name for “Copyright Claimant” and your pen name for “Name of Author.” If you do not want your legal name associated with the pen name, enter only the pen name under “Name of Author” and identify it as such (Lucy Lychuzweckio writing as Lucy Smith).

Can you self publish under a pen name?

Yes, authors can self-publish using their pen name or nom de plume. If you're self-publishing a book, you can definitely use a pseudonym when writing and publishing your book. In fact, many indie authors use a pseudonym or nom de plume when they publish books in several different genres.

How can I copyright my writing for free?

Simply go to the Registration Portal of the Copyright Office's website. It allows you to select the specific type of creative work you seek to register, with such choices as literary works, visual arts, photographs, or performance.

Can you use a pen name as an artist?

An artist can use two names or replace their name with a pseudonym. Artists usually use another identity to create a brand or signal a change in style. Artists also use a pseudonym if another artist has the same name, has a common name, or wants to hide their identity.

Do I need a DBA for a pen name?

You don't need a DBA for a pen name. You can buy a domain for a pen name and simply mask the site owner info (it costs more to do this, but not all that much). And with a domain, you can also set up email.

Can you run a business under a pseudonym?

Having a business with a fictitious name is definitely legal, provided that you have filed the proper documentation (such as registering your business, incorporating, or filing a “doing business as” statement), and carried out the proper trademark searches.

Can I publish on Amazon under a pseudonym?

Yes, you can publish on Amazon with a pseudonym , to preserve your identity, for whatever reason. You can do the same thing on Nook, iBooks, Smashwords and Kobobooks.

Can I be an anonymous author?

You can absolutely release a book anonymously or using a fake name known as a pen name. Many authors have done this for as long as books have been printed. Some reasons have changed over the decades as it is harder to keep the secret than in the past.

Why did JK Rowling use a pseudonym?

I certainly wanted to take my writing persona as far away as possible from me, so a male pseudonym seemed a good idea. It doesn't consciously change the way I write. I think I write differently, because it's a very different genre.

How do you avoid libel when writing a book?

  1. Don't make claims based on assumptions or opinions. Adding “in my opinion” before a statement won't save you in a libel case.
  2. Don't embellish or exaggerate. If your book is nonfiction or memoir, then make sure it is truthful in every detail.
  3. Don't overlook invasion of privacy laws.

How do I keep my pen name secret?

  1. Get A New Email.
  2. Set Up Separate Social Media Profiles.
  3. Purge Personal Photos.
  4. Soft-Focus Your Bio.
  5. Consider Copyright Issues.
  6. Check Out DBAs And FBNs.
  7. Limit Public Appearances.
  8. QUESTION: Do you think pseudonyms are a good or bad idea for authors?

Is my writing automatically copyrighted?

Copyright exists automatically in an original work of authorship once it is fixed in a tangible medium, but a copyright owner can take steps to enhance the protections of copyright, the most important of which is registering the work.

Do I need to copyright my writing?

No copyright registration is needed to protect your writing, and no fee is required. Although registering your copyright is voluntary, there are reasons you might want to take that step.

How can I protect my writing?

To protect written ideas and stories, apply for a copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office and pay the $30 fee to register your work. If you have a script, you can register it with the Writer's Guild of America. Just submit it to them with a check for the fee, which is less than $25.

Can two artist have the same name?

Although technically there can be more than one artist with the same name, it is recommended that the name of an individual artist be unique from any other established artist. Having a unique artist's name eliminates confusion in the marketplace and gives an artist a clear brand to market their art.

Should I use my real name as an artist?

It's not a decision to be made lightly – your name is your brand when you are an artist. If you are convinced that your given name just doesn't cut it, however, a name change may be just the right strategy.

How do you use a pen name for a business?

  1. Set up a checking account in your given name with a DBA (Doing Business As) in your pen name.
  2. Trademark your pen name if you want to identify a body of work such as a book series or screenplays.
  3. Apply through the court system in your state for a legal name change to use your pen name in place of your given name.

Can you create an LLC with a fake name?

An LLC can operate under its formal name or a fictitious name or use both.


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Do i need to copyright my pen name


Comment by Marilee Chenauls

a common question that people ask is do you have to file your submitted work under your real name can you use a stage name or a pen name the answer to this is yes just make sure that you check the appropriate box labeled synonymous at space 2 of your registration form also make sure that you have documented evidence to prove that you are in fact the individual that goes with your chosen stage name or pen name otherwise filing under that name would be worthless and stupid


Thanks for your comment Marilee Chenauls, have a nice day.
- Vickey Higginson, Staff Member


