Choosing a Pseudonym

Joe Hardensniffer.

No. No one would take a ‘Joe’ seriously.

So, I’ve got something like 6 years before I’ll have the cash to push out a single self-published title. Yes, I could put it all on a credit card, but I’d like to NOT do that if I could help it. $1500 per book is a lot of cash that I won’t might not get the return on in terms of sales in a  quick enough manner to pay that off, and I’d like for this venture to NOT adversely affect my family.

But funding is for another post.

Right now, as I slowly plug through my various manuscripts and read my research books (I should really post the books I’ve read in the name of Research on another PAGE, just so I have something else to talk about.), and ponder deep thoughts about finishing version 3 edits of Manuscript X BEFORE doing a load of laundry or AFTER (This is serious, people – I have 2 kids and a husband. Undies don’t clean themselves.), I’m still kicking around Pseudonyms.

Gillian Watt.

No. That just sounds weird.

I like the idea of a name that means something. For a while I thought about Polimathes for a last name. The fact that I have a lot of interests/hobbies fit well until I pondered (there’s that word AGAIN) on the meaning of Polymathes/Polymath.

A super genius like Ben Franklin or Da Vinci I am not.

Some people sagely advise aspiring authors that when choosing a pseudonym, one should peruse the bookstore and find the books that you enjoy reading, the authors that inspire you and the titles your books are most like, then, with a cold and calculating mind, come up with a name that would sit your book right next to theirs on the shelf.  This can be a very sound strategy for advertising in a brick and mortar store, but when self-publishing, your algorithms tend to be different, because chances are slim that you will see yourself in a brick and mortar store unless you become frighteningly famous, and Amazon and other engines for ebooks don’t just run on the alphabet. “Avoid the ends of the alphabet, hard to spell names or the obviously aged ones. (Joan or Vera are dated names, and Aloyious, is as well, with the added complication that most people can’t spell it and would have a hard time pronouncing it, although it does have originality on it’s side because of how old it is.)

Rachel Wellington.

Too long and it sounds stuffy.

I’ve gone to name generators for Ideas:

Star Wars Name Generator

LOTR Name Generator

My Little Pony Name Generator

Another Star Wars Name Generator

Harry Potter Name Generator

Hunger Games Name Generator

I’ve come up with  a few results like Theta Inchcape, Rowena Tremlett, Lars Yasouc, Stardancer, Nwrylan Stonehelm, Samra Galev, Dearka Weaver. There were a few names like “Peppermint Swirl” and “Peach Sprinkles” and “Oss Elessar” before I admitted that investigating various online name generators is perhaps not the best use of my time for a thoughtful post such as this. But some of the names are still pretty cool. And it did get me thinking – “Oooooo … I never thought about that.”

Rowena Weaver.

Too many “w’s.”

I’ve looked at baby names until my eyes cross. I’ve searched the lists at the Academy of Saint Gabriel for medieval or just cool sounding names. I’ve looked at random objects surrounding my writing area and thought about the random objects or favorite objects a major protagonist of mine would have and find precious (Scarf? No. Chatelaine? Definitely no. Books? *groan*) and all that’s done is remind me that I’m missing my favorite watch, I’m not entirely positive where my storyteller ring is (I found it – I put it where I wouldn’t forget about it.) and there’s a toothpick staring at me.

Should I use my initials? Should I snatch the name of my 4th grade substitute teacher who initially inspired me to write?

K.W. Peyton.

Looks like I’m writing American Western fiction.

I have an idea about the romance line, but I’m hemming on that one because I’m worried I’ll get sued by those who actually HAVE that family name (to be fair, there aren’t that many “Deloreans” in the world). And I think I know what I want for my fantasy line. I put it together about a year ago – ish, and I’ve been muttering it to myself and having imaginary conversations with the name. Does it sound natural? Does it feel awkward to say? Can I spell it consistently every time? Can someone else sound out the name and slap the syllables into a search engine and come up with something close? Well, yeah.

Which is a lot different than half of my kids schoolmates. I get that parents want their kids to have something unique because each child is a snowflake, but seriously? Vynsent? Aydyn? Ollivette? Ok, that last one might be someone’s grandma and we all know how many kids get named after relatives. This being said, looking at the names in my kids’ classes made me think I was in some kind of bizarre world in which people were trying to look Gaelic or something, but not doing a very good job of it. I’m surprised I haven’t come across a child named Aloyious yet.

We had an easier time picking names for our own kids than I am trying to figure something out for me.

Perhaps I should revisit “Weaver” again …


About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
This entry was posted in self-publish, Writer and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Choosing a Pseudonym

  1. rolandclarke says:

    Strange that you mentioned revisiting ‘Weaver’ because that isn’t my name – I just use mt name. Anyway, I saw the name Dearka Weaver and felt that was the right one, especially for a fantasy writer.

    Good luck and thanks for visiting my page.


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