Thursday, June 7, 2012

Choosing a Name That Sells Books

As you prepare to publish your works, you'll have to consider whether or not you want to use a pseudonym. If you decide that you do, which name you pick can have an impact on your sales. You'll want to use a name that you will not feel burdened by as you continue your career as well. Remember, when choosing your name, it's not just about likeability, but also about marketability.

1) Make sure it's easy to say and spell.

You'll want people to remember your name easily so that they can tell their friends about your work, should they like it. You'll want them to be able to spell it off the top of their heads, should they plug it into a google search. The nicer the name sounds rolling off the tongue, the more likely people are to say it, so choose something with a rhythmic ring to it.

Consider initials or short first names if the last name has two or more syllables. That will allow people to put emphasis on the name without their mouths stumbling over it. It will also stick in their brains longer.

Last names of only one syllable are preferable as you want people to remember the most important piece of your name, which would be the surname, so if the name is out of the ordinary, consider a sharp, one-syllable last name to counter it.

You'll want something that stands apart from the crowd, but that is common enough that people will easily recognize it.

2) Choose a name appropriate for your genre.

Unfortunately, male and female author names are still not considered equal these days, and in certain genres, men sell more books than women. In others (like romance) women sell more books than men. You can write as whichever gender you'd like, but know that there are limitations to each.

3) Choose a name you like.

This is important to marketing because if you don't like your name, it will show. People will be able to tell when they talk to you or when you make appearances. Disdain or embarrassment can even shine through in writing, and if your fans sense you are annoyed with something about your writing, it could turn them off.

4) Consider where your books will be shelved.

Author last names starting with A-G have a greater chance of being seen as they will normally be placed on the shelves at eye level. You might also want to choose a last name starting with the first few letters of a bestselling author in your genre so that the overspill interest comes to your book first.

5) Test it before you're stuck with it.

Try writing your chosen name out, both in handwriting and in type. Try saying it in different sentences to see if you like how it sounds. If you have access to Photoshop or a graphic program, make a few mock covers to see how the name fares when in different book-cover fonts.

1 comment:

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