Author, Marketing, My Books, Writing

Could I hear your thoughts on author pseudonyms, please?

It’s been a long time since I blogged three times a week, but since my complete blog hiatus last December, my average was a new post once a week—until last month. In April, I blogged only once. I have a good excuse, though.

I’ve been busy writing. Almost every day. All day.  I finished revising one novel and sent it to an alpha reader. And then I returned to working on a novel in a far different genre. What genre would that be, you ask? Well, it used to be called chick-lit, but that term is passé. Let’s call it romantic comedy.

3apples

If you’ve read my other books, you know I don’t usually write light stories. And neither my recently revised novel nor the other one still in first drafting are anything close to humorous. So writing romantic comedy is an experiment for me.

I’ve been having a lot of fun writing it, but I knew that was no guarantee anyone else would have fun reading it. And because writing time is too precious to waste, I decided to test my comedy writing ability by asking for a little feedback. The verdict is a thumbs-up. Yay! Now, I’ll continue my fun project with more confidence.

But since the genres of the revised novel and this one are both different genres from my usual serious women’s fiction, I’m revisiting the idea of author branding. I want my brand to be good writing, of course. But for marketing purposes it’s said to be helpful if readers identify your author name with a particular genre. In my case, that would be three author names.

I wouldn’t try to be three completely different people. For instance, I wouldn’t use different bios and author photos (two not mine.) Though I expect I’d need some presence in social media under the two new names. Even so, that might be more problematic than I think. So …

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Are any of you writing under two or more author names? If so, would you share your thoughts on the pros and cons of that, please?

 

Linda

Fiction, Marketing, My Books, Novel, Writing

Silencing the voices

I’m used to dealing with my inner editor and critic’s voices, but now that I’m pressed to get busy writing my next book, I’ve discovered a new voice—the marketer’s . It told me to consider my publishing “brand.” What sort of book would readers expect from me? That new voice wrapped up my muse like a mummy.

I second-guessed everything I’d already written. I’ve struggled to write another word since. For a minute—just one—I regretted making the decision to publish. In the privacy of my mind, I’m free to write whatever I want. If some sentimental little story begs life, I write it. If a dark tale of revenge takes my fancy, I write it. If a quiet little tale of self-discovery pops into my brain, I write it.

Ah-ha, a common denominator—I am the writer.

Some fiction authors are branded as writers of mystery, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, or they write only for teens or children. They have restrictions I don’t have. I write general fiction. I have the freedom to explore, to take many paths.

So, shut-up, new voice! All I want my readers to expect is a well-crafted story, as good as or better than the last one. That’s my obligation to them. That’s my brand. I can write the story that comes to me. The question should be, how best can I tell the story, not do I have permission to write the story?

What do you hear from those “helpful” voices in your head?

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Advice, Author, Marketing, Promotion, Publish, Reader, Social Media, Tips, Writing

What’s your name?

I’ve been reading about author “branding” lately. No, it doesn’t involve a hot iron and burning flesh. The idea is to promote your name as a writer, to make your name a brand name. Quick! Name a horror writer. Thriller? Mystery? Literary? YA fantasy? Wouldn’t you like to be the author whose name comes to mind first? Yeah, not realistic, but you do want your name to come to mind at some point, right?

Right now, some of you are probably remembering author Maureen Johnson’s Manifesto: I Am Not A Brand. I do get her point; I’m just as human as she is. But when I’m published, I will have a product to sell, and it will bear my name as author. Therefore, it only makes sense that I want as many people as possible to recognize my name when they see my book.

I’m not an extrovert, maybe you aren’t either, but as published authors we’ll be expected to sell our books. We’re told, “Get your name out there, and do it now!”  Great … how do we do that? What’s your Twitter name and Facebook identity?  If you’re GreenLady on Twitter, and you’re known as Liz Wilder on Facebook, you’re missing out on two opportunities to brand Elizabeth Cox-Wilder— the name you write under— on the minds of potential readers.

Take a look at your blog. How easy is it for your followers to learn your real name? Or do you plan to publish anonymously? I blog through WordPress so my url was lindacassidylewis.wordpress.com, then I registered my domain name, so now if you go to just lindacassidylewis.com you also end up here. I set my blog profile to display my full name here and on every other blog where I comment. And my name links back to this blog in the hope readers on those other blogs will click through to visit here. (Good reason you should all start commenting on my blog. 😉 )

You’ll find me as Linda Cassidy Lewis on Facebook (no fan page, yet), but that was too long for a Twitter username , so I tweet as @cassidylewis, which admittedly is not perfect because a couple followers have assumed Cassidy is my first name, but hey, if they ever take the time to look at my Twitter page, they’ll see my full name. The more opportunities you take to connect your name with your writing, the easier it will be for book buyers to remember you. Of course, you’ll want to mind your manners as make yourself known, or you’ll be remembered in the wrong way.

So, yeah, I guess you all know my name by now. 😀 Too bad I’m not already published. But I hope when I am, you’ll see my book and say, “Oh, I know her. She’s nice. I think I’ll buy her book.”

Now, it’s your turn. Tell me, how do you get your name out there?

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