I am a writer, and I hope to be a published writer someday. Maybe even a well-known writer. Or at least a writer with an ongoing career in the business. The problem is my name. You see, there are at least two other writers I've heard of with the name Laura Hughes. *cue panic attack*
How can I stand out in the world of publishing if I'm constantly being mixed up with those other Laura Hughes writers? Not to mention the artist, the physician, the web developer, the actress, and the several dozen other Laura Hughes-who-are-not-me who turn up in a google search. I can't even stand out in a FREAKING GOOGLE SEARCH?! Yikes!
Well, I thought innocently, I can always publish under my maiden name. It's certainly not a common name. Herbenick. You likely don't know anyone by that name, unless you maybe heard of my sister, Debby Herbenick. It's not entirely unlikely. She has a Wikipedia entry AND an Amazon page. And no one would EVER mistake her books for mine. She writes nonfiction, and her alter-ego is The Sex Professor. So.
So I googled Laura Herbenick. I found a few references to myself, and a gajillion entries for Debby. At least there were no other Laura Herbenicks to confuse me with. But who knows me by that name? I've been Laura Hughes for more than 15 years!
I must have been a little slap-happy, because for a whole three minutes I considered publishing under the name Mittens Morgul. Ahem. I don't think so.
|This is actually Mittens Morgul. No, kitty doesn't write.|
I hope to someday have an agent, and I'm sure this is the kind of thing that they will help me decide. In the mean time, is your "real" name so common that you're considering publishing under a different name? Or have you already done that? Did you choose a pseudonym for another unrelated reason? Why? What would you do in my shoes?
A. Keep your real name. It's my name, and I don't care who else uses it.
B. Use the maiden name. No, I swear we aren't getting divorced, sweetie.
C. Pick another name entirely. Yes, that really is me. See? That's my picture on the back cover! No, I don't look that good today because I don't pay a professional hair and makeup artist to spruce me up every day. YES FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, I SWEAR THAT'S REALLY ME!