What is an Amazon Pen Name?
Your Amazon Pen Name is the public name associated with contributions to the Amazon Community.
You are asked to pick a Pen Name the first time you participate in the community but you can change it later. This pen name shows on your public profile page and next to any Customer Reviews, Seller Feedback or Customer Discussions you post. Your Amazon Pen Name can be your real name (and an Amazon Real Name, see below) or a pseudonym.
What is an Amazon Real Name?
If you use your real name and verify it with credit card details, you get a Real Name™ badge that will show next to your public content on Amazon. If you do not have a credit card on file with Amazon.com, you cannot claim a Real Name™ attribution.
Advantage: Posting content using your real-world identity can "potentially increase your reputation in the community", Amazon say.
Real Name™ attribution options are generated by Amazon.com based on the cardholder names entered for credit cards you have registered with us.
So Why Use A Pen Name?
Writers choose pen-names for a variety of reasons.
- Your real name is hard to remember or spell, is silly or obscene, or doesn't suit your genre.
- Your real name is the same as, or similar to, another more established author or famous figure.
- You are reclusive and don't want your name to be recognised.
- You want to start writing in a new genre.
- You are working in a genre where books written by the opposite gender sell better.
- Some female authors choose a gender-neutral pen name because sexism can still impact sales, in any genre.
Pen Names & Book Marketing
Using a pen-name as a marketing tool is about putting a clue to your work into your name. This can work very well for nonfiction writers, in particular, but also genre fiction writers. Supposing my name is Kate Evans and I write keep-fit books. I can call myself 'Keep Fit Kate' or 'Keep Fit Kate Evans', and use that name when reviewing books on Amazon, Goodreads and other book review sites, making browsers who read my reviews about other keep fit books more likely to click through to my page.
Find out more about pen names and real names on Amazon.