That is the question. As an aspiring author, I have been for over a decade toying with the different names that I could potentially use as my pen name, pseudonym. What is a good author name?
Across the globe writers have and probably right now someone somewhere has a pad with a list of potential names they want to use. I have done this, I even went as far as to post the list on to my Facebook page. Just to see which names I had come up with gained enough likes, to help me pick one. The funny thing is I still haven’t finished and currently I am nowhere near finishing the first draft of my book.
You have a number of authors that use their real names like Stephen King, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Dan Brown, Neil Gaiman , Clive Barker to name a few.
Now some peoples names lend themselves to being used as an author name. That is down to a name that can stand out or be one that’s easy to remember. Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman stand out from most names not just the caliber of their work, Stephen King, Dan Brown are easy to remember but have also sold millions world wide, just like the others and many more.
Some authors use pen names probably due to them not liking their name, maybe they want some form anonymity, keeping their writing world away from their private life. Here are some that like to step away from their real names, Anne Rice, Anthony Burgess, George Orwell, Sidney Sheldon and P.L.Travers.
Using the last one of the list I have just given leads me into authors that use initials, here is a few of the top of my head C.S Lewis, C.S.Forester, E.L.James, J.K.Rowling. J.R.R. Tolkien. Now these authors have used their real names but just as initials, now without using Google I bet you couldn’t state what the initials stand for.
Some authors have published other books under another pen name, this list has Dean Koontz, Stephen King, J.K.Rowling. All because they wanted to write something that is a complete departure from what they have previously written. Also they wanted the story to attract people not the name of the author who had written it.
I have also come across authors using the name anonymous as their pen name. Is this lazy or clever (as I like to think ). Does your author name help with marketing? J.K. Rowling originally was going to use Joanne Rowling, but her agent thought that it would alienate her book from young boys, so she used K (Kathleen after her paternal grandmother). This then created an air of mystery as to who had written the Harry Potter books.
So back to the question I stated at the beginning of this blog (my first ever blog as well), what is a good author name?
I have pondered all the above while I came up with my list, do I use my name given to me from my parents. Or do I step away from that name and use something completely different. I had a list of 5 names that I posted on Facebook, which went as follows..
Aaron D Small
A. D. Small
Dave Robbins Jr
Other names were suggested to me but a majority of people liked the name A.D.Small. So after years of deliberation I am going with the A.D.Small, I am taking a leaf out of the book from the likes of Rowling, Tolkien, Lewis. Let’s hope my story can be good enough to put me up there with them.
Till next time…