The following is in response to reader Laura LaHaye's inquiry about the use of pseudonyms.
I've just read (and blurbed) a mystery manuscript by a highly talented and accomplished author of many books -- and whose name every DLer would know.
This author has used a pseudonym because his/her publisher feels that, despite good midlist sales, the author will never have a "break-through" book under his/her own name. The choice is to try and become a "new" writer waiting to be "discovered" or no contract and go find another publisher.
Call it short-sighted, stupid or whatever you might, this pervasive "lottery mentality" shows the swamp into which most of the publishing industry has sunk, mainly because it cannot figure out how to market and promote books.
As for the author I blurbed? I hope he/she makes it. He/she deserves it. I hope the blurb helps out.
For a great discussion of other reasons that authors use pseudonyms, check out BookThink