So some of you may or may not have noticed, but there is another Leigh Michaels out there. She writes romance. When I first got started, this kind of threw me a little, but I figured that since our genres were so different, it wouldn’t be a problem.
Now it seems to be becoming a problem. Not so much a problem for my readers; they know where and how to find me, and they know what I write. And I’m fairly certain no one who already knows me is confusing us.
However, I’ve found that on quite a few smaller distribution sites, my books get automatically listed under her name along with her books. (This also happened on some major sites initially, such as Barnes & Noble and Goodreads, but I was able to get those straightened out.) The first time I noticed, I thought, “well, maybe that will just mean free exposure for me.” But now it’s getting annoying.
I’m considering adding a K. to the beginning, and becoming K. Leigh Michaels.
My thoughts on this are many and multi-faceted. First, if I’m going to do this, it should be now, before I put any more work out there, so that I have fewer books to make changes to. The changes themselves won’t be difficult; I’ve already looked into changing all the digital editions and it’s quite simple and shouldn’t take much time at all. The most difficult changes will be to the print editions of my books, as I will essentially have to start over (though all the “hard” work is already done) and create new editions with the new author name. If I decide to do this, there are a couple of other changes I intend to make, such as the size of the trade paperback, and using my own ISBN numbers so that I can distribute paperbacks more widely. Obviously I would want to make all the changes at once to save myself work and hassle.
Then I think, maybe I just need to let it go and take the free extra exposure. Obviously on all the major sites, the books are listed under my account/profile; those small sites probably don’t have very much traffic, much less that any of that traffic is going to pay any mind to my book anyway.
What do my fellow writers think? Am I blowing it out of proportion? Or should I seek my own identity and brand direction?