Wednesday, 20 April 2011

What's in a name?

Today, while having a Facebook chat with writer Sue Welfare about her new book "A Surprise Party", which I'm really looking forward to reading and reviewing, I asked her why a writer writes under a different name?  Me being me, thought Gemma Fox, Sue Welfare and Kate Lawson were three different authors and I was a bit confused!   This is Sue’s answer : 
How long have you got! It's a bit of a nightmare really!! I started to write a Sue - my real name - I wrote for several years as Sue Welfare and had a good following, with six titles published.  Then we had a new marketing person come in who thought we could up my profile by changing my name - hence Gemma Fox (this name I really didn't like which is a pity as some of favourite books were written as Gemma).

The thoughts behind it were that Welfare sounds like it is made up and has slightly odd connotations, and when the promotions are over my books vanish down into the murky depths of the ‘W’ s on the shelves, where people just don’t browse. Unfortunately the week we launched our Gemma, a singer called Gemma Fox also made her debut – so if you Google Gemma Fox it isn’t my books you get by the other Gemma’s latest album.

Then Avon (a division of Harper Collins) suggested we work together and we decided to rename me again – which was how Kate Lawson was born - and then my lovely new editor Sammia Rafique suggested for this book we go back to my own name and so I’ve come full circle.

Only problem is at the moment my website is still as Kate Lawson – !! ( – So a bit of a nightmare as I said!!

Hope that hasn't bored you rigid - it's frustrating as, as Sue Welfare first time around I was beginning to get in the best seller charts and stuff and I think we lost lots of readers with each of the name changes - but hi-ho!!
Interesting answer I thought and as an avid reader, it's not something I've ever thought about before.  Thanks so much Sue for sharing that with me. 

I'd love to know from you other writers out there whether you write under a different name and if you do why?  If you don't, is there a reason why?  If you can share your reasons with us, that would be great.


1 comment:

Chris Longmuir said...

Just shows marketing people don't always get it right. If you have a success as a brand name, it seems to me to be crazy to change it.