It is entirely up to the individual whether or not to employ a pen name or pseudonym. Unless you share a name with a well-known author or celebrity, there is no right or incorrect response. Just keep in mind that if you do use one, you must be willing to adopt a new persona (even if it is extremely similar to your own identity).
The main reason for choosing a pen name is to avoid conflict with other authors who may also have the same name. For example, if you publish as "John Doe," others can only refer to you as "Doe" instead of by your real name. Using a pen name also allows you to write about subjects otherwise unavailable to you. The most famous writer using a pen name was Samuel Johnson, who used the name "Boswell" to record his conversations with James Boswell during their trip around Europe in 1765-66.
There are many reasons why people choose to write under a pen name. Some common ones include:
Writing about taboo topics or sensitive issues can help outsiders understand you and your identity better. This can also give you more freedom to express yourself without being judged.
You may want to conceal your identity or affiliation with this project until it reaches a certain level of success. Only then would you reveal yourself publicly.
Some authors find writing under a pen name easier because they are able to express themselves more freely than when writing under their own name.
Choosing a pseudonym may be as difficult as naming a character, especially when the character is yourself. A pen name that is a version of your actual name, such as a middle name, nickname, or initials, is the most basic. Many writers merely alter their surname so they don't have to remember which first name to use at conferences. Some choose names that are different from their own because they want to separate themselves from their identity for a time.
A pseudonym can be anyone, anything. It doesn't have to be a real person even if it sounds like one. Names such as John Doe, Harry Potter, and Sherlock Holmes have become brands that identify their owners as characters.
The choice of a pen name should be simple and unambiguous. If you get confused about what your chosen name means then others will too. Also consider how you want others to refer to you. If you're happy with Mr/Ms etc then use those forms. Otherwise, try to find a single word that describes you that others can understand from reading a few lines of text.
Finally, don't pick a name because you think it sounds cool or tells people something about you. Choose a name that someone else could use instead. This way you're sure that it isn't already in use and doesn't cause confusion when talking about your book.
As long as you avoid choosing names that are already in use this shouldn't be an issue.
The most common error authors make when selecting a pen name is failing to evaluate the marketing worth of a pen name before making a selection. In summary, the pseudonym you select for your work can have a significant influence on your book and platform, since it becomes your author brand. Thus, you must fully understand the implications of naming yourself as an author.
First, you need to think about what kind of image you want to project with your book. Will it be for entertainment or education? What audience are you targeting with your book? These questions will help you choose a pen name that fits well with your vision for your book. For example, if you plan to publish a novel with a serious theme but also include some comedy writing, you might want to choose a pen name that has a similar tone as your book. Alternatively, if you want to create a brand around humor and lightheartedness, you could use a pen name that has these characteristics too.
After you've decided on your book's content and tone, you need to decide on your author identity. Who are you as a writer? What qualities do you want to convey about yourself and your work? Consider the answers to these questions when choosing a pen name that reflects who you are as a writer.