Last week, I browsed through many, if not hundreds of blogs. All excellent, mind you. Why is that? I wanted to reacquaint myself to those following me who I haven't visited in a while. Some stopped blogging - I wish them well and hope to visit upon their return. Some still blog and I can pick them out of a live crowd. Then there are others ... well, as I went through my feed, I couldn't recognize some of them until I clicked out their site.
Is this worth bringing up as a concern for aspiring authors? I think so. Prepare for a mind-blown!
(This might be a sensitive topic - just know that I'm only throwing, what I think, might be a helpful suggestion)
It was at LTUE last year when I had a conversation with Amber Argyle. We talked blogs. Mine was on the web for about two years with little/no traffic and 50 (awesome) early members. It was time for a change, so I shared some possible titles, like The Cosmic Laire: The central HUD of David Powers King. You know what she said?
"What will your name be on your book cover?"
I was like, "Uh ... David, Powers, ... King?"
She nodded. "Your name is your brand. Go with it."
For serious? This never occurred to me. So, my book isn't my product? My fiction novels aren't my brand?
Ever see books where the author's name is as big (or bigger) than the title? Is it any coincidence that these happen to be best selling authors? If The Firm had anyone else's name but John Grisham on it, would as many people buy it? Hard to say, but it makes sense!
Titles change, but authors stay the same. Do you want people to remember your book title, "cute-named" blog, or online alias, or do you want them to remember your name on your cover (and, hopefully, future covers)?
Then again, my name was in the blog title before, as a subtitle. From a design aspect, The Cosmic Laire was more important than my name - my brand. That's why the blog is named as it is (with room for improvement).
Every time you post, comment, or bake virtual donuts for online book tours, you leave behind a signature. Over time, it all adds up. People see it in their feeds. The more you blog, you will remember someone's name more than "Quill Pens and Puppies" (I made that up).
The same goes for your profile picture. If your followers can associate your brand with an image, great! Ever look for a product that someone asked you to buy, by name, but you didn't know what it looked like? Yeah. Not always the funnest of Saturday shopping excursions.
The more people see your online presence, your brand, the more they remember you, and the more willing they are to read you, learn about you, and maybe follow you (and maybe stalk you, but that's for another post).
Then again, you might be new to blogging and would rather not make a mistake that can compromise your brand before it takes off. That's fine. Do what you must, but consider opening up and letting people in when you're ready (and about to land that book deal).
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This is not the rule, just my thoughts on the matter. What's in a name? In the book industry, everything (or a good chunk of it). I have nothing against a cool title for your blog (in fact, lots of great bloggers do this, as a subtitle, after their name). You can find examples here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
There are also those who have successfully divided their brand on their pages, such as this blogging giant.
On the flip side, some people have aliases and still have a successful online presence (over 1,500 people follow my online alias), but then, when your book is published, and your real name is on the cover, will your brand translate? I'll leave that in your court to decide.
Do you think the name of your blog really matters? Is it nerve-wracking to put your name out for all to see?
I'm The Cosmic Laire ... err, I mean, David ...