CHOOSING YOUR AUTHOR NAME
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, Shakespeare wrote, but what author name do you want to use for your books? You may not have chosen your birth name, but you do have a choice when it comes to choosing your author name.
As I was reminded of when listening to this excellent podcast on Metadata for Authors over at the IngramSpark website, you want to be consistent in how your author name appears on your books, your websites, your blog pieces, and in any publicity you do as you build your author platform and following. Do you want to use your middle initial or full name? This could be advantageous if you have a common name or if there’s another author who has already established herself as Franchesca Millhouse. Believe me, you might think you have an unusual name, but when you Google it, you might find—well, not so much! Who knew there was more than one Francesca Millhouse (or whatever your name is) in the universe and she’s all over the Internet and just wrote a book?
Once you have chosen your author name, stick with it. Buy the URL. Secure the dot com of your name and any variations on your name if you can. A dot com is still the preferred website address. It will cost you probably ten or twenty dollars to reserve your name’s URL for a couple of years. Invest in the likelihood that you will use this website address/URL. You don’t have to worry about hosting services or putting up your website—at least, not for the moment.
So whether you are known as John Smith or Francesca Millhouse, when choosing your author name, do a little research, think about what version of your name would work best for you, and grab that URL.
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Nancy Peske is a ghostwriter, developmental editor, and book publishing consultant who has done editorial work on books including bestsellers and award-winners for over 30 years.