Monday, June 20, 2011
Q & A 186
Say you intend to publish under your initials. You are told, repeatedly, to query under your real name and worry about your pen name when you have an agent offering. So you query with your full name and list your website, which is your initials plus last name (dot) com. It appears that no agent is actually visiting your blog (counter), even the ones who have asked for fulls. You assume they are Googling your full name and finding nothing. All the agents scream, "Have a web presence so we can Google you. Because we WILL Google you." So you have a blog and a twitter account with followers, but the agent doesn't know it. ("Ted Smith writing as T.K. Smith" seems to raise the pen name issue that is "unwise" to raise this early.) Any suggestions?
There seem to be a few misconceptions here. First, the main reason to have a web presence is not so agents can Google you. It's so your fans can Google you, contact you, pretend they're your friend, become obsessed with you, threaten your life, etc. Also, so you can spend hours of every day blogging, tweeting, and refining said website instead of writing.
Second, the fact that your counter remains at zero doesn't necessarily mean agents are Googling your full name instead of going to the url of your website, which you provided. It could mean they're not Googling you period, possibly because they have no interest in your web presence until they've decided they want to represent you.
Third, I've always heard that the main reason to query under your real name is because that's the name the massive checks your agent will be sending you will be made out to, and unless you have a bank account under the name Laura Dupont Danziger, which you don't, because Laura Dupont Danziger has no social security number, you want those checks made out to the much more boring Abby Crum, who actually exists. However, if your name is Ted Smith, and your initials are T.K., your bank will happily cash checks made out to T.K. Smith or Ted Smith or Teddy Smith or Theodore Smith or any other version of your name, as long as you endorse the check the same way it's written and produce a picture ID. So the way I see it, you're worrying about nothing. You can tell your agent you go by TK, and never inform her that your real name is Ted if you consider Ted a bit embarrassing (which it is, especially if you write manly adventure novels).
Posted by Evil Editor at 7:13 AM