Monday, September 13, 2010

What’s in a Name?

Quite a lot it would seem.

I am cursed with both a first and last name that is moderately common but not spelled in the usual way. Thus no one ever asks how do you spell that, and they don't check to see if they have it correct.

That was never a problem for me: I didn’t really care and it didn’t much matter if it was spelled incorrectly now and again. That all changed when I became a writer. Particularly in the world of computers where the correct spelling is essential. My name is my web page and my e-mail address. It is how you find my books in online computer stores, which seem to be quite unforgiving to any slip of the keys.

This came home to me this weekend. Following a link from another web page, I happened upon my forthcoming book, Negative Image, in the Amazon Kindle Store. By that bestselling author Vicki DelanEy. It was all by itself, as of course it had no relation to that other author Vicki Delany. Any search for me, by name, wouldn’t find it, and a search for Negative Image brought up the hardcover, with no link to the Kindle version.

I dug a bit further around the Internet and found that all the audio versions of my books at B& are by that other wonderful author VickY Delany. Same story: Looking for me, you ain’t gonna find her.

Hopefully this will all get sorted out in the next couple of days.

Speaking of Kindle. I also discovered that Amazon has released Negative Image on the Kindle two months prior to release date. That will be shut down in the next couple of days, so if you want to buy the Kindle version, and you act really fast, you can get it waaay ahead of anyone else. Click here.

One thought about Kindle and other e-readers. I have been debating whether or not to buy one and have decided at last not to. I spend an enormous part of my day on the computer, sitting in my little office all by myself. I find visiting bookstores relaxing and enjoyable and usually come home with some treasures. So, as long as book buying is something I do as recreation and for pleasure, it’s paper for me.


Rick Blechta said...

I think the issue here is to be vigilant. Nearly everyone misspells my family name. It's a source of discussion every time a few Blechtas get together: what new mispellings have you come across. (My worst was Mr. B. Lichatta.)

But in line with my blog posting last week, this is just another thing that we authors have to do: cruise the Internet to make sure the online retailers, reviewers, etc. don't have screwed up information on our works or names. Even if you have a common name with a common spelling, somewhere, someone will have keyed it in badly.

If it's Joe Blow's Internet book list, that's no big deal, but if it's Amazon or Barnes & Noble, that is something that needs to be corrected tout de suite, as you've pointed out!

Which reminds me...

John said...

Vicki, if you have enough money you could go out and register websites in all the misspelt versions of your name which then redit=redt to your "real" website then when readers tried to find out about Vicky Delany or Vicki Delaney then they would find you. On the subject oif e-readers my daughter has a Nook and that would give you the best of both worlds because when you take your Nook to a Barnes and Noble store it links wirelessly to the store and downloads specials and other news so you get the tactile joy of visiting the bookstore and the ease of carryiong thousnads of books in a small package.