Friday, January 30, 2009

Maiden Names

I'm back from a brief vacation/visit to relatives. I normally don't post on Friday because of the comment approval delays, but here we go.

Dear Rejector,

I'm getting married in a month, but I plan to keep my maiden name as my pen name. When querying (once married), would you advise querying with my legal -- married -- name or with my maiden name? Or with First Maiden Married?

Am I over-thinking this?

Thank you

Yes, you are over-thinking this. The name you use in your query should be the name you want to appear on the check the agency sends you when the book sells - i.e. your legal name. In a case where you have a DBA or multiple legal names, put whichever one you want. I didn't come up with my pen name until the book was about to go from the editor at the publishing house to the copy-editor.

(A DBA is a "Doing Business As" form that allows people to write checks to you in a name different from your own)


Thomas said...

Some states also call a DBA a "Certificate of Business Alias," but only if you're not incorporated.

Inkpot said...

Years ago my mother published five children books under a pen name. When she arrived at the publishers for the first time they had done research into (what they thought) was her name and were proud to introduce her to one of the members of staff who knew people from our area with the same name as her pen name. My mother was so embarassed to tell them that it wasn't actually her real name. She had never thought to put her real name on the submission to the publisher!