If you use a pen name or pseudonym, chances are you’ll eventually run afoul of Facebook’s policy requiring you to use your “real name and birthday.”  You may one day find your account locked, pending an identity verification.  You’ll then have to send them sufficient ID before the account will be re-opened.

As erotic authors, this issue is even more sensitive.  Many of us write, but wish to keep our writing persona separate from our family, coworkers, community etc.  Thus, the use of a pen name.

It’s recommended that erotic authors be proactive in dealing with this problem before it appears.  Two suggestions:

First, each author should have his/her own official Facebook page.  (Mine is Dylan Cross, erotica author.)  Direct friends and fans there, and get them to Like and engage with the content on your page.  Also, have a backup Facebook account or two which also has administrative access to the Page, in case your Facebook account gets locked.

Second, you may actually want to set up credentials which will verify your pen name to Facebook, should it become necessary.  I’m not suggesting that you establish a safety deposit box filled with a mysterious fake identity.  Nor am I advocating the doctoring or Photoshopping of the various government IDs which appear on Facebook’s list of acceptable forms of identification.  If you do that, you’re likely violating a number of laws.

But… the list of acceptable IDs also contains a secondary list, of which they state “Facebook will also accept two of the following items that combined must show name and date of birth.”  These are easier to work with, and less likely to land you in hot water.  A couple examples:

Check — there are dozens of online services from which you can order checks.  You specify the name and info, and they mail the checks to you. It’s relatively cheap.

Credit card — you don’t have to establish credit as your pseudonym.  If you have any major credit card, you can add an authorized cardholder.  Discover, and several others, don’t require you to provide the SSN of the cardholder.  Just order a card in your pen name.

Magazine subscription stub — buy an issue of Cosmopolitan or Cooking Light at the supermarket.  It will have a subscription form… treat your pseudonym to a subscription.  When it arrives, you’ll have proof of ID.  Remember to then cancel the subscription (or keep it!)

Medical record — this is an instrumental one, because Facebook requires something which shows your date of birth.  If you’ve ever been to the ER or to the “24 Hour Care Clinic,” you’ve gotten a sheet of discharge instructions.  It’ll include your full name and date of birth, the time you were seen and discharged, and a number of followup instructions.  It’s almost in the form of a letter… in other words, simple to throw together in Microsoft Word.  Just make up some symptoms and discharge instructions (doesn’t really matter because you’ll be blacking them out with a permanent marker anyway) and voila, you have your second piece of ID.

There are a number of other items on the list which are relatively easy to Photoshop.  Again, it’s not recommended that you do this with a government ID, for legal reasons.  As far as the other forms of ID… are police going to show up at your door?  ”The editor of Cosmo got your magazine subscription, and thought this may not be you.  Can you break out some ID?”  Yeah, right.

https://www.facebook.com/help/385569904840341 is Facebook’s page regarding this matter, plus a list of the acceptable forms of ID to establish your “real” identity.