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The value of a pen name.

June 2, 2012 \am\30 12:29 am

UPDATE 6/4: Remittance Girl got word from Google + that she can keep her name!


I just signed this petition at change. org because of more silliness from the folks who don’t get the purpose of a pseudonym. So the folks at Google+ have told another pseudonym-using author to basically get lost.

Google+: Allow ‘Remittance Girl’, my pen name, as a Google+ identity.

In her words:

Google+ insists that my pen name, Remittance Girl, is not a legitimate name. I appealed this decision, giving links* to my longstanding blog, to my author page on Amazon, to my Facebook account, to my Goodreads Author Page, to reviews of my books, and still they have rejected my petition to allow my pen name. This decision doesn’t simply disenfranchise me as a writer, it basically forces me into a position where, either I must ‘out’ myself as an erotica writer, or give up my pen name altogether on Google. This may very well impact many other erotica writers who use pen names that don’t seem like ‘real’ names to google.

*note: my computer was being too slow for me to grab all the links and add them, but they are on her petition page.

Remittance Girl was one of the first erotica authors I found online. That’s her pen name. Just as tons of writers, artists, musicians, actors, etc. have done for ages and are still doing. Lady GaGa anyone?

While I understand (sorta) that the good folks (ahem) at Google don’t want folks HIDING behind false names, it seems just plain ignorant to deny professional, creative types to not be able to use the identity that their readers/listeners/fans know them as. I have a pen name, Erobintica, which I use for my published erotica. While I’m not at all of the caliber of Remittance Girl, if this continues, I guess I won’t be able to get a G+ account for that identity.

I wonder what Mark Twain would think. I’m sure he’d tell us.

Remittance Girl has a very thoughtful post about all this here: What’s In A Name?

Sign the petition.

  1. June 2, 2012 \am\30 12:56 am 12:56 am

    Thank you for this. I think what really disturbs me about it is that thousands of people know me and have known me for a decade as Remittance Girl. It’s not simply a commercial ‘brand’. It is a very fundamental part of who I am as a person.

    I’m pretty sure google+ will afford a page to Lady Gaga and The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, but then… that suggests that you only have a right to a pseudonym if you can BUY one.

    So then… this is another phase of the economic divide? the 1% can have their pen names but the rest of us are fucked?

    Also, and more philosophically, it then becomes an issue of who gets to determine your identity. Shouldn’t it be you?

    • Robin Elizabeth Sampson permalink*
      June 4, 2012 \pm\30 9:03 pm 9:03 pm

      I am so glad this worked out for you. Gives me a little bit of hope.

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