How to choose an Author name.

Posted on 2009-02-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I want some input on selecting my name for publishing novels.
I wanted to use my real name but have several options.

Should I use:
-Initials (eg JK Rowling)
-Full name (eg Joanne Rowling)
-Short name (eg Jo Rowling)

I have heard mixed reports about all methods, I just wanted some observations and comments.

(Obviously my name is not that listed in the above examples).
Question by:Rartemass
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Personally, I'm going to have to say initials and last name. It just seems to be the style of doing author names these days. However it also depends if that form rolls off the tongue nicely. If it was.. JG Quintersonalis.. It wouldn't sound too nice, in which cause they'd probably prefer "JG Quin." Author names are sometimes fake to protect their own identity while allowing them to publish their thoughts and stories, I'm sure you know this since you're looking into how to publish your name. I would say, it really depends on how your name rolls off your tongue in your own opinion, but I'd go for the initials or a shortened version of either the first name or surname. Full names might just put someone at risk someday, haha.
    LVL 62

    Assisted Solution

    by:☠ MASQ ☠
    Talk to your publisher, unless there is a good reason for not using your real name then it's just a question of the form.  the JK Rowling example is a great one - the publishers inserted a fake middle initial to try to add gravitas to the sound of the name.
    LVL 18

    Author Comment

    Thanks Zilous, my initials are AJ, and my surname is a common english one, so that "rolls off the tongue nicely."

    Masqueraid, there is no reason to hide my real name that I can think of.
    The genre I'm looking at going into is Sci Fi/Fantasy.
    I'll also be looking at thriller/horror later down the track. As it's a different genre I may need a pseudonym when publishing those books.
    LVL 17
    One reason for JK Rowling to use initials was that her stories were considered more likely to have appeal if they were written by a man. The initials made it easier to hide that she was female until she became well known.
    LVL 31

    Assisted Solution

    I think Zilous' comment regarding form that "rolls off the tongue" is very valid. I read a book a long time ago (that actually had to do with naming babies) that a good sounding name never has more than three syllables in any one name and that if you hum it, it should create a pleasant tune.
    LVL 18

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for your comments. I decided to go with initials.

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