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Pen Name Generator

Free pen name generator, with the help of AI, for instant ideas.

One of the biggest decisions you have to make when you decide to publish your writing is what name you’ll use. You can use your real name, but in many instances, it’s wiser to use a pen name. This guide to how to use a pen name generator will explore:

  • What is a pen name?
  • Why should you use a pen name?
  • What makes a good pen name?
  • How to use a pen name generator

Let’s dive into it!

What is a pen name?

A pen name is an assumed name that a writer takes on specifically for the purpose of publishing. This means that instead of the writer’s legal name appearing on a book or in an article byline, the pen name will appear.

Why should you use a pen name?

There are several reasons to use a pen name:

  • To protect yourself and your family. A pen name makes it harder for people to find out personal information about you, your family, and anyone else you’re close to.
  • To keep your day job. Sometimes what you write isn’t compatible with your day job. For example, you might want to use a pen name if you’re an elementary school teacher and you write erotica. This protects your professional reputation and ensures that kids who look you up aren’t stumbling upon your 18+ content.
  • To make yourself more brandable. If your name is very common it can be difficult to stand out in search results or on bookshelves. Choosing something less common, or something that directly connects to what you write, can make it easier for people to find you.
  • To avoid being confused with another author. This is another aspect of brandability, but it’s worth noting separately. If you share a name with a highly popular author like Stephen King, you probably want to use a different one.

Whatever your reason for choosing a pen name, it’s important to consider…

What makes a good pen name?

The commonly shared trait of all the best pen names is that they’re easy to spell and pronounce. Short names that use phonetic spellings are the easiest for people to remember. A short name is also easier to fit in a byline or on a book cover.

There are a few other strategies you can use to make your pen name more memorable:

  • Use alliteration to create a satisfying sound. Choosing a first and last name that start with the same letter can give your name a more cohesive feeling and make it roll off the tongue more effectively.
  • Put a twist on a common name. Changing a letter in a commonly used name sounds like a way to trip people up, but it can actually be an effective way to make sure people remember you. You can also use an existing but less common variant of a name, like “Karol” instead of “Carol”. Then people can remember you as “Karol with a K”.
  • Include words related to what you write. These can be words that evoke similar emotions to your work or words that are related to your genre. Lemony Snicket is a great example of this, as the word “Lemony” evokes a sense of bitterness. “Snicket” is also quite close to “snicker”, evoking a sense of scornful humor.
  • Choose a name for the gender usually associated with this type of book. Many women throughout history have adopted a male pen name or used an initialized version of their name so readers will think they’re men, especially in genres like science fiction. This can be helpful in heavily male-dominated genres. And it goes the other way too: 84% of romance readers are women, so male authors often use female pen names when writing in this genre [1]. A great example of this is Dean Koontz, who has written romance under the name Deanna Dwyer.

Now that you’ve got some idea of what makes a good pen name, let’s dive into how you can use a pen name generator to find one!

How to use a pen name generator for authors

1. Brainstorm

Before you start 🏁 using a pen name generator for blog, you’ll need to come up with some words to enter into the generator. To do this, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What emotions do you want people to feel when they read your work? For example, if you write romantic comedies, you might want to use the word “Joy” in your name.
  • What words are usually associated with the genre you write in? For example, if you write science fiction, you might use “Mars” as your last name.
  • What are some good pen names of authors in your genre? You might find that you want to use words with similar meanings or sounds.

List as many different words as you can think of. You’ll need to use them in the next step!

2. Enter your ideas into a pen name generator

Next, we’re using the DomainWheel pen name generator. This is a 100% free online generator where all you need to do is type a word into the search bar and click Search Domain.

DomainWheel pen name generator homepage

The generator will automatically create dozens of author name ideas in a matter of seconds:

DomainWheel Pen Name Generator  search results for "mystery"

If you don’t like any of the names you see in the first section, scroll down to see suggestions for words that sound like or rhyme with the word you searched for. You’ll also see a list of random suggestions. Simply click on one of the words in these lists to generate a new series of name suggestions.

DomainWheel "Sounds Like", "Rhymes With", and " Random Suggestions" area

If you’ve found a name you love during this step, great! You can skip ahead to step four. If, on the other hand, you’re still struggling to choose between some of the options provided by our ghost names generator, you’ll want to go ahead with step three:

3. Get feedback

If you’ve used the DomainWheel alias names generator and you’ve got some names you like but you can’t choose between them, it’s time to seek help. Create a short list of your favorite pen name ideas for writers, bring the list to a few people you trust, and ask them a couple of questions:

  • Is this name easy for you to spell/pronounce?
  • Does this name evoke any specific emotions or images in your mind?
  • Does this name make sense for the genre?

You can then use this feedback to choose the name that is most appropriate for what you write.

4. Check availability

There are a few different ways to check availability.

In DomainWheel, when you find a name you like, click on it to see more information. This will show you if the domain name is available and give you options for registering a domain and buying web hosting. However, before you register a domain, you should open a new tab and check a couple of things:

  • Is an author already using this name? A quick Google search will answer this for you.
  • Is someone using this domain? While you don’t necessarily need your domain to be an exact match for your author name, it can be quite helpful for SEO purposes. Check out our guide to SEO domain names for more details!
  • Is this name registered as a trademark? You can check this by searching the US Trademark Database. If you’re not in the US you may also want to check out local equivalents.

If your name isn’t claimed as a domain, an author name, or a trademark, congratulations! You’re ready to start using it as your pen name. If it is, return to step one of this process and repeat it until you find something that works.

It’s time to find your perfect pen name!

Find your pen name today ⏰ in just a few steps:

  • Think about what makes a good pen name. Remember that your author name should be short and easy to pronounce. You can make it even more effective by using words that evoke a certain emotion or image related to what you write.
  • Brainstorm name ideas. Write down all the words you can think of that relate to your writing style and genre.
  • Use a pen name generator. Type one word at a time into the generator and pay close attention to the results.
  • Get feedback. If you’re struggling to choose between two or more pen names, ask trusted friends for their thoughts.
  • Check availability. Make sure there are no existing authors with the name you want to use, check if the domain is available, and search for trademarks using the name.

👉 Once you’ve chosen your pen name, you’re ready to move on to making a website for your writing!