When creating your own brand, my advice is to keep your brand consistent. For instance, my brand is Kristen Lamb. ~ We Are Not Alone.
At some point, each new writer must make a decision about which name is going to appear on the front cover of their books and stories.
These days, once you commit to a name, this becomes synonymous with your brand. Every little digital step we take these days gets linked to and adds incrementally to our brand. This is why we need to choose wisely where our writer’s names are concerned.
We don’t want to have to do the spadework all over again to build a new brand if we have to change name somewhere along the way.
For many years, I couldn’t decide which moniker I was going to use as a writer. Luckily, I was on Facebook, and I stumbled across Kristen Lamb. She had written a book in 2010 on social media for writers, We Are Not Alone, ‘The Writer’s Guide to Social Media.’ This book is no longer available in the original format, as it needed updating. I believe the updated version Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World is available now.
It was 2011. I was new to the net. I was simply a full time mother who wrote part time. I was everyone’s poor cousin. Unpublished, at the time, I had neither a blog, nor a newsletter, website, or any of the must-haves for the modern writer. I was just starting out into the jungle of the strange and mysterious world of social media, and the whole thing seemed rather intimidating and scary.
After purchasing a copy of We Are Not Alone, Lamb’s short yet impactful book, I read it in one gulp. I must admit, I went rather “Shelton” and adhered to Lamb’s principles to the letter.
With regards the subject of author names, pen names, and author brand, Lamb advocated thinking in a broad fashion across one’s social media platforms, and seeing for oneself the value in having one name, one brand, across all platforms. ‘Just because Twitter allows you to have multiple identities doesn’t mean it is a good idea, especially if you are unpublished.’
This felt like a wise decision and the simplest, to choose a writer’s name that I would use across every social media platform.
I considered the idea of letting go of my surname and using Yvette Carol, my first and middle names. I remembered a conversation I had had about this subject with my grandmother about a decade before. At the time, I had asked Nan for her opinion on which pseudonym I should choose.
Nan said, “While I would love to see the family name on the spine of a book, up on the shelf, I think ‘Yvette Carol’ sounds more like an author.”
I felt the same way. It fitted the criteria in Lamb’s book, and most importantly, it felt like me.
I changed my name by deed poll and committed to it across all genres and all areas of my life. It really felt like taking control. Being bold. And making a statement on the internet, as in, ‘This is my name. This is my claim.’
When it comes to choosing your writer’s name, what criteria can you use?
Make sure the words are punchy and memorable. Usually, you want to test how it sounds by saying it aloud a few times to find out how it flows.
As Lamb said, ‘In order to maximise sales, your goal is to become a brand. Brand=Big Sales.’ You want to think catchy. However, shorter isn’t necessarily better. Just ask Arnold Schwarzenegger! He stayed true to his name.’
Kristen Lamb put it perfectly, when she said, ‘The internet has valuable real estate that you will want to command. How you claim that digital real estate is by using your name.’
Lamb’s second key bit of advice re choosing the name to go by for an author was to consider what product or genre or style they wanted their name to be associated with. Then, you market yourself that way from then on. Hence, the reason my blog and website are titled, Yvette Carol, Children’s Writer.
Thank you, Kristen for the great advice!
In a nutshell, your writer’s name is designed to be pithy and memorable
It’s designed to reflect you and your brand.
It’s designed to be flexible, so you can ‘be consistent across all platforms’
It’s designed to be classic, to last forever.
How did you find your writer’s name or do you use your given birth name?
Talk to you later.
Keep on Creating!
Yvette K. Carol
Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that. ~ Lewis Carroll
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