Thursday, October 13, 2005

Name Dropping

We have been told with all seriousness that We Might Not Make It, if - on top of everything else - our eager faces are unremarkable. Here's something else to quiver your liver.
What. About. Your. Name?
Do you need a memorable Name to ensure your success as ficflogger?
Will an interesting Name somehow shave those odds that depend on factors beyond your control, like timing and subjectivity?
Now before you say Rumplestiltskin and rush off to pseudonymously correct your Mary Smith, let's look at the names of recent Top Twelve best selling fiction writers:
1. Diana Gabaldon
2. Gregory Maquire
3. E.L. Doctorow
4. Jennifer Weiner
5. Robert Parker
6. Neil Gaiman
7. Dan Brown
8. Elizabeth Kostova
9. Candace Bushnell
10. Clive Cussler
11. Zadie Smith
12. Robert Hicks.
Only three have a double-barrelled, completely forgettable, there's-a- million- in- every- phone- book names. On the other hand, all have a certain rhythm or alliteration. All are pronounceable.
Does that tell us anything?
I doubt it.
Book buyers might remember simple names as easily as more exotic ones. They can be contrary, that lot.
This question of publishing ephemera was brought to you because of Annalee Blysse who posted somewhere below. Such a pretty name, both verbally and visually. She writes romance. It seems to fit...

3 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, there's a reason my pen name is Gabriele Campbell.

Gabriele Röder isn't a name any English speaker could spell, pronounce, or remember. :-) There's a second reason, though, and that has to do with the stupid attitude of some academics that if you're not Umberto Eco, you better don't write academic essays and fiction. I want to keep my two careers (did I just use the word in connection with my writing? LOL) separate.

Bernita said...

Wise, I think.
"Gabriele Campbell" has a nice cadence.

Annalee Blysse said...

:) Thanks. You mentioned being pronouncable. That's why I wanted a pen name. My own name is a mouthful. So I chose that name from a few generations up in the family tree.

RE: that list of authors... I recognize most of those names, yet haven't read any of them. I think that is partly because their names. Well, not Dan Brown or Robert Parker. I think I have a Robert Parker in my family tree too.