If you want to be an author, this is a question which you’ll sooner or later you’ll have to deal with. The name you choose might make a huge difference in the success of your body of work, even if you’re not aware of it, and the most important thing is that you should never change it. It’s your brand, for the long run, so you must choose wisely.
Nowadays, this is an even more difficult task, since you have to think about not only the name as it will appear in the published book, but also in social media and the increasingly fundamental website or websites that back it up. They will help you establish your own brand and they are quite important marketing tools.
So, choosing your author name might be a huge problem without a single specific and correct answer.
Three different platforms, three different names. Now, put them together.
According to Randy Ingermanson in his amazing advancedfictionwriting.com, there are 3 different situations you must think of, before choosing your name. Let’s think about each one of them.
Unless you want to use an alias, you probably are thinking about using your real name, even if you need to make some alterations to it. There are many names that are common, so if you’re using your first and last name, there is a big possibility of finding another author with the exact same name.
As much as you dislike it, this, usually, is not a big issue, unless we’re talking about an extremely famous author or if you both write the same exact genre. In these cases, you might consider using another name.
The name you choose to use on social media doesn’t have to be exactly the same as you use for your published books, but should obviously be related and clearly identifiable as being the same person. That said, you might change a few things that don’t make you go off-brand and remember, short strong names tend to work best on social media platforms.
There is another problem. You must have a website, as it’s quite important for your brand and work. In my opinion, for the website domain, you should have the same name that appears in your published books. However, that might need some adaptations.
It’s important for it to be easy to write, when you listen to someone mention it or hear it on the TV, without needing anyone to spell it out for you and without too much confusion between similar words.
After this, I’m pretty sure you have a lot to think about. Just pay attention at each of the things you must consider and try to find a good in-between that works for you. You’re a writer, think of it as another creative task and I’m sure you’ll figure it out!