One of the great things about attending the RT convention is that not only do you get to mix and mingle with your favorite authors and attend superfun costume parties — there’s also a bevy (yes we said bevy) of informative workshops on every facet of the publishing industry. For example, on Wednesday, May 13, at 1:15 p.m., you can attend the “What’s in a Name?” workshop with Renee Daniel Flagler (aka Nicki Night) and Lutishia Lovely (aka Zuri Day) to learn the ins and outs of taking a pseudonym. We caught up with them to get a preview of what they have to say about this hot topic.
Why should attendees come to your workshop?
Many authors question whether or not to write under a pen name. This session will give reasons for why a pseudonym can be beneficial and times when it may not. We will discuss why different names (brands) work for different genres, for instance, and offer effective strategies for marketing, growing, maintaining and strengthening brands under various pen names. We will also highlight the difference between using a pseudonym and having a persona and the advantages/challenges of both.
What one thing would you most like attendees to take away from your workshop?
Smart and fun tips for effectively branding your pen name along with a cool, effective and memorable pen name or two.
What’s the most important thing to remember when taking a pen name?
* Make it easy to spell,
* Make it easy to pronounce,
* Make it memorable.
As branding becomes more and more important, how has the role of the pen name changed?
Authors used to be able to hide behind their pen names, but these days audience engagement and development is vital to an author’s success. Taking on a pen name in this climate requires much more than putting a catchy name on a book, you have to be ready to take on the presence/personality of that pseudonym and engage your audience as the voice (and sometimes the face) of the person you’ve created.
Be prepared to …
Get out of your comfort zone, put on your creative caps and think about expanding your brand to its limits. Never thought of writing in another genre for fear of disappointing current readers? What about another voice? First person vs. third person? Maybe an inspirational writer who’s got an erotica scribe hiding in the closet? Or a steam punk junkie dreaming of life in 2095? All of these possibilities lie just behind a new pen name.