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Question
If a person writes a book using a "pen name" will the author always remain anonymous? Also, how can the author have the rough copy edited or get opinions of other people before it is copywrited without the risk that someone else will copy it and have it copywrited and published beforehand? Thanks

Answer
Yes, a pseudonym is fairly "safe."  If you want it to be, that is.  How many people knew that books by Richard Bachman were actually by Stephen King until he wanted people to know?

On the other hand, if someone wants to find out who an author is badly enough, there are ways.  So a pseudonym isn't airtight.

As for your copyright question... your work is copyrighted as soon as you put it on paper.  You might be thinking of the copyright registration process, which is when you take copies of the final work (and for a book, that means a published copy) and send it (and money) to the government.  But that's just to register the copyright, not to establish it.

Do not worry about editors or anyone stealing your work and trying to publish it.  This has happened VERY few times in the past, and in this age, it's almost unheard of.  It's simply too easy to prove you wrote something and sue the hell out of the other person.  Most of us can, for example, show computer files dating back a long time on something we've been writing.  

Truthfully, I wouldn't lose a minute's sleep worrying about this.

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Vincent M. Wales

Expertise

I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.

Experience

For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

Education/Credentials
BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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