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Which Name to write under
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BobbieDraper · 14/06/2020 13:15

Hi.
I've been writing short stories since high school (and before that, when I was much younger, fanfiction... please dont judge that) but I've been working on a full length novel which is now ready to be edited. But I'm having issues with which name to write under.

I've never written under my own name, and I don't think I want too. But this isnt a tumblr site or magazine where my initials were enough. I need a name to write under.

Does anyone have any advice on how to choose one because I'm really struggling.

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FatalSecrets · 14/06/2020 13:16

Middle name and mum’s maiden name?

Middle name and first street you lived on?

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BobbieDraper · 14/06/2020 13:16

(School was a long time ago for me; I just wanted to give context for how long I've been writing under different names or simply initials)

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BobbieDraper · 14/06/2020 14:04

Middle name and mum's maiden name would be incredibly dull/old fashioned.

Maybe first and middle initial plus mum's maiden name. It would sound a bit more grown up.

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FatalSecrets · 14/06/2020 14:12

Middle name and mum's maiden name would be incredibly dull/old fashioned

Maybe first and middle initial plus mum's maiden name. It would sound a bit more grown up

I’m coming at this only from the point of a reader, but do author’s names need to be exciting? My to read pile is full of “ordinary” names.

I do however have an aversion to initials. It seems the latest fashion especially for the veritable plethora of thrillers that are around at the moment.

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BobbieDraper · 14/06/2020 14:17

I worked in a bookshop for 6 years, and female names dont sell as well as male names or "those initials could be a man" names, especially in the genre I write.

I should probably go and do some more research into that; I'm just going by the sales figures we had at that time!

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FatalSecrets · 14/06/2020 14:21

How depressing! Be a trailblazer!

(I’m intending to be, my first novel will be an obviously female name) Smile

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Zilla1 · 14/06/2020 18:02

Some filters thought you'll have these in mind already, OP.

You'll want to screen your preferences for:

  1. not shared with any other author;
  2. reasonably high in the alphabet;
  3. social media names and good URL available (.com) - for example, jbloggs.com or janebloggs.com available without the need for suffix to make it unique like joebloggswriterofbooks.com;
  4. not unsuitable in other major languages (the Nova or MR2 car name test); and
  5. genre appropriate if you have a firm genre. Some names might work for horror and not for romance and vice versa - real life surnames like Manlove, Davall and D'Eath might find some dissonance in the wrong genre.

    Good luck.
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BobbieDraper · 14/06/2020 18:11

@Zilla1

Thank you. I wouldn't have considered the alphabet point or checking in other languages.

I will be on it for domain names. I use my actual name for my day job (jeweller designer) and I have .co.uk but cannot get .com because some cafe in San franciso has it. They arent even called that anymore! They changed their name years ago. I'm still trying to get then to sell me it.

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Zilla1 · 14/06/2020 20:37

You're welcome but I'm sure you'd have thought of all that and more. If you don't mind me asking, what's your smithing name or brand? I'd love to look at your designs. How are you finding things at the moment? I see the UK assay offices have reopened but my aquaintences seem pessimistic.

Good luck with the blockbuster.

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EllaAlright · 15/06/2020 09:40

I’m hoping to use a pen name, which will probably be initials so people don’t know I’m female. It is depressing, but initials or men’s names as authors do seem to fare better. I don’t want to use a mans name so I think initials is the way to go.

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Zilla1 · 15/06/2020 10:16

Ella, you'll have thought already but if you want something less impersonal than initials, would an androgynous name for your culture work as well as initials? In the UK, Alex, Chris, Bobby, Pat, Robin and similar work. It's rubbish that some buyer's judge a book by the (author's name on the) cover but it seems they do.

It looks like there are options in most cultures/geographies -
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisex_name#In_popular_culture

I'd heard someone say they thought Robin Stevens was a man.

Good luck.

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