Pondering a Change

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?

13 comments for “Pondering a Change

  1. March 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I know I’m reading this late and just arriving to the party. I have no experience at all, but I tend to agree with adding the K. to your name – especially, if the other person gets a bad review and it somehow shows up in your space. Plus K. Leigh Michaels sounds very classy 🙂

    • March 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      I appreciate ALL feedback :-). Thank you!!

  2. March 22, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I’d say go for the new name. it will take care of this situation once and for all.

    • March 22, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you! This seems to be the consensus. I’m so glad I threw it out there instead of just stewing over it :-).

  3. March 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    I was already familiar with Leigh Michaels before I knew you. I would be concerned with people purchasing and leaving bad reviews because they thought they were purchasing the other author. I’ve seen that happen with books of a similar title and people aren’t very nice. They blame Amazon, usually…but still…the bad review sucks. There are half a dozen books titled The Orphan Train…one just happens to be a best seller, and people who made the mistake of buying another weren’t nice, even though it was their mistake. Same with Gone Girl. I think if there was something I could do about it, I would. An author initial would be the easiest (though not easy) fix. I don’t think you are overreacting. If my name was Stephen King. I think I’d call myself S.C. King. There is an S. K. Nicholls who is a guy with a horror blog and I pray he never publishes under my name.

    • March 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Ah, now that is a really good point that I did not even think of. Thank you! It’s nice to have validation that I’m not overreacting. I think it will be a bit of a pain to change, but I’m seeing that I was right to think it will be worth it. Thank you so much for sharing your input! It’s valued!

  4. March 22, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    You deserve to be known for you.

    • March 22, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      Thank you. I need help weighing the work against the benefits.

      • March 22, 2015 at 7:16 pm

        (And all the input is really helping me with that!!)

  5. March 22, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    It’s definitely a good idea to get a different name to avoid confusion. As time goes on, both of you having more books out can really be a problem. Many people wouldn’t realize you’re two different people too. Initials are a good way to go.

    • March 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      Thank you for your input. This is where I’m at with it too, but need to make sure I’m not overreacting.

      • March 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm

        Think it happens more often than we realize. The positive thing here is that you can do a name change.

        • March 22, 2015 at 6:47 pm

          I suppose that’s probably true. Thanks for helping me see the positive. I sometimes need help with that lol.

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