What’s in a Name?

What's in a name_4

Apparently it is not always about the talent that you have but just the name that you possess.  By now most of the literary world knows that J.K. Rowling (famed writer of the Harry Potter Series) has written a book under a pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, called ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’.  Now this book was released in April of this year and it received positive reviews, however, it didn’t do so well in the sales department.  I’m sure it wasn’t what J.K. Rowling was used to.  Of course that was before it was ‘accidentally’ leaked that the true author of the book was in fact J.K. Rowling.

Now the book has sailed to best-seller status and number one on the Amazon for hardcover and ebook.  We all know how talented J.K. Rowling’s writing is and while her name does carry a lot of weight, she actually has the talent to back it up.  But when that same talented writer wrote a book under another name, a virtual nobody, no one was looking for the talent, but rather a name that they could recognize.

Proof that you can be the most talented writer but if no one knows who you are and your name hasn’t become a household name, then you  have almost no chance (I said almost) of making it as a successful novelist.  It’s a little disheartening to be a writer who hasn’t quite made it yet and have that fear hanging overhead that you may not get there simply because no one knows who you are already.

So what that means for all of you unknown authors or one’s who have not yet made the best-seller’s list (that includes me) is that you have to start getting your name out there, even (and preferably) before the book that you are writing comes out.  If your name is already buzzing all over the internet and people already know who you are and already are tuned in to the talent that you have it gives you a head start to that best-seller’s list.

Talent is no longer everything that you need to make it.  It’s about how well you can sell your product, how much people want to read what it is that you have written, and yes, about whether your name means anything to anyone.  So to answer my question in the title of this blog post, what’s in a name, the answer is….EVERYTHING!!!


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”





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3 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?”

  1. I agree that name recognition is a big part of success, to the point that some writers can just churn out books without worrying too much about quality, knowing that they’ll sell just because of the name on the cover (I’m looking at you, Dan Brown).

    But even J.K. Rowling and Stephen King were nobodies once, too. Everyone starts with zero name recognition and has to build up. Getting known on the Internet can be a help — especially if you can do a blog tour with successful bloggers or get recommended on Good Reads. But for your book to keep selling there has to be something there people want to read. It might be a great plot, it might be engaging characters, or it might just be sex. Ultimately, though, I think good writing still matters more than anything. Self-promotion is important, but not to the extent that you spend more time on blogging than on editing.

  2. J.K. Rowling is also a pen name. I made up the name while working on ideas for Harry Potter. “Malfoy” is an anagram for “of Amy L”…and that is me.

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