Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I don't reject this notion out of hand. It's possible my penname is a handicap. Possible. But I have author friends who have old-fashioned names (whether their own or a penname) and their books sell like hotcakes.
I also have a couple friends who believe certain of my books should have been published under an entirely different penname as they're not very erotic, with most of the story focusing on the plot. It's also possible they are correct in their assessments.
There are difficulties inherent in multiple pennames. One is recognition. What little bit of recognition I've won under the penname Anny Cook has been hard fought. I quail at the thought of starting over with a new unknown name. At this point it would be difficult-to-impossible to split my published books and establish not one, but two new pennames: one for the erotic romance stories (since Anny Cook is not sexy enough) and another for the unsexy romance stories (since Anny Cook already has a reputation for writing sexy books).
I suppose I could write the sexy stuff as Blazing Anny Cook and the tamer stuff as Nanny Anny Cook. That way I could retain the name recognition while sending a strong message about the content. Eventually, I would no doubt just be referred to as Blazing or Nanny. But I could bear up under the weight. I'm a strong woman. Never mind the strong part.
I. Am. Woman!
I have this vision sometime in the next century of being rediscovered in an obscure dusty digital file. Some academic has done a thesis on the Two Faces of Anny Cook--Blazing vs. Nanny--Who is the real Anny Cook?
What do y'all think? Do sales depend on the author's name? Can a clever penname make a bestseller? And is a penname reboot worth the recognition loss?
Blazing Nanny Anny Cook...