Sunday, February 24, 2008

Branding 3--veinglory

So, here are the responses I received in randomised order. :) The sample is a little small to provide a lot of information but I hope this is still of interest....
Is anyone out there currently deciding on their pen name? Feel free to send me your options or a descrition of your genre and branding goals. Then I can post it for suggestions. :)

Angelia Sparrow
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 25%
* Bird like. Probably writes romances
* I’d never be able to spell the first name correctly. “Sparrow” sounds made up.
Makes me think of Jack Sparrow. I have seen the name but though it was 'Angela' until now.
* Obviously I am thinking of a sparrow. IMO the surname is rather ridiculous. I also keep reading Angelina instead of Angelia. I've seen her name on EC's website. I am not overly interested in what EC publishes nowadays, but frankly, the name alone is off-putting, but I am kind of touchy where, errrm, exotic pen names are concerned.
* I think to a bird. But I also know that Angelia is the real name of this author, not a pen name
* Inspirational romance author from Scotland/Ireland - the "sparrow" does that to me.

Diana Castilleja
Recognition: 50%
Readership: 0%
* Hard to spell the last name
* Spanish sounding name. Strong. Bold.
* Her name does ring a bell, but I couldn't say what kind of fiction she writes. Erotic romance or not? Absolutely no idea. The surname sounds Spanish, and makes me think of the Spanish region Castile. As I have never been to Spain and otherwise have no connection with this country I feel rather indifferent to this name.
* I think at History. Castilleja makes me think to Royal Spain.
Nothing in particular.
* She's a real stinker. Have to keep your cookies close when she's in the room. LOL
* Has an exotic, mythological ring

Anne Douglas
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 35%
* I remember, I read the very first book AD brought out with Loose-Id. I tried to research her online and found tons of information about KIRK DOUGLAS's wife. I gave up after ten minutes (back then she did have a blog, I think, but it better guarded, apparently, than Fort Knox. I haven't read anything besides the first book as the one story I did read was rather lacking in depth, IMO.
* Easy and believable. It sticks with me.
* Scottish. Sweeping romances. Epic.
* Nothing special, maybe to Scotland.
* There is a very active erotic author called Anne Douglas back in those days who wrote outright erotica/smut for ASSTR and other online smutty lists. I thought this is the same Anne Douglas until she corrected me, lol.

SB Ashton
Recognition: 0%
Readership: 0%
* Never heard of but I know of an Ashton Lane with lovely pubs *g*.
* Sci-fi. Snarky (Only because I've read a couple worst. cover. ever. posts).
*Nothing special.
* Mystery/thriller author. These authors used to have their initials on their covers, no?

Katherine Kingston
Recognition: 25%
Readership: 10%
* I hope her middle name doesn’t start with a ‘K.’ Sounds fake, but I’m willing to play along.
* She's an EC author IIRC, but I've never read her. As far as her pen name goes I have relatively few connotations. Sure, I might think of a king, but not much else.
* Yay for alliteration!
* It seems an old English name.
* Inspirational romance author. There is something about "Kingston" that has me thinking of Biblical things.

Amanda Young
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 60%
* She publishes with Loose-Id, at least the one and only book I read by her came from this pub. The book was ok, quite entertaining nothing outstanding so I didn't search for more of her pieces. As far as pen names go, this one is definitely on the positive side. It has a nice round sound to it and good fluency.
* Love her sex scenes, they seem very masculine
* Ordinary. Feels like her real name.
* It's a good name, sounds simple.
* Nothing in particular. Quite an ordinary name.

L.E. Bryce
Recognition: 50%
Readership: 50%
*Duhh. Absolutely nothing comes to my mind. Never heard of him/her/it, and no associations.
* Nothing special.
* Mystery/thriller. See: SB Ashton.

Maura Anderson
Recognition: 25%
Readership: 0%
* My first connotation is that she must write categories. Maura sounds kind of old-fashioned. I picture a grey haired lady with glasses, vividly typing away on an old typewriter. But actually I have no idea what she really does write *g*.
* Irish sounding. Makes me think of mysteries
* Maura is the name of a friend of mine, so I think to her...
* Nothing in particular. Ordinary name, bordering almost on forgettable.

J.M. Snyder
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 25%
* She writes gay fiction and romance. I wanted to try her out but somehow not one of the plots I researched from her books appealed. Her website could need some work. The pen name is ok, though nothing that really stays in mind.
* To a snake... for the sound of the surname, snake... snyder...
* Pseudonym for gay smut author. Did I win a prize?
* This is an author I'm with on Bookwormbags, but haven't a clue what they write. How sad is that? And I'm not going to cheat and look at the bookmarks she just emailed to me either.

