Yes, I’ve discovered the secret to becoming a successful author. It’s not what you think. Doesn’t have anything to do with talent, luck, timing, a good agent, a good editor, knowing somebody who works at Random House, fate, destiny, karma or a good cover.
Are you ready for this?
It has to do with YOUR NAME. More specifically, YOUR INITIALS.
Simply write your books using the initials of your first name and middle name. In other words, if your name is Nancy Olivia Thing, your writing name would be N.O. Thing. Maybe that’s a bad example, but you get the picture.
If you don’t have a middle name, make one up. It worked for a U.K. author named Joanne Rowling. Her publisher figured her target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman, and asked Joanne to use two initials, rather than her full name. She came up with ‘J.K.’ Good advice, as it turned out, seeing as Joanne became a multimillionaire in five years.
If you don’t think two initials is adequate, use three, like John Ronald Reuel — or J.R.R. — Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings. Or use your first name and then your two initials, like George Raymond Richard — or George R. R. — Martin, author of A Game of Thrones. Names beginning with the letter ‘R’ seem to be a particularly good bet, especially if you write fantasy sagas.
“But I don’t have three names,” you lament. Who cares? Pick one from a hat and use it. In my first example, adding one more name — Nancy Olivia Winnifred Thing — becomes N.O.W. Thing. Much better.
Now that I’ve discovered this secret, I’ll be using my new name from now on — Nancy Elizabeth Lauzon will be N. E. Lauzon. I know it reads ‘ANY’ Lauzon when you say it, which implies that ANY member of my husband’s family might have written my book, but trust me, no members of his family could have written it. Some of them don’t even read.