I know I have written on this subject before but I think it is worth another round.
Authors use pseudonyms when they change categories; they also use them if their first book(s) sells less well than hoped and they want to try again. There is nothing wrong with doing this as long as you are upfront in saying you are doing so. (Note please, it is not necessary to provide your real name unless asked directly and then you should, while offering an explanation for why you have chosen to use the pseudonym.)
Pseudonyms can be extremely useful. Writers can change categories by changing their “pen names” going back and forth as they wish. Fiction, in particular, lends itself to using pseudonyms in categories such as mystery/thriller, horror, romance (contemporary, historical), sci-fi/fantasy, etc. A pseudonym, in fact, can be an effective marketing tool. Why tell the customer (the book buyer) the author’s real name when using another will boost sales for everyone? With social media, promotional possibilities abound when using a different name. We put together a list of a number of bestselling authors who use this device and I wanted to share it with you:
Stephen King (wrote short stories under the name Richard Bachman)
Nora Roberts (also writes under J.D. Robb)
Dean Koontz (writes under Aaron Wolfe and K.R. Dwyer)
Anne Rice (also writes under Anne Rampling)
Agatha Christie (also wrote under Mary Westcott)
I would be curious to know what you think about the use of pseudonyms, whether as a writer, you have used one, or as a reader you would buy a book by someone who does.