Jill Noelle
Recognition: 25%
Readership: 0%
* I like the ring of this author's name, and I don't even mind that le Noël (French for Christmas) comes to my mind. However, Jill Noelle wrote a book which was, roughly five years ago, my first erotic historical and I have to say that I've never come upon such a unsympathetic and betimes even vicious hero. I have been reading erotic romances for quite a long time, maybe that's the reason why I have become so picky. Whereas in the early days nearly every erotic romance was to my taste, nowadays it's exactly the other way around. I also think of Noelle's upcoming publishing venture when I hear of her. I know there has to be a market for everything, however I personally belonged to those who felt grossed out and repulsed by her "boundary pushing" request for stories.
* Poetry or straight sex author
* Hard to spell. If she simplified it, I’d think it was great: memorable, yet simple
* To Christmas, jingle bells... jill, noelle... noel
* Inspirational/Harlequin Presents author. "Noelle" does that to me.
* This is really the only name I recognize, and I'm almost positive she's an erotic author, but I could be wrong.


Anonymous said...

JM Snyder does not write smut. I love the Vic and Matt stories.

Amanda Young is great, too. I thought Man Candy was adorable.

Oh, yeah, I like Emily's writing, too. Guess there's a pattern emerging, huh, haha.


Maura Anderson said...

LOL - I love it - a dull, forgettable name :)

I don't have grey hair - yet - despite the best efforts of my sons. I actually write contemporary and paranormal erotic romance with some male/male coming up.

Points to whomever said Irish - Maura is the gaelic version of Mary!

No mysteries, at least not yet. I've learned to never say never, though.

The most hilarious thing about it is that Maura Anderson is my REAL maiden name. My family is Scottish :)

Thanks for taking part everyone! I really enjoyed it!

Teddy Pig said...

Maura is this sweet person I know who is a damn good writer. So is J.M. Snyder. So is Anne Douglas...

This is why I could not do this survey, I know these people and they rock.

Anne D said...

You probably won't believe it, but seriously, I never googled my pen name until AFTER my first book came out! Seriously! It was then that I found out about Kirk Douglas' wife, Asstr Anne, and a Lady Anne Douglas Sedgewick from England. It was a head meet desk moment. But I had said when I chose it I didn't want a 'porn' name, so I guess I succeeded in that regard at least.

Oh, and I swear - I've learned a WHOLE lot since that first story came out - it literally was the first story I'd ever written - there's lots more depth these days :)

Even if the survey was limited, it was interesting to see the results. Looking at it now, I'm picking up thing I unconsciously colour things as too - like initials = scifi etc

Diana Castilleja said...

I enjoyed reading the answers. And for those who said Spanish, you'd be right. It's my married name. My maiden was just as long, atrocious to spell and Italian.

I almost picked a version of Castile as my pen name, but figured it wasn't that big of a deal. And Evanovich has a last name that I finally know how to spell! It'll come.

Maura Anderson said...

What a hoot, Anne - I found there's a B-List actress named Maura Anderson, too.

Awwwe - thanks TeddyPig! I adore you too.

I couldn't do this poll, either. I knew too many of the participants.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I see initials in a romance (or smut) author's name, I always think their are trying to be ambiguous about their gender.

Teddy Pig said...

Yeah, whenever I see E.M. Forster or J.R.R. Tolkien and I think smut.

Amanda Young said...

Those are some interesting responses. :) Amanda Young is my real name. I've found myself wishing I would have thought up a clever pseudo at times, but when I was first accepted for publication I figured simple was better. Looks likes I was right, lol.

Thank you for the compliment, Shannon. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

JMS Books LLC said...

J.M. Snyder is my real name, not a pseudonym. I won't share the pseudonym I had picked out once upon a time (talk about unspellable).

My initials are J.M. and yes, I did begin writing gay fiction using initials to be ambiguous about my gender. Though anyone who hasn't figured it out by now ...

This was interesting ... I'm not put off by the term smut because I used it myself when I began writing, and my mother uses it to describe my work (which she hasn't read).

Thanks for the exercise, Emily. And thanks for the complements, Shannon and Teddy.

I would like to hear from the person who said my site needed some work. How so? More images, I'm assuming, but I try to keep it clean.

As for the plots not appealing to people ... well, I don't ACTUALLY write smut, and a lot of readers think I should write more sex than I do. Sorry.

Barbara Sheridan said...

I wish I'd have seen the original thread sooner. I'm curious to find out what Barbara Sheridan conjures up in readers' minds.

Angelia Sparrow said...

Nobody EVER spells my first name right. Or if they do, they proceed to mispronounce it.

My mother was under ether, what can I say? 8)

I'm sorry the surname is ridiculous. Does it help that I thought so too, upon first meeting the man I later married? (and I don't think the original "Moss" would have been better)

And the inspirational romance part is funny, as I am hard at work on the first handicapable, erotic gay pagan inspirational romance.

Sparrow is German, by way of England. I, however, am an O'Neill of County Armaugh.

Makes me think I should have gone with "Cynthia Wishom" instead of the legal name.

Mya said...

This was an interesting excersize and all of the authors who participated in it deserve kudos, I think!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting results. ;-) Just an FYI, Noelle is my real middle name... I used my real first and middle name at my mom's suggestion. She has always called me either Jill Noelle or just Noelle. ;-)

Thanks for allowing me to participate!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this! The results are interesting. The person who said my name sounds fake is right. And, yes, I'm an EC author. Inspirational? Well, I like to think so.

-- Katherine Kingston