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Mon nom de plume and What I Would Do Differently

14 Jul 2008

Writing is my deep, dark secret.  Well, not really.  Just thought that line would catch your attention.

Anyway, I work in an old-school, male-dominated industry where writing romance novels would not be to my advantage and I have no desire for family members to know what I do on the side.  Since my real name is very distinctive, when I contracted my first book, I used a pseudonym.

My pen name is made up of a variation of my middle name and a close friend’s first name.  It’s easy to remember and to spell.  I didn’t put much thought or effort into it.  (If I had, I would’ve chosen something else because there’s a motivational speaker and author named Anne Bruce and her web site pops up right under mine in Google, and some jerk is sitting on annbruce.com so I had to settle for annbruce.net.)  For the most part, though, I can live with it.

If I had to do it over, however, I’d do it differently.

  1. Make sure the .com domain is available.  A lot of people assume my web site is http://www.annbruce.com and have linked to it.  It’s a pain in the rear to contact all these web site owners and ask them to correct the address.
  2. Don’t choose something similiar to another author’s name.  Mix-ups happen.  And using Norah Roberts might get you sued.
  3. If you write erotic romance, a stripper name is NOT a must.  In fact, I would advise against it.  I read erotic romance, but if the author’s name is cartoonish or amateurish, I’m going to assume the book is the same and pass.  And I have come across books where I didn’t know what was the title and what was the author’s name.  Sad or scary, take your pick.
  4. Unless you’re Madonna or Usher, using a single name is rather pretentious.
  5. If you’re not too picky, choose something high up in the alphabet.  When you get listed on other sites, be they publisher sites or blogs or writing organizations, it’s usually in alphabetical order, so you want to be as close to the top as possible.  Abigail Aaron would work, except, to me, this sounds like the name of an inspirational romance author.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 14 Jul 2008 12:44 PM

    Sometimes I wish I’d decided to use a pen name. Right now, for instance, both of my grandmothers have copies of DANGEROUS TO TOUCH. And about a dozen of my other relatives. It’s so embarrassing. Like handing them naked pictures of myself.

  2. 14 Jul 2008 4:49 PM

    As long as they don’t ask embarrassing questions, you can pretend like they don’t know about it. And I’d say picture them naked, but since they’re family, that’s kind of ick.

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