The dangers of self-publishing: Being found out

I daresay this is a danger which mostly relates to writing erotic romance or other ‘dubious’ books, but one of the dangers I have been struggling with is that of being found out.

At which point, of course, I have to admit that Isabella Cooke is a pen name. I’m sure no-one is surprised, but my apologies to anyone who is. The pen name alone took a lot of effort, actually. I toyed around with several names in my head, and then did research on a few – checking if they were used, checking if there was the right number of people with the same name, etc, etc.

So not only do I want to keep my pen name because of all the work it took, but I want to not be found out for writing smut. And I’m sure we all have at least one friend or family member who would look at us askew if they knew about us and smut.

What can you do though? All my accounts go through several dummy emails thanks to email-forwarding by Gmail. If there has to be a link to the ‘real’ me, I’d rather it wasn’t too obvious after all. Some of the rejected pen-names have their own email addresses just for this purpose.

My bio is a mix of facts about me, facts about friends, and a little sprinkling of imagination.

I’m still struggling with how to take an author photo. Maybe there will be a mask and wig involved. I don’t know yet. I need to get my masks and wigs down from the attic 😉

Of course, even being careful, I run my mouth off – because hey, I’m writing, and I’m scraping in money (well, a pittance, but still) and it’s still kinda cool. So I may have told a few people about it. I wouldn’t advise doing it how I did. It’s cool if your family can support and encourage your choice to write porn (and hey, they should ideally), but nothing makes Christmas dinner as mildly awkward as discussing how one member of the family writes porn. Porn involving horses. Yep. Awkward.

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