Annoying questions about Authors and Accounts 😁

OK, so.

I don’t know where to start with this one, and I’m imagining maybe 75% of this will mostly be for Martin.

What’s the craic with Author names and Account names here? (on GKS/GSS)

Say I suddenly wanted to write a string of 20+, near-identical non-con hypnostories with twinks in them (trying to randomly say something that’s the opposite of my style), but I wanted to just use a burner author name.
Can I do that?

Say my normal account name is ‘The Dirty Spiders’, but I want all these off-brand stories to be… ‘The Clean Bugs’

What happens when I put some other Author name in the author name box?

What happens if I put some other email address in the email box?

Can I publish anonymously if I’m logged in? (just by using a different author name?)

Can I publish stories — when logged in — that don’t link back to ‘The Dirty Spiders’ user account, or story list? (etc).

see? annoying questions.

When I tried a couple stories under another pen name, I just logged out and setup a new account.

I’m sure Martin has wonderful technical answers, but that’s what I did.

Me too, it’s just, there are downsides to making ghost accounts; You gotta remember them and the passwords and emails etc,

and there are downsides to submitting anonymously; I’m a clumsy writer, and If I post a story anonymously, I’m not sure I even know how I’d go about editing post-publishing punctuation and grammar mistakes.

Nothing annoying about this question :slight_smile:

The difference between “authors” and “accounts” is certainly confusing.

Authors were introduced by Hugh even before accounts existed. The idea is that you can publish stories anonymously without even needing an account.

An author is basically just a name, an arbitrary string you can enter. The system just automatically remembers all author names which were ever used and it can list all stories which were published under a given author name. The “author” entity in the system is really very simple and dumb.

The account system was added later and is totally independent. A story is “owned” by an account (a story can even have multiple owners).

You can still enter various different Author names when using a single account. And that different author name is then shown next to the story, too.

BUT: Your avatar and the profile which your avatar is linking to is still taken from the account, no matter what Author name you choose.

So publishing under a different author while being logged in with your original account won’t hide your identity from the reader. He can still click your avatar and see the account behind it.

That’s actually a bad design choice on my part. I should have associated profiles with the author, not the account, so writers can have multiple virtual personalities while still using one account. But that didn’t even occur to me back then.

Now it is as it is. You can publish under a pen name if you don’t care that people can figure out who you really are, or you have to create a second account, I’m afraid.

Can I ask what inspired you to try writing some stories under a different pen name? Was it similar to the reasons Spiders mentioned in his hypothetical? (This is a subject that’s been on my mind lately, for maybe obvious reasons, so I’ve been curious to hear other people’s thoughts in similar situations.)

Though, you know what, please don’t feel that you have to answer this question… I realize it’s a bit prying and personal.

For me it’s just, I’ve seen the damage that having too wide a scope can do. (Both in music and in writing)

I’m not trying to backhand compliment myself and be all “oh I’m just so creative and dynamic, people can’t handle my genius.”

Like. I’ve had people find a story of mine. Obsess over it., then read another, and realise it’s a totally different thing with no element in common and then just stop… “trusting me” as an author (for lack of a better word).

I have a lot of fans who are fans of one of my stories, and then just, do not engage with the rest. (I realise this is rich coming from a guy with no published stories under his own name at the moment, but this is a recap from other times).

Basically., if it’s different enough, it’s just sensible and considerate categorization (for readers) to have multiple pen-names.


Nah, my reasoning was more egotistical. I wanted to find out if I’d receive the same kind of feedback as I did under my ‘established brand’. Basically trying to find out if my writing is any good, or if I’ve just got people who follow my work.

It was a little of both. The feedback was great, but there were far less views.


I see — and I’ve heard similar from a couple of authors who have considered (or tried out) pen names. I know that authors who write different types of romance novels will do this as well, sometimes. Supernatural romance under one name… Period romance under another…

Were you ever tempted to consolidate your other stories under your main account?

(I’ve been thinking recently whether I should consolidate my two authors accounts. So I’m really curious what other people’s thought processes have been in similar situations, I guess.)

Ouu, good angle :sweat_smile:

I decided against it, but just because I only wrote a couple stories under other names.

If I ever write something that’s wildly different from my standard fare, I might end up doing another pen name for that, but I don’t know that I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone anytime soon.

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Actually one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed writing stories for contests. Seeing what happens when anonymised, and then checking to see if there’s any change (positive or negative) after the reveal.

Unfortunately it’s not really comparable before and after due to the story not being new, and also I tend to forget what the results were when I’m not looking directly at them, but still fun. Saves on consolidation also.

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Jeez, now I’ll have to read every story on the site in hopes of figuring out which are your pseudonymous stories.