Tuesday, August 12, 2008
4. Can you remember to answer to it?
Everyone's goal is to get published (Okay, that's my goal) and someday do signings or go to reader/author conferences. Can you envision yourself answering to your pen name of choice? If not, choose another. No matter how pretty and flowy and gorgeous it looks on a book cover. Instead of naming a new baby, you're naming yourself and you better be able to pop your head up and raise your hand the moment someone screams for Sarah Bontemptature. If you don't like being called Ms. Bontemptature, pick a new name.
5. Does your difficult to spell or ethnic name tie in to your writings?
If yes, then a bunch of that rubbish above won't apply. If you only write highland romances, then a typically highland surname or first name may fit your genre, spelling be-damned. If you focus on Hispanic chick-lit, Angelique Martinez would be straying from the above rules due to spelling, but your target audience may not have an issue with the spelling of your name. It's all subjective folks, but hopefully these guidelines will help you in narrowing the selection field a bit.
6. Are you okay with the nickname associated with your chosen name?
My pen name is Celia Kyle. Not long after choosing and announcing the name, I was saddled with the nickname Ce. I love it! But, if you’re a Jennifer that must be called Jennifer, get used to being called Jen and get over it. We are human and humans tend to be innately lazy. Why spend all the extra time typing out your full name when three letters will suffice? Exactly. If you don’t like the nickname, choose a new name or become more flexible.
This is your name! You wouldn't name a child without a bit of research and scrounging through baby books, would you? If you want a name that hearkens to your ancestry, search for
Now, another question authors often pose is whether they should adopt a second pen name for some of their works. If you currently write inspirational/religion based romance and are branching out to erotic romance, then yes, you should definitely adopt a second pen name. I’m sure your more conservative readers do not want to know about your more adventurous works.
A few things to consider when deciding to adopt a second (or third) persona/pen name:
-Do you have the time and the funds to properly promote this second identity?
We’re talking a domain name, host space, advertising, chats, loops, etc. You’ll be doing everything you do now, but twice.
-Will this identity be completely separate and unknown to your other identity?
Are you going to have a combined main site with directions to choose the door on the left for hard-core kink and the door on the right for vanilla sex? Or will your readers of kink not know about your vanilla writing tendencies?
-Is your new genre/style so completely different that it would shock and turn off your current readers if they knew of your new venture?
If the answer is yes, you need a new name. If it’s a no, or a possibly, chances are you should stick with your original pen name and move on. The extra work isn’t worth the hassle.
Remember: Be You! Be Different! But spell your name like everyone else and make sure you're not a porn star in the making... Unless, of course, you are.
Below is a listing of baby name sites as well as surname meaning websites:
Baby Names/First Names
Celia writes about curvy, quirky chicks and the hunks who make their sex lives sizzle. Find out more about her BBW ladies over at www.celiakyle.com