The Journal: Use Your Author Name

In today’s Journal

* Thank You
* Topic: Use Your Author Name
* Of Interest

Thank you to the generous person who searched the Monroe Country Public Library in the Florida Keys for books from StoneThread Publishing. And thank you again for apparently uploading so many STP books to the search results and recommending some of them to the library. What a wonderful thing to do!

If you have identified one of my books that you would like to read, I’d be happy to send you a free book. Just email me at and let me know the title and the format you’d like.

Topic: Use Your Author Name

In today’s “Of Interest” are links to two articles on marketing and author promotion. The first article encourages the use of bookmarks and business cards and “swag” of various sorts to hand out in person.

The second article, for which I first posted a link yesterday, provides up-to-date tips for marketing online. You know, in the modern world. I linked to it again today for comparison and because you might not have read it yesterday.

You, of course, may choose either method or mix and match from both.

A Very Brief History

I used to hand out bookmarks, magnets, pens, etc. but I handed out the last one at a writers’ conference in the late 1990s. With the relative expense of having the bookmarks and promotional items printed and with their propensity for zeroing-in on the nearest trash can, I decided handing them out wasn’t cost effective.

I do still have a short stack of business cards that I hand out if a reader specifically shows interest. The card is straightforward — no cutesy BS or unnecessary flash — and it presents the basic information the reader wants: my name, the genres in which I write, the URL of my author website, and my email address.

But there’s a problem: Since the opportunity to hand them out to readers who are actually interested in my work presents itself so seldom, I never carry them.

Then yesterday happened.

I submitted to labs (fasting, ugh) for an upcoming routine appointment with my doctor. As the vampire nurse drew a couple of test vials, she asked what I do for a living.

“Novelist,” I said.

Her eyebrows arched. “Really? Cool! I’m an avid reader, and I especially love ebooks. Do you make ebooks? Where can I find your work?”

Of course, I didn’t have a business card with me.

I almost said, “Oh, you can find my stuff anywhere: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble….” But to me, that’s always sounded both like bragging and more than a little dismissive. And I don’t want to send the message that I’m either a braggart or dismissive of either the reader or of my own books.

So I grinned and gestured toward the paperwork she was filling out. “Next time you’re around your computer, just go to my name dot com and you can see everything I’ve written. In fact, if you see something you like, email me and I’ll send you that short story or novel free. Just let me know what eformat you want.”

“Really? Cool! What’s your email address?”

I nodded. “Same thing. My name, but this time at”

And before you ask, if she hadn’t had my name already in front of her on office paperwork, I’d have done the same thing: “Tell you what, write down my name.” When she finds a pen and paper, I spell my name for her, then say, “Just add dot com for my website or at gmail dot com for my email address.” Grin. “Easy, right?”

And that’s the whole point: “Easy, right?”

Why make up some silly thing for your website and email address? If you use your name, or at least the name that appears on your books, you make it that much easier for the reader to remember you, to find your work, and to contact you. Nothing’s better than that.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Speed Dating and Swag” at I still pass out business cards now and then.

See “Author Avanti Centrae Leaks Top-Secret Marketing Plans” at

See “Time of Great Forgetting” at

See “Bring on the ladies…” at If you’re interested in genealogy, especially see PG’s take.

Disclaimer: In this blog, I provide advice on writing fiction. I advocate a technique called Writing Into the Dark. To be crystal clear, WITD is not “the only way” to write, nor will I ever say it is. However, as I am the only writer who advocates WITD both publicly and regularly, I will continue to do so, among myriad other opics.