Sunday, September 8, 2019

Books, Sites, Blogs: What’s In A Name?

I recently skimmed a book.  Hello My Name is Awesome:  How to Create Brand Names That Stick, by Alexander Watkins.  It’s a book being promoted by the PR firm that I work for.  It occurred to me that some of its contents are applicable to authors – what they name their publishing or consulting company, and what they name their website, blog, or book title.

It reminds me of when my wife and I wanted to pick the perfect baby name for our children.  We had a bunch of rules and filters, including:

·         It had to clearly express gender – nothing ambiguous.
·         It can’t be rhymed with a curse or tease word.
·         It needs to be easily spelled.
·         It should sound strong.
·         There should be no confusion with another similar sounding name.
·         It can’t have a dual meaning.

Of course we ruled out names of people we didn’t like – former girlfriends, boyfriends, bullies, nerds, etc.  We wanted to be unique, but not weird.  I went through a phase of wanting to use former president last names as a first name, like Carter, Clinton, or Taylor.

But, I digress. Let’s talk authors and what they need to think about when it comes to naming stuff connected to them.

Some things to consider:

·         It should relate to your genre.
·         Short is better.
·         Think of what images are to be associated with it.
·         Is it searchable?
·         Does the name reflect what you are all about?

Watkins says a really good name has these elements:

"Suggestive - evokes something about your brand.
“Memorable - rooted in the familiar.
“Imagery – is visually evocative to aid in memory.
“Legs – lends itself to a theme for extended mileage.
“Emotional -  moves people.”

Watkins says to avoid a name that is annoying restrictive, tame, too similar to another, spelling–challenged, hard-to-pronounce, or something only a  few insiders seem to get.

Resources that help with crafting a name include these:

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
--Maya Angelou, Poet

“The great things about ideas is that every new idea leads to two more, ideas breed.”
--Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Did You Know?

According to Author’s Guild Bulletin:

  • The U.K. produces more books per capita than any other country.
  • One in five U.S. adults reads more than 12  books annually.
  • U.S. daily newspaper weekday circulation fell to 35 million while Sunday editions declined to 38 million – down from 60 million from the 1960s – 1990s.
  • Facebook and Google control almost 75% of all digital ad dollars.
  • Verizon owns The Huffington Post, Yahoo, and AOL.

Writer’s Digest Short List of Co-Working Offices

The Writers Room, NYC

Paragraph, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Writers Space

Type Set, Seattle

The Hatchery Press

The Writers Grotto, SF

Writers Workspace, Chicago

Writers Room of Boston

“Brain studies reveal that not only are we hard-wired to receive stories, but our brains don’t differentiate between real and read experiences.  Amazingly, they register identically in brain scans.  At its most basic, story is a survival instinct.  The brain craves it, using stories to explore uncharted paths and to strategize new experiences from the safety of the imagination.”
--Behind the Book by Chris Mackenzie Jones

“After all, the printing press has recorded and spread some of the  greatest achievements of humankind…The printing press is a stage upon which the entire drama of human thought and morality is acted out..human civilization is all the richer for the bizarre history of printed books…The flawed history of humankind printed books…The flawed history of humankind can be found in books,and the questions books provoke still drive us today.”
--Printer’s Error:  Irreverent Stories from Book History by J. P. Romney and Rebecca Romney

Websites To Read

How authors get their book marketing mojo – and avoid failure

Authors cannot succeed without the right attitude

So what is needed to be a champion book marketer?

Should You Promote Your Book By Yourself?

The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

How authors can sell more books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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