Kindle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My book out right now is under J.J. Oxendine, my married last name. It is a psychological suspense novella. However, the book I am currently working on is going to be a full length romance novel. I am debating on using a pen name for this genre. I read somewhere that readers prefer writers with names that are easy to pronounce and easy to spell, making it simple to remember. Do you think this is true? Do you think this hurts sales or makes it difficult to brand yourself if the last name is long and hard to say or do you feel this has no bearing on it at all if the writing is something they like? Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Personally, I think Oxendine is a very memorable name. I'm pronouncing it just fine in my head (although I might be pronouncing it wrong, but does that matter? It's in my head and being pronounced in some way!).

It's your call whether you want a pen name or not, but I find Oxendine pretty simple to remember. Its unusual enough to stick out, which I think  is a good thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,554 Posts
This is a problem I have often had to wrestle with . . .
but I have heard of actors who had to change their names from a more "difficult" one to a simpler one . . . Woody Allen, for example.

It may be true for romance novelists, too.

I also wonder about initials: would it be okay to have a first name that is just 2 initials?  I'm curious to see how others respond to your post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I originally wanted something to stick out and thought about going with my name, Erin and my maiden name, Edwards. There are a ton of Erin Edwards. That is why I went with my middle initial doubled and my married last name, Oxendine. My sister often picks on me and calls me OxyClean LOL. I just often wonder if it is too difficult for people to remember or pronounce but maybe not. Will see what others say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
I don't think there's anything too weird about Oxendine.

I do confess that I can't ever remember how to spell Justine Larbalestier's last name.

*double checking...* Ha! Finally got it right.

It can be a pain when you are trying to search for her blog or her books or on Amazon for her, but usually I get enough in the ballpark that the trusty google figures it out for me. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,554 Posts
KGorman said:
Personally, I think Oxendine is a very memorable name. I'm pronouncing it just fine in my head (although I might be pronouncing it wrong, but does that matter? It's in my head and being pronounced in some way!).

It's your call whether you want a pen name or not, but I find Oxendine pretty simple to remember. Its unusual enough to stick out, which I think is a good thing.
On second thought, yes, Oxendine is nice and unique . . . why not stay with it?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,562 Posts
The simpler, the better is a good rule of thumb. Especially when relying on word of mouth. If readers cannot remember how to say or spell your name, how can they pass you along? (I know there are other ways. The title, for example.) Imagine yourself a reader talking to a friend.

"I read the best book the other day."
"Do tell, my friend. What was it about?"
"Penguins and unicorns finding a stash of salty peanuts while on a trip to the beach."
"Really?! How original. Who wrote it?"
"It was by some fellow named Shcclkwihgsdkhbs or some such."
"Oh? How do you spell that?"
"It's spelled Schdckjsgeklll."
"Let's see. That was S c h d k r m s p?"
"Yes, that's it."
"I'm going to look him up. Sounds interesting."

On the other hand, I've never heard Oxendine before, though it doesn't seem very difficult. I can tell you this, however, my mother would never, ever be able to remember it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I get the point you're making, and sometimes
have that exact problem due to a rare name that's similar to a usual name, but yours is fairly unique and it seems like it'll be simple to pronounce and memorize.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,154 Posts
This is something I have continually wrestled with: continue to publish under my real, not so easy to remember, name or adopt something easier (ie see last book in sig) to spell and remember.

Wish I had an answer. All I can say is my books under my real name outsell my one psuedonym by a lot. Would these be even larger had I a last name like Smith?  Who can say?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
If they can't pronounce it when asking for your book in a bookstore, or spell it well enough for Amazon's search feature to find it on their website, yes, it will be a problem.  I'd change it to something simpler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yes, people being able to spell it enough to search for it on Google or Amazon concerns me. If they can't spell it, will they bother to research it? Just thoughts to ponder...thanks for the varying view points. At the same time, if I want to have a different pen name for the romance genre and keep J.J. Oxendine for suspense, that may be good route to go. Keep it separate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,648 Posts
It's fine. I glanced at it once, and I can easily type it into another window.

My first name is problematic, though. People usually type Dayla instead of Dalya. The fingers type the words "day" too easily.

Oxendine.

easy!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,088 Posts
Dalya said:
It's fine. I glanced at it once, and I can easily type it into another window.

My first name is problematic, though. People usually type Dayla instead of Dalya. The fingers type the words "day" too easily.

Oxendine.

easy!
I think "Oxendine" is the perfect author name: easy enough to spell/pronounce, yet unique. Then again, you're looking at someone who went with "Mills." ;)

Sent from my LG-VS700 using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,809 Posts
Brendan Carroll said:
The simpler, the better is a good rule of thumb. Especially when relying on word of mouth. If readers cannot remember how to say or spell your name, how can they pass you along? (I know there are other ways. The title, for example.) Imagine yourself a reader talking to a friend.

"I read the best book the other day."
"Do tell, my friend. What was it about?"
"Penguins and unicorns finding a stash of salty peanuts while on a trip to the beach."
"Really?! How original. Who wrote it?"
"It was by some fellow named Shcclkwihgsdkhbs or some such."
"Oh? How do you spell that?"
"It's spelled Schdckjsgeklll."
"Let's see. That was S c h d k r m s p?"
"Yes, that's it."
"I'm going to look him up. Sounds interesting."
Story of my life. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,637 Posts
Many years ago when considering my author name, I read many articles that said keep it short and easy. More specifically it said 3 syllables or less. That's why I trimmed down my 'real' name to just 2 syllables. You'll find Kay Bratt on my marriage certificate in some form, just not that neat and tidy. It's worked well for me and I honestly think the majority of my sales comes from word of mouth. And if that is the case, you don't want to give them a mouthful.

;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Your name is original and memorable.  I see no problem at all with your name.  My given surname is known widely enough that I didn't want to use it as my professional pen name.  My strategy for choosing a pen name was to find something instantly memorable yet 100% distinct from any other name.  I ended up choosing a very common surname (Moore) with a most uncommon first name (Pearson, which is actually a last name and the name of one of my favourite Prime Ministers, Lester B. Pearson).  I Googled Pearson Moore, found no one in the world with that name, and that's how I decided on the name.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,299 Posts
I like the name Oxendine. It is very memorable and marketable.

I was trying to do some research on an author with a very common name the other day. As I was searching, I found there was more than one author with the same name. There was also about a gazillion non-writers with the same name. I was only able to find her after going back to look up a title to one of her books, and doing a search on the title plus her name. Then I had to weed out all the pages that were selling her book, and eventually O found her blog.

With a name like Oxendine, your readers will NOT have that problem!  ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,285 Posts
Your name is awesome.

As for google searches with wrong spellings...

My last name is pretty easy, but people are forever (as in, 90% of the time) spelling it wrong. No, the name is NOT Jensen, Jenson or Janson, and I get pretty annoyed about it. I mean, what is so [expletive] hard about Jansen?

Funny thing is that people google me under those wrong spellings and still end up on my page. If I google my name, I am pretty much the only person in the world active on the internet with my name. There are a few others, but they don't have much of a presence. If your name is Edwards or Brown, you're going to get lost in the deluge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
I've wondered if I should change my name. Not only is it not as memorable as Oxendine, but a few other people (a golfer, a singer) have it as well.

However, I managed to get the domain name, so I'm probably going to keep it.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top