mekabbii asked:

As a black woman, I’m concerned with prejudice I will face when I try to find a publisher. I don’t write black literature at all but my name is Tameka so they will most definitely know I’m black. What will publishers assume? I am unsure if I should take up a pseudonym or not. It helped plenty of authors get publication before but taking a new name is a bit hard. I mean, it’s how I’ll be remembered.

Sigh. Tameka, I’m really sorry that we live in a society where you even have to think about things like this.

My first instinct is to say, “No! Keep your name! Challenge society!” but as a white person, I know that it’s not my place to say things like that. (That being said, I think the only person who can really answer your questions is you—at the end of the day, you have to go with what feels right to you.)

But hopefully, with this post, I can give you and others some resources to help develop an answer to this question.

More information about pseudonyms:

More information about diversity (or lack thereof) in publishing*:

More information about African Americans in publishing:

More information about sexism in publishing:

Also, I hope that it’s okay that the image I included above is of Toni Morrison, one of my favorite authors. (Toni Morrison isn’t her birth name, but it’s also not a purposefully chosen pen name—Toni is a nickname comes from her confirmation name, and Morrison is her married surname.)

Okay. I’ve tried to answer this ask really carefully and sensitively, but please, if anyone finds that any information I’ve included is wrong/offensive/misleading/anything else, please let me know.

Also, if anyone has a story to share about their experience with a pseudonym, as a minority in the publishing industry, or any advice that they’d like to share with Tameka, send us an ask and I’ll include it at the bottom of this post.

6writing advice, racism, sexism, publishing, large,