For a new author, we want to avoid anything that might cause a reader to put a book down and decide, ‘not for me,’ ” Ms. Sowards says. “When we think a book will appeal to male readers, we want everything about the book to say that—the cover, the copy and, yes, the author’s name.
When I think about woman writers taking on male pseudonym, I think back to authors like the Brontës. I didn’t think about it being something that would still happen today. I forget that there was a time when we didn’t know that J.K. Rowling was a woman.
I often think about how lucky I am as a female writer to be able to get a job and have a relatively normal life. The sexism inherently in the writing profession still exisits. Would I take on a male pen name to sell more books? Absolutely. But I hope if I ever publish a book, I won’t be asked to make that choice.