Apparently. But should you? There’s an author who publishes on Amazon called Stephen King. He isn’t the Stephen King who we know and love though. The four short books of his that I noticed all have two and a half, or two star average ratings overall. One of them has over two hundred reviews. All four of them are being lambasted, but all of their rankings are high, so they’re consistently selling well and have been for quite some time. This writer is obviously quite happy to take the flack while making money.
Many of the outraged reviews sharing that this isn’t the “real” Stephen King would make you wonder why people would keep on buying it. I nearly bought it though. Certain authors like King and Terry Pratchett I always just grab when I see one that I don’t have in my collection. It was only because the cover was so bad that I scrolled down to the reviews. I also don’t read these books as soon as I buy them. Generally they hang about for months in my Kindle – I’ve got some that have been lurking unopened in there for years, so returning them wouldn’t be an option. I could see where such a deception could lead to me posting my first ever one star review.
I’m pretty sure that Amazon wouldn’t let anyone use Stephen King as a pen name, so I’m assuming that this writer really does own that moniker. It must be a fairly common name. He’s not doing anything illegitimate if that really is his name, but I wonder why anyone would want to purposely sell his books knowing full well that readers think that they were written by someone else. And then just carry on doing that after hundreds of complaints. I don’t see any glory in that. When the other Jo Robinson’s books occasionally get added to my lists, I always request that Amazon remove them. I don’t want to reach readers by hanging on to the coat tails of an already very successful author. Slow and steady is good enough for me.
The minute there’s a breakout success, thousands of writers latch on and try to emulate the bestseller. The thing about breakouts is that they are in some way unique. They challenge, inspire, are relatable, or in some way emotionally moving or funny. Carbon copies of them might possibly give a reader some pleasure, but it will never be the same as the original. We need to be our own breakouts. If we believe in our work there is no need to think for a moment that tricking readers into thinking that we’re the real Danielle Steele will lead to anything but rage, just because we have the same name. E L James did manage to luck out by piggy backing Twilight, but that’s a one in a million kind of thing, and a whole other can of worms. Write what you write, follow your own star, and be proud and brave enough to make sure that readers see the real you.
Author Presence: Your Brand Name
In my previous Author Presence article I discussed About.me, it’s importance, it’s various categories and some advice about what to do when setting your account up.
Choosing Your Brand Name
Your name is the best thing to use across all of your social media if you are an author or a blogger wishing to create a brand. Yes, you are a brand waiting to happen. So pop your top, let that fizzy goodness sound and get ready to drink success.
Picking your blog name, even if not your own name itself, needs to be something you are willing to actually say out loud to people. Think about it. “Oh yes, my Twitter handle is Cheetos Fingers, Mr. Top Literary Agent Ever.” Or perhaps you have something even less appropriate that we won’t get into.
Today is about determining what your Brand Name will be. Yes, I have advised it should be your name. Some use the name of their books or the main character in their books.
How to determine a Brand Name even if not Your Name:
- You need to Google or search with some search engine the name you want to use. If you are wanting to have the website Ronovan.com, it’s not happening because I own it. So even if your name is Ronovan, you can’t use that. Yes you can use your full name, ronovansmith.com but you need to search. Search all aspects, even Twitter. Just because your name is Ronovan Smith does not mean you are the only one out there and using Twitter. Research.
- Don’t stress over this. Take your time. Pick your top three or five or however many you would be happy with BEFORE you begin the search. If your name is say . . . John Smith you might want to try johnsmithauthor.com or authorjohnsmith.com. Google it. By the way, those two are apparently available.
- You then use that everywhere. That is your Brand. You might add something to the end of it for whatever like when doing promotions. AuthorJohnSmith.com Books or BookSigning or T-Shirts. Yes, you might look at trademarks and copyrights as well, but you have your presence started.
- Also setting up a widely used Brand Name will help with Search Engine Operations (SEO). The more your name appears on posts, articles and anything that goes up on the internet the more and more you will rise in the search engine, I’ll call them lists. Basically the more you are searched and the more you put out attached to your name on the internet the higher in ‘ranking’ you will appear on things like Google. In other words, your name gets closer to that first page of the search results.
- Also if you have a Series then THAT can be a Brand Name to use as well. I already have sites saved with the name of future series.
To Do Today:
- Determine your Brand Name
- If just beginning your Author Presence then set up an email with that Brand Name that is dedicated to your professional life. Even if a veteran of social media, do this as well. You will be doing a lot of signing up for various things and you need to have it in a place that is for your business.
- If you do the email, you can go ahead and go to WordPress.com and grab that Brand Name as your blog name. We will be venturing into the Blog life next, but in a slow way. I will give suggestions for ‘Themes’ to use. A Theme is basically the layout possible for your site along with colors and other options. There are plenty of sites out there to tell you how to do this but I am going to do it anyway with an Author in mind. So the Blog is optional today.
As always, remember . . .
Read a Book, Write a Review.
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