Comment by Chiffiv

hi everyone Alexa done here and today I am talking all about why I chose to use a pen name for my publishing career so that's info point number one Alexa Dunn is a pen name it is not my so-called real name except half of it is so my real first name is Alexa I had the name long before Amazon decided to turn me into a piece of technology and yes it gets real real real weird and real confusing sometimes I have an echo and even when I film these videos I do my intro at the beginning of videos it goes off a lot so if you ever see like a quick cut at the beginning of the video where I say my name it's because my Alexis starts talking to me so Alexa is my real first name but Dunn is not my real last name so I'm going to tell you in this video why I chose to use a pen name it's it's a very personal decision when you do choose to use a pen name I've also got a pros and cons of using a pen name video a ton of you requested that but I wanted to kind of examine the two things separately the you know kind of neutral catch-all pros and cons video and then the personal why I decided to use a pen name video and I will say because it is a very personal choice whether or not you want to use a pen name and decide to use one that there's really no judgment either way and that I have reasons that I wanted to use a pen name that simply aren't going to work for other people or my making that call for myself isn't a judgment call on anyone else for not making the same call for similar reasons and I give that disclaimer because the first one of the first reasons for me so my IRL last name is long Italian and can be difficult to pronounce and spell now I say that with an asterisk because I think my last name is easy to spell easy to pronounce it is it's a pretty straightforward Italian name and if you live in the United States and you grown up around italian-americans as i have not just because I am italian-american um I find it really easy and the rules in Italian are also really easy you essentially pronounce all of the vowels in Italian and there are only a couple of consonant combinations in Italian that are complicated or complex or have weird roles like a sound instead of Asha choo sound with a CH but I don't have one of those names I think my Italian last name is pretty easy to pronounce but some formative experiences that I had particularly in middle school in high school where I lived in Atlanta and people struggled people really struggled let's just say there is a popular pizza brand that is only nominally similar to my last name may I say in my defense and yet I have had so many people call me a pizza including my high school principal over the intercom so just like picture like 15 year old Alexis sitting in class like Alexa Pizza brand please come to the office that everyone laughs now I've got a pretty thick skin I'm not actually embarrassed or upset about my last name I love my last name but this brings me into the rest of my reasons they all kind of dovetail together to equal I think I'm gonna use a pen name so I basically my identity of Alexa real last name I have an identity that has a Google search history I have a history with this name for many years I was pursuing journalism so I have like these neat Google results that go with my IRL name and I kind of like them where they are and at the time that I was deciding to write novels and pursue this career I was still actively trying to pursue a career in journalism now I'm not anymore but I am kind of actively in television marketing so I think of my real name as the brand's name for my professional writing career that is not novels and so in my mind I was like okay I want to have IRL aleksa identity and pen name elects identity and I want them to be separate partly because why a is kind of a whole other genre area from say journalism or nonfiction or marketing and I still have it in the back of my mind I'm gonna use my real name if I write nonfiction at some point or a memoir not that I would ever need to write a memoir or even and that's all genre where my real name would look really jazzy on a cover which brings me to the third reason and this is gonna sound superficial or strange but they will tell you I have shared this reason with multiple people who know my real name and they all agree with me they go oh you make a really good point and that is I just couldn't see my name on away a book I like tried to picture a why a cover like my book in the bookstore and my real name I was like it just doesn't look sound or feel like a ye AR name and so you know it's like okay now I'm gonna circle back to the cultural thing and this is where it really is important to me that I disclaim and this is gonna be in the pros and cons video to that having an unwieldy foreign sounding name that is difficult to spell is not a great reason to change your name it may be a reason that someone like me might elect to do so for a pen name but that is personal and I don't actually advocate that as a reason to use a pen name because you profanity warning succomb [ __ ] them if they can't pronounce your culturally specific last name that is difficult to spell I say Chaitanya bright diamond make them learn to spell and pronounce your name I that didn't matter to me personally because I am not particularly attached to being Italian I am barely Italian to be perfectly frank with you I am one-eighth italian-american I am 7/8 English Irish and Scottish you noticed my pen name is English which I'm gonna come back to in a minute I don't feel much cultural attachment to being italian-american my family is italian-american but it's also mostly Irish because I am second-generation Italian person marrying an Irish person in the US and that caused some family drama back in the day but because no second-generation I'm third because I'm the point is I identify more with being English Irish it's a little bit of Scottish also I found out I'm actually like distantly french-canadian that was interesting but I attached my identity more strongly to essentially being anglo-saxon than I do to being Italian so it just wasn't a hill I was willing to die on with my Italian last name now I will throw this in here for a fair warning if you're watching this if you do choose to change your name and use a pen name you might upset your parents and for all I know my mom might be watching this I love you mom and I'm so sorry I'm so sorry cuz like I know it hurts it's like what do you mean you don't want to use like our name it's it's a personal choice and you might have to do with this the people in your life being like well why wouldn't when you want to use your real name like are you a you know ashamed of being part of this family no one ever said that's me by the way but you know your family might it really is just a personal choice so that is something to consider and again watch the person convey do if you want to hear some more cons to using a pen name but for me those things that I wanted to have like an a why a identity a name that was very why a and feel that would give me a nice clean Google result where I could keep like IRL Alexa and why


Thanks Chiffiv your participation is very much appreciated
- Vickey Higginson


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