Author under fire for using asian pen name!

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Disclaimer: I haven't read the article yet. Waiting for it to load.

But my first reaction is: who, of the people that use pen names, DON'T use it to sell more copies? That's just ridiculous! Should women be bashed for using male pen names? Or using their initials? JK Rowling did it when she published her non-Harry Potter mystery. I will post a more-factual based opinion in a minute after I've read this. *huffs*

EDIT: All right, I've calmed down. Sorry for the mini-tirade. I can see why people would be upset, however, my point above still stands. There are men who write under female pseudonyms (see: Miranda James) and vice versa. The argument could be made for these as well. Women have worked hard to be taken seriously in publishing (using the article's argument, so why should Dean James be allowed to use Miranda James). And women have to publish under male names, especially in the thriller genre (something I'm dealing with now).

(For the record, I have no problem with pseudonyms, no matter the race/gender.)
 
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Interesting. I haven't read the article, but I was thinking of doing exactly the same thing, to plug into a [real or perceived?] bias towards publishing those from a non Anglo-Saxon background. I still might. Will be interesting to read the article, when the internet sorts itself out.
 
I read the article (Thanks to Emurelda for sharing it) and see no problem with pseudonyms for anyone. Let me see...what would be a good name for an author of a book containing river boats? (Can't use Mark Twain, that isn't a real name!) Personally, I would like to know if any changes were made to the poem before it was published? If there were no changes, then that tells me that the publishing industry has some major issues! Maybe I'm naive, but I thought getting published was supposed to be about the writing and not about race, or sex of the author. Good writing is good writing, no matter where it comes from!
 
Maybe I'm naive, but I thought getting published was supposed to be about the writing and not about race, or sex of the author. Good writing is good writing, no matter where it comes from!
While I agree this is how it should be, this is not how it is. Many women who write action/thrillers either change their name or use their initials because both the readers, and therefore the publishers, perceive women to be less knowledgeable about those things. Or, because a good chunk of that genre's readers are men, they may have a bias against female authors. I know I did subconsciously for a long time before I realized it.
 
While I agree this is how it should be, this is not how it is. Many women who write action/thrillers either change their name or use their initials because both the readers, and therefore the publishers, perceive women to be less knowledgeable about those things. Or, because a good chunk of that genre's readers are men, they may have a bias against female authors. I know I did subconsciously for a long time before I realized it.

While I have read lots of things by female authors, I can say that they tend to pull less punches then the men do. I agree with you that it isn't that way in reality, but it pisses me off that it is. Does that mean I shouldn't author anything under Sun Tzu? After all, he doesn't need it anymore... o_O
 
I have no problem with pseudonyms, unless the person is claiming a heritage that isn't theirs to sell their work ie. I could use the name Jen McDonald to promote my book in Scotland, but I'm not Scottish. I think @Karen Gray might have an issue with that :P
You see my point. Call yourself whatever, as long as you're not trying to defraud the public and increase your readership.
 
I have no problem with pseudonyms, unless the person is claiming a heritage that isn't theirs to sell their work ie. I could use the name Jen McDonald to promote my book in Scotland, but I'm not Scottish. I think @Karen Gray might have an issue with that :p
You see my point. Call yourself whatever, as long as you're not trying to defraud the public and increase your readership.
But is 'getting published' the same as 'defrauding the public'? I mean, suppose we are in 1930s Germany, and it is not possible to publish a book if you have a Jewish name. Is it OK for a Jew to use a German pen-name? Especially if his livelihood depends on it? Fast-forward to today, and suppose [for the sake of argument] that there is a bias - less extreme than the Nazi/Jew bias, but still a bias - towards publishing work by non-Anglo people. In this hypothetical situation would it be OK for an Anglo to use a non-Anglo pseudonym?
 
I've read the article now. Hilarious double standards from the PC brigade. None of this would be necessary if only pieces were read and accepted on merit alone. Big argument for anonymous submissions, authorship to be revealed only after irrevocable publish/reject decision. But that won't happen, so people must play the system as best they can.
 
But is 'getting published' the same as 'defrauding the public'? I mean, suppose we are in 1930s Germany, and it is not possible to publish a book if you have a Jewish name. Is it OK for a Jew to use a German pen-name? Especially if his livelihood depends on it? Fast-forward to today, and suppose [for the sake of argument] that there is a bias - less extreme than the Nazi/Jew bias, but still a bias - towards publishing work by non-Anglo people. In this hypothetical situation would it be OK for an Anglo to use a non-Anglo pseudonym?

