A number of authors use their initials instead of their full name on the covers of their books. It is especially common among authors of fiction.
So, when considering whether to use my initials instead of my first name for works of fiction, I wanted to do some quick research.
Here are a few reasons authors use their initials instead of their full name:
Your name is hard to pronounce or too long to remember (J. R. R. Tolkien vs. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien)
Your name is too common (George Martin vs. George R. R. Martin).
You don’t like your real name (Clive Staples Lewis vs. C. S. Lewis, Lucy Maud Montgomery vs. L. M. Montgomery).
Your name may lead to gender bias (Susan Eloise Hinton vs. S. E. Hinton, Joanne Rowling vs. J. K. Rowling).
Your name is too closely associated with a particular genre (Nora Roberts vs. J. D. Robb).
If anything, that last reason appeals to me most. My name is well-know in certain circles for a certain thing. I can’t see readers of my nonfiction and future readers of my fiction doing much crossover (especially if I write for middle grade or teen audiences).
Joana Penn (TheCreativePenn.com), who publishes her fiction as J. F. Penn, has two good articles about this question: