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Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog “The Book Publicist”

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Authors: 10 Must-Have Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

 

“Not All Marketing People are Writers, But All Writers Must Learn to be Marketers.” – Joanne Kraft

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your BookIn the world of book sales and publishing, marketing is an important tool to get your book the attention it deserves. Having a solid and well written book is essential, but promotion and publicity will be necessary to get your book noticed in today’s competitive book market. Just as time is invested in the writing process, you’ll also need to invest some time and effort to promote your work.

Here are 10 tips, from my years of book publicist experience, to help you market your book:

  • Make your title work for you. It is no longer enough to pick a title that you like or that fits your book. The best titles not only sound good but are optimized for the internet age. Utilize my book, Book Title Generator, for a proven system to choose your best title.
  • Refine your elevator pitch and logline. Pitches and loglines help sell your work and attract the interest of publishers, editors, or producers. They encapsulate the story arc and themes in one to two well-crafted sentences. Invest time writing and refining your pitches. Practice delivering them with confidence and fluidity.
  • Establish your online presence. Make sure your audience can find you online even before your book is finished. Make a website and post blogs, articles you’ve written, and updates about your book. Utilize LinkedIn, Goodreads, Facebook, and other social media platforms to expand your audience and keep your work on people’s minds.
  • Take advantage of writer’s conferences to network and get feedback. Attending writers’ conferences gives you a chance to pitch your book, learn about publishing options and meet book editors, agents and book marketing specialists. If your book is not yet finished, these conferences are a valuable chance to get advice that will help in the writing process.
  • Make your book available for pre-order. Utilize the period prior to the launch date to generate buzz around your book. Promotion on social media can build excitement, attract attention, and get readers to pre-order your upcoming release. Some authors hold contests and promotions, or offer exclusive bonus content for pre-orders. Pre-order stats influence many things, from how Amazon and other retailers stock inventory to first week sales statistics.
  • Create an online launch team: Expand your reach by creating a launch team of folks who will back your book and promote it on social media. Send copies to bloggers or podcast hosts who might be interested in its content and willing to promote it. Family, friends, and coworkers may be willing to share content and spread the news about your book. The more the merrier when it comes to launch teams!
  • Enter your book in a book contest. It takes time, effort, and entry fee money to enter book award contests, but awards are invaluable for marketing. Awards create interest in your book, provide added credibility, and increase sales potential. A book award can give you an edge in reaching out to media, booksellers, and agents and sometimes that’s all the difference needed to propel your book into bestseller territory.
  • Activate your local media: In our internet driven world, it’s sometimes easy to forget about marketing opportunities closer to home. Don’t forget to get your local media onboard for your marketing efforts. Contact local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations to see if they’d be interested in interviewing a hometown author.
  • Get to know your local bookstore owners and managers. Local bookstores are the most likely place for readers in your area to encounter your work. The better you know the folks who own or operate those bookstores, the easier it is to ask them about hosting book release parties, readings, signings, author interviews, or book clubs.
  • HIRE A BOOK PUBLICIST. Marketing is a complicated and time consuming process, and a book publicist will utilize their experience and network of contacts to bring attention to your book. Author Adam S. McHugh says, “The work of promoting the book requires just as much work as writing the book, if not more so.” Putting this complex task into the hands of a professional gives you more time to do what you do best – WRITE!

At Westwind Communications, we have decades of marketing experience, partnering with authors of many different genres to get all the book publicity they deserve and more.TM

Bottom Line: Use these book marketing tips to promote your work, but remember that a professional book publicist will go the distance in coordinating and implementing your comprehensive marketing strategy.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Is there a strategy in naming your book? YES! Check out Scott’s new award winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at http://www.BookTitleGenerator.org

 

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM, SKYPE and FaceTime For Your Next TV Interview

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Communications

Ever notice how some people look great on a Zoom call? What’s their secret? In today’s era of COVID-19, media interviews that were once conducted in a TV studio are now performed on Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. This presents more opportunities for interviews because you don’t have to go to a studio but there are challenges as well. Are you ready for your up-close TV interview on ZOOM?

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM Interview

My personal Zoom experiences and discussions with several experts in this visual field have allowed me to come up with a quick list of tips to help you crush your next Zoom call. Without further ado, here they are:

Dress Appropriately

You don’t have to dress up as much as you usually do. However, your attire should not be down more than one level from what you typically wear in the office. If you normally wear a suit and tie, for example, opt for a nice blouse or button-up shirt.

Jess Todtfeld, former producer and media trainer also recommends you avoid white, black, and red, ensure your clothing is wrinkle-free, remove distracting jewelry, and dress as simply as possible. “TV viewers should focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes,” he says.

You are the face of your company, your school, your brand. If you normally wear makeup to work then you’ll need to wear it on a TV interview too.

Invest in Reliable Internet Connection

Chances are you’ve seen someone freeze on the screen during a Zoom session. To reduce the risk of this happening to you, a reliable internet connection is a must. If you’re in the middle of an interview and your connection freezes, a TV station will stop the interview and go to someone else. A hardline wired connection to your computer vs. WIFI can prevent this issue. In the event you must use WIFI, request that others in your home or office stay off it during your interview.

Be Mindful of Your Background

Your background during a Zoom call is important. Do your best to make it visually appealing. Add fresh flowers, a potted plant, a painting, or your book cover enlarged on an easel. Remember that people will be able to read book titles so there’s a good chance they’ll notice dust, dirty clothes, and other imperfections in the background. Don’t sit in front of horizontal blinds as this confuses the camera and may cause pixelation of the image. (vertical blinds are ok) Refrain from virtual backgrounds that come with ZOOM as they create distortion around your head and body. If you must use one due to a home office in a bedroom or hallway then buy a portable green screen so you can choose a beautiful virtual background that’s free from distortions. You’ll look professional and feel good too.

Do you have a ZOOM Room?

TV and radio studios have acoustically padded walls, ceilings and are carpeted. The sound is absorbed and is not ricocheting around giving that ‘hollow’ effect. If your ZOOM Room is like a racquetball court then you need a new location or to figure out how to deaden the sound bounce with carpet, acoustic tiles, etc. Wearing a lapel microphone helps too. This should be needless say but, keep dogs, kids, and the neighbor’s lawnmower out of sound range.

 Pay Attention to the Lighting

It’s essential that your face is well lit throughout the entire interview. If you’re in a dark room, use a circle light or lamp with a warm glow. Ideally, you’d be in a bright room with minimal windows. Excessive light may cause the camera lens to adjust when you don’t want it to. The cost is $50-100. I love mine and it’s really helpful on dark dreary days, late night or early morning interviews or when your spouse may need the living room light for reading!

Ensure the Camera is at ‘just a smidge below’ Eye Level

The camera should always be ‘just a smidge below’ eye level with you. Try your best to look at the camera instead of the screen at all times. Don’t let your eyes wander as this may cause others to believe you’re disinterested or disengaged in the interview. Put a little post-it note near the camera lens on your camera to remind you to ‘look at the camera’ not the screen.

If you are using the camera on an iPhone or other smartphone, place it on a tripod and be sure to turn off the notifications and the ringer or everyone on the call will hear them.

 

Use the Skype App

For best results when using SKYPE use the SKYPE App and not your browser. The reality is that the browser accessed version won’t run at optimal speeds and there’s a good chance your screen may freeze. Download the app on your phone or tablet and test it out in advance to make sure it works well.

Opt for Wireless or Wired Earbuds

Speakers on your computer are ok. But, if you want best results, get wireless or wired earbuds. They can enhance your sound quality and help you sound great on camera. If you use wireless earbuds, don’t forget to charge them completely before the interview.

 

Have a Glass of Water Handy

You can enjoy a number of benefits if you keep a glass of water by your side during your interview. Since talking a lot and being nervous can lead to dry mouth and throat, water can help you keep your vocal cords moist. It can also serve as a prop so if you’re asked a tricky question, you can take a sip of the water and give yourself some extra time to think of a good answer.

Don’t Forget Pen and Paper

With a pen and paper nearby, you’ll be able to jot down the reporter’s name, questions you may have, and anything that you’d like to remember after the interview. If you take notes on your computer, you’ll distract the interviewer so doing so the old-fashioned way is ideal.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Make sure you know how to work ZOOM, SKYPE, and Facetime and are comfortable with all of the options. Practice using all of these with friends and family. Don’t let your big interview on national TV be a flop because of some technical issue you could have avoided.

The Bottom Line: By following these tips, you can nail your virtual Zoom interview and meet your goals from the comfort of your own home or office.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers, and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Is there a strategy in naming your book? YES! Check out Scott’s new award-winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at http://www.BookTitleGenerator.org

 

33 Radio & Podcast Interview Tips For Authors From Scott Lorenz

33 Radio & Podcast Interview Tips For Authors

Interview Tips from Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

You’ve landed the radio interview and it’s time to get ready to actually do it. Now what? As a book marketing expert and book publicist, I have booked my clients on thousands of radio and podcast interviews. Here’s a list of tips I give to my clients prior to their interviews. Keep this helpful list of interview tips nearby and you’ll be glad you did!

  1. Go to a quiet room in your home or office; be sure staff and/or family know you are on a radio interview and cannot be interrupted.
  2. Since many interviews are on ZOOM, SKYPE as well as the phone, turn off other phones, cell phones and anything else that could create background noise including air conditioners, the radio… and the kids!
  3. Have a glass of water nearby; there’s nothing worse than dry mouth on a radio interview.
  4. Be on time. Call the station exactly at the time they tell you, or be at your phone waiting if the station is going to call you.
  5. Use a landline phone for best quality. If it is not possible to reach a landline then use a cell phone in a stationary location and not while you are rolling down the road! Do not use Bluetooth over the speaker system in your car.
  6. Disable call waiting: dial *70 and then call the studio number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.
  7. Do not use a speakerphone! It’s ALL about good sound quality.
  8. Be self-assured. Remember, you know your topic inside and out. Be confident in your ability.
  9. Smile, smile, smile, whether on radio or TV – SMILE. You’ll feel better, and for TV you’ll look better too.
  10. Put some pizzazz and energy into your voice. Try standing while you speak to liven things up a little.
  11. Research the show and tailor your message accordingly. Just Google the host’s name and station and check out their web site. Is it a national audience or a small town in Ohio? What is their format? Is it News/Talk, NPR or Classic Rock or something else? You need to know.
  12. KNOW exactly how much time you will have on the air as a guest, three minutes or 30 minutes…so you can tailor your answers to the time allotted.
  13. Practice your sound bites—out loud before the interview. Communicate your main points succinctly. Practice this out loud.
  14. Be informative and entertaining without directly pushing your book, product or service. Make the audience “want more.”
  15. A kind word about the host can go a long way. It’s good manners and good business.
  16. A person’s name is sweet music to them so commit to memory or jot down the name of the host and use it throughout the interview. When taking calls, use the names of callers too.
  17. CALL TO ACTION. Have ONLY ONE such as “Buy my book at BookTitleGenerator.net” That’s it. Don’t mention your Twitter handle, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram people will barely remember your name or book title. Don’t make it impossible.
  18. Be careful not to slide into techno-babble, jargon or acronyms that few know about.
  19. Never talk down to your audience.
  20. Be respectful of the host because everybody starts someplace. Today they’re interviewing you from a college radio station; in a few years they could be a nationally syndicated host.
  21. Don’t Oversell. Remember you are on the air to provide useful information to the listening audience. If you are an author or selling something, limit yourself to TWO mentions of the book, product or service. You must make it interesting without the commercialism. It takes finesse but you can do it. Often times the host will do this for you and you won’t need to mention it.
  22. Think of a radio interview as an intimate conversation with a friend and not a conversation with thousands.
  23. Radio interviews require verbal answers, not head nodding or uh-huhs. Hand gestures don’t count in radio either.
  24. Radio will often use interviews live and later cut them up for use throughout the day giving you more airplay. So keep your answer to a 10 to 20 second sound bite. You can say a lot in that amount of time and then you don’t sound like you are babbling on. Don’t go on more than a minute without taking a break.
  25. Don’t just answer questions. Tell listeners something you want them to know, something they wouldn’t know unless they were tuned in, with the promise of more of the same when they buy your book.

  26. Have three key messages. Short, not sermons. Sometimes the host opens the door, other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. A compelling message will have the host asking for more. Usually, people can get in two key messages; the pros can get three.
  27. Lazy hosts open with a lame: “Thanks for being here.” Boom! Give a :15-:20 sec summary message. If the host introduces you with a question, be polite, deliver your summary message, then answer the question. “Thanks, (use name), for the opportunity to talk about….Now, to your question (name)…”
  28. Maintain a Positive Attitude. BE GENUINE OR TRANSPARENT. Don’t fake enthusiasm or sincerity. If you’re in a bad mood cancel the interview. Don’t pretend to know stuff you don’t.
  29. Re-read the press release or pitch that got the booking since the host is going to be using that as a starting point. Often a book publicist such as myself, will tie into a breaking news event that relates to your expertise. Be aware of that tie-in.
  30. After the interview write a thank-you note. Since so few people do this, you’ll really stand out from the crowd. And most importantly, you may get invited back.
  31. Whether the interview is live or taped-live, if you stumble, or flub up just keep going. Often what you perceived as a mistake, the listeners won’t even notice.
  32. Ask for an MP3 of the recording before the interview. Often if you ask ahead of time the producer will record the interview and then you can use it on your web site. If that’s not available get the link to the station’s recording and Tweet about to your followers and promote it on your Facebook page. Be sure to listen to it later and critique your performance.
  33. Listen for the testimonial. Sometimes the host will say something complimentary, “You have a fascinating story Mr. Jones.”  Use it in your marketing.  Or you can actually ask for a testimonial.  Often that MP3 will arrive with a note from the host saying how much they enjoyed the interview, or that “Scott Lorenz was a great interview, he really kept our audience engaged,” or “the phones rang off the hook when Scott Lorenz was being interviewed.” You can use those testimonials in future pitches and on your web site, blog etc.

As a book marketing firm, we’ll prepare our clients with media coaching or if need be training with a media trainer. We’ll also submit questions to the radio host ahead of time and include those in our press kits emailed to the stations. Often the radio host will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. We do this to help the host in case they’ve not had a chance to read the book, and to help direct the questioning.

Make sure you know your own material inside and out and are comfortable with everything in it. You are the author of the book, or the press release and they’ll ask you, “What did you mean about this or that?” You need to have the answer. You don’t want any surprises.
The Bottom Line:  RELAX, you’ll do fine. The butterflies you’re feeling are what will drive you to do your best! Just follow these helpful tips and you’ll be a radio interview star!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. He is the author of the award-winning ‘BOOK TITLE GENERATOR’ a must-read book designed to help authors title their books.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at: http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com

Book Title Generator Reveals My Proven System for Creating the Best Book Titles

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Book Marketing

Book Title Generator is the one book every author should read before publishing their book.

There’s an old saying that fisherman use—“You have to hook ‘em before you can cook ‘em.” The same holds true for book titles! Picture yourself walking through a bookstore where book spines resemble wallpaper or scrolling through endless titles on Amazon or other bookselling websites. All too often those few words in a book title are the difference between further interest, and a sale, or getting left out in the cold.

Book Title Generator

That’s why I wrote a book laying out a proven strategy for crafting a buyer grabbing title. Book Title Generator makes sure the painstaking work writing a book will get that all-important final touch, a winning title worthy of publication.   I created a multi-prong strategy by urging the use of high-tech tools, researching bestsellers by genre and choosing the vital “title keywords” which get a book ranked on search engines and Amazon. Having seen and experienced the pitfalls of book marketing, I wanted Book Title Generator to usher one through the reality maze of numbers, alliterations, idioms, keywords and everything else I know must be considered in your quest for the perfect book title.   I chronicled how a number of famous books began with poor titles and how, with a new title, they rose to prominence. As a student and lover of book titles with three decades of book marketing experience, I wanted to impress on the reader the vital aspects of shepherding your book towards bestseller status. I designed Book Title Generator for authors and publishers as a surefire method to uncover that coveted, memorable, and winning book title!

http://www.BookTitleGenerator.net  Watch the book trailer here: https://bit.ly/BookTitleGeneratorTrailer

“Book Title Generator is an indispensable, first-rate adjunct to the art of writing—and selling—your book.” —Dr. Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Hall of Fame Reviewer, 5 Stars

“I get HUNDREDS of books a year from hopeful authors. The title has to catch my attention or I pass. If I were an author I’d read Book Title Generator.” —Chris Cordani, Executive Producer, Money Matters on WABC-AM, New York, 5 Stars

“Authors owe it to themselves to ‘turn-every-stone’ to make sure they have the best possible book title. It’s critical to the success of any book… unless you are already famous… then it doesn’t matter.” —Mike Ball,  Erma Bombeck Award-Winning Author, 5 Stars

The Bottom Line: Do not name your book before studying Book Title Generator.” Take advantage of my hard-won knowledge by knowing all the rules in what is now a high-tech game. Get one over on the competition by starting out ahead.

Jess Todtfeld about Book Title Generator

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.   Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below.  Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Authors – Want to Create a Pen Name ? Here’s How to Do It

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Create a Pen NameA rich tradition has existed for hundreds of years for fiction writers to use pen names. You may be surprised to learn that some authors have more than 10 pen names. Here’s why pen names have been and continue to be widely used: Many authors believe that their name can affect how their audience sees them and even affect their book sales.

One of the most famous pen names, of course, was Samuel Clemens who wrote under the name Mark Twain. Another well-known one is Lewis Carroll, which was used by Alice in Wonderland’s author, Charles Dodgdon. He gained a considerable reputation as a mathematician and didn’t want to create confusion by writing fiction under his real name.

Nora Roberts, is a pen name used by Eleanor Marie Roberts. Nora Roberts’ name has regularly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List since 1999. Since her first best seller in 1991, Nora’s books have spent 1,045 weeks on the Best Seller List. Believe it or not, that’s equivalent to 20 consecutive years of weekly bestsellers.

In 1992, Putnam Publishers asked Nora Roberts to come up with a second pen name because they could not keep up with the prolific writer’s romance novels let alone the new genre of romance suspense novels she wanted to write. So she took the initials J.D. from sons Jason and Dan and shortened Roberts to Robb. She also has written under the pen names Jill March and Sara Hardesty.

Whether you call it a pen name, pseudonym, non de plume, alias or AKA, you are creating a new persona that’ll need care and feeding!  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

One of my book marketing clients served as a Navy Seal in the Iraq War and then returned to write a book about his war experiences.  To protect his personal safety and maintain security for his family, my client wrote under the pen name Chuck Bravedy.  The author was concerned that extremists living in America would be offended and angered by his controversial book and come after him or his family.

The fact that Bravedy’s name was “not in the phone book” raised some attention from the Pentagon who called me to inquire about Chuck Bravedy because they did not have his name in their files. The Pentagon was concerned because they want to keep phonies from impersonating military officials.

Since the publishers of JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, were unsure if the preteen boys that she was targeting would accept wizard stories that were written by a woman, they encouraged her to use her initials instead of her real name, which is Joanne Rowling. The “K’ in JK came from her grandmother’s name Kathleen and she’s been known as JK Rowling ever since.

Known as one of the most famous comic book writers in the world, Stan Lee’s real name is Stanley Martin Lieber. He initially decided to publish under Stan Lee because he thought he would eventually transition to more serious work and wanted to use his real name when and if that time came. Once he realized that he was destined to stay a comic book writer, he legally changed his name to Stan Lee.

If you’ve ever read the popular children’s series, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions, you probably know that the author is Lemony Snicket. Believe it or not, his real name is Daniel Handler. He decided to go with Lemony Snicket because he wanted to anonymously contact right-wing organizations. Handler first came up with the Lemony Snicket pen name while doing research for his first novel, The Basic Eight. He needed to contact right-wing organizations for the book, but he didn’t want to give them his real name. So he called himself “Lemony Snicket,” and the moniker stuck.

One client I represented, who asked my advice about using a pen name, was a former CIA operative. He was concerned about the impact a pen name would have on promoting his book. He wondered whether radio and TV interviewers would be willing to use the pen name during an interview or would insist on using his birth name.

Some CIA friends of my client also had published books and used their real names without problems. To cover his bases while he decided, the former CIA officer went ahead and registered web domains under his real name and under his pen name. After talking with him about the options, my client decided to use his real name.

I also have represented authors who used a pen name because they had a past they were not proud of and wanted to protect their family members and loved ones from public embarrassment.

From a marketing standpoint if your real-life identify is associated with a business and you want the book to promote your business or vice versa, then a pen name should not be used. But if you have success, and don’t want that success threatened by pursuing an avocation of writing, then a pen name would be in order. Pen names may create marketing challenges, most of which can be overcome, and so the marketing implications need to be examined before publishing.

Reasons for using a pen name include

  • To avoid embarrassment
  • For personal safety or security
  • If you write under more than one genre
  • If your name is hard to pronounce or spell
  • If your name is not marketable
  • If your name conflicts with the name of another author
  • To hide gender (a male writing in the predominantly female genre)
  • To avoid confusing readers if you are well known in another field

If you want to hide from the public and from people you work with or worked with, etc., then a pen name is fine. But, if it’s not important, why bother? So, my vote is to use your own name. Here are just a few points to ponder.

  • Use real name if you are not trying to hide from anyone.
  • Use a real name to brand your name for speaking gigs or consulting assignments
  • Use real name if you are planning to write a series of books
  • Use real name so acquaintances can better locate your published works
  • A real name builds trust and confidence amongst readers
  • It’s far easier to brand a real name than a pen name
  • Expertise is validated by an individual’s real-life experience
  • Long-term loyalty with readers is easier to build with a real name

Here’s some interesting information I’ve obtained from librarians and employees at book stores. Is there a popular author whose work is similar to yours?  Why not select a pen name beginning with the same letter as that author’s name? Since most books are filed by genre and then the author’s last name, selecting a pen name with the same letter puts you in close proximity to their books.

Someone searching for that author could ‘stumble’ upon your book and decide to take a look. Radio stations have done it for years by selecting their location on the ‘dial’ nearby other highly rated stations so they could benefit from the proximity of that popular station. Crafty? Perhaps but do you want to sell books or not?

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

  1. http://generator.chucklehound.com
  2. https://anadea.info/tools/online-business-name-generator
  3. https://www.dotomator.com/
  4. http://www.naming.net/
  5. https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator
  6. https://namestation.com/
  7. https://namesmith.io/
  8. https://www.namemesh.com
  9. https://businessnamegenerator.com/
  10. https://www.netsubstance.com/

The Bottom Line: If you want to brand your name for speaking gigs or for consulting engagements then use your own name. If you plan to write in multiple genres or are concerned about safety and privacy then get a pen name.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist