- Quick teaser message from your President Connie Johnson Hambley @ConnieHambley and your Social Media Lady (me! Nico… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 1 week ago
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- Had a great Member Reads this past Sunday via Zoom! Got to hear some new works, some published works, and met some… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 2 months ago
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Category Archives: Social Media
No one ever said pulling together a story with complex characters, an imaginative plot and artful descriptions is easy. There are times where the process is downright mind-numbing. Like last week. I was in the middle of a scene. I … Continue reading →
Edith Maxwell, here. I needed to create a pen name, a pseudonym. I am fortunate enough to suddenly have contracts for two different series. My current Local Foods Mysteries contract stipulates that I can’t publish a different mystery under my real name (or any name resembling it) during the term of the contract. Kensington Publishing doesn’t want the competition, I guess. I agreed to the clause.
But Barking Rain Press is going to publish Speaking of Murder, the first in Speaking of Mystery series with Quaker Linguistics Professor Lauren Rousseau, this fall. So I had to come up with another name, and it was a lot harder than I had imagined..
My late father, Allan B. Maxwell, Jr was a big writer but not a published one. He nevertheless had a pen name he was fond of using: R.J. Nalla. Clever. Pronounceable, spellable, and with logic behind it: Allan Jr spelled backwards. Somehow I don’t think LLewxam Htide is going to really catch on with readers. I wish Daddy were still with us so I could ask for his ideas.
So I went looking for guidelines on creating a pseudonym. Jamie Hall’s essay on the topic made a lot of sense to me. Besides a name that is pronounced and spelled unambiguously, it should also have the following characteristics:
- Be short (you hope you are going to have to sign it dozen of times in a row).
- Be toward the front of the alphabet, so it’s shelved at eye level in a bookstore or library. Of course, with ebooks this loses all relevance.
- Have the URL/domain name available.
- Have few or no existing hits in an Internet or Facebook search.
- Be available as a Twitter handle.
- Be a name you aren’t going to mind responding to.
- Sound like the gender in whose voice you wrote the book.
- Preferably have a two-syllable first name and a one-syllable surname.
That’s a lot! I was also hoping to work in some kind of family name. Lots of people already call me Max, but I think that a male-leaning name doesn’t fit with the voice of my book.I thought of Ruthie or Maxie, but while the book is a traditional mystery, it isn’t a cozy, so those didn’t quite fit. I’m not really interested in using initials instead of a first name, either.
I wanted to come up with name I was happy with so I can start building that “brand” — web site, FB page, new photo, and so on (a somewhat exhausting prospect, frankly). Avery Aames did it for her Cheese Shop mysteries, and admirably, successfully (she also got a separate picture taken), so I know I can, too.
Because my protagonist is a Quaker (I am, too), I started looking into old Quaker names for women. I found a few I didn’t care for, and then I saw Tace. Ooh. I liked that. And it’s certainly unique on the Internet. I decided on Baker for a last name, since it fits the easy-to-spell and front-of-alphabet criteria. And there we have it. I registered the domain name, took out the Twitter handle, and when I find a corner of free time, will set up my Facebook Author page. I just hope I can direct enough readers from Edith to Tace and back.
What about you? Have you created a pseudonym? Is it working for you? If not, how have you felt when you discovered an author you like was operating under a hidden identity? What kinds of names attract you or turn you off?
by Julie Hennrikus I heard the moans, and saw the reactions on my Facebook feed. Timeline is here. This blog post offers some tips on taming timeline, and so other resources. All of you should have a Facebook page at … Continue reading →
Twitter is just one of numerous social media tools that writers and authors can use for marketing. Here are a few reasons why it’s a good tool to consider: It’s free The learning curve is short You can follow people … Continue reading →
Like many of you, Sisters in Crime is figuring out how to navigate social media to support our members, and our organization. Next Saturday (January 28) we are hosting a workshop with Shawn Nicholls to talk about social media for … Continue reading →