I see your point. I only meant 'defraud' as in to claim a culture that you have no connection to, or to seek fame by something that isn't true.
In the Jewish/German analogy you gave, imo of course change your surname to one that is more acceptable. If person in question was a German Jew then a German or even Austrian name would be fine.
If there was a literary bias towards Chinese/Oriental authors for instance, would I be OK to change my pen name to something appropriate and claim that ethnicity? No. I don't think publishers, agents or readers would tolerate that kind of deception.
Wouldn't it confuse your readers to see your face on a, let's say, fantasy book written under one name and heritage, and another on a different genre book, claiming another name and history? Changing your personal history depending on the current trends? I know that's an extreme situation but it could happen.
I'm fully aware I've probably made absolutely no sense at all here.
 
If he couldn't get published as a Caucasian but was welcomed much more freely as an Asian, it merely justifies the need to circumvent the prejudice he was underlining in the first place.

"HOW DARE HE OVERCOME OUR PREJUDICE! Wait, that sounded wrong. No. That's actually what I meant to say. Yeah."

Two wrongs apparently get published. Maybe I should adopt a Chinese pen name.
 
I see your point. I only meant 'defraud' as in to claim a culture that you have no connection to, or to seek fame by something that isn't true.
I'm fully aware I've probably made absolutely no sense at all here.
:D The whole thing doesn't make sense. And there are no easy answers. Discrimination and bigotry are bad, but two wrongs don't make a right, however much it suits some groups to dress them up as though they do.
I will shut up now before this gets political, as I have sworn to avoid all that...
 
:D The whole thing doesn't make sense. And there are no easy answers. Discrimination and bigotry are bad, but two wrongs don't make a right, however much it suits some groups to dress them up as though they do.
I will shut up now before this gets political, as I have sworn to avoid all that...

Me too. At least we had a nice debate for a moment, but let's not ruin it. :P
 
If he couldn't get published as a Caucasian but was welcomed much more freely as an Asian, it merely justifies the need to circumvent the prejudice he was underlining in the first place.

"HOW DARE HE OVERCOME OUR PREJUDICE! Wait, that sounded wrong. No. That's actually what I meant to say. Yeah."

Two wrongs apparently get published. Maybe I should adopt a Chinese pen name.

You can't use Sun Tzu. I already called dibs on that one. o_O
 
He really was. Not Korea. Thailand. Silly me. Must be losing my marbles.

Poor man: 'The foreign minister of Thailand (who was actually educated at Cambridge) was Mr Lee Bum Suk. Unfortunately he sat on a bomb one day. Apparently Bum Suk is as common in Thailand as Smith is in the UK.'
 
I vaguely remember he made a state visit to the UK. Imagine the smirks. For all we know, our names might mean something unspeakable in another language. My daughter tells me someone got a tattoo done in Cyprus, and said he wanted it to mean something like Peace or something else high faluting, but when he got home and looked it up, he'd paid for a tattoo translating as 'chicken nugget.'
 
I vaguely remember he made a state visit to the UK. Imagine the smirks. For all we know, our names might mean something unspeakable in another language. My daughter tells me someone got a tattoo done in Cyprus, and said he wanted it to mean something like Peace or something else high faluting, but when he got home and looked it up, he'd paid for a tattoo translating as 'chicken nugget.'
Oh no!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
I vaguely remember he made a state visit to the UK. Imagine the smirks. For all we know, our names might mean something unspeakable in another language. My daughter tells me someone got a tattoo done in Cyprus, and said he wanted it to mean something like Peace or something else high faluting, but when he got home and looked it up, he'd paid for a tattoo translating as 'chicken nugget.'

Having a few tattoos and seeing a lot more: Always remember Tattoos are Permanent!
1: Don't get a tattoo of a person's name. "Mom" or "Dad" is fine, but not "Pat + John" (or some such). What happens when Pat or John call it quits? The cover-up is very painful and can end up being unsightly.

2: Don't get words or graphics tattooed that you can't read or don't know the meaning of BEFORE you get it and don't rely on the tattoo artist to tell you what it means.

If someone is thinking about getting a tattoo, they should think about it, remember it is permanent, think about it some more, remember it is permanent, draw it on with a non-permanent marker just to see if it is something they really want, remember it is permanent, think about where it's going and what those implications are, remember it is permanent.
 
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