So, after declaring my decision to self publish Shallow Waters, I have been busy preparing behind the scenes for its release. One of those preparations involved checking out Amazon and Goodreads and to my dismay I found that there was already an author by the name Rebecca Bradley listed. She is a Canadian author who writes Science Fiction, Fantasy and some religious and children’s stories. Her last published work was 2007.
I’m a little confused now about how to proceed. My cover designer is starting work the first week of December so I need to have made a decision by then.
I can add my middle initial J and have my books as Rebecca J Bradley. My Twitter name and Instagram account are both listed as this. But my blog is simply Rebeccabradleycrime.com
Or, I can use my name as it stands, Rebecca Bradley. As a Goodreads author, your books should be listed under the correct author. We write different genres and I have an online presence which the other author does not, which I hope will help keep things separated.
If I choose the option of adding my initial to my books, do I quickly buy a new domain name for my blog before the release comes out and hope I don’t lose a whole bunch of followers as doing it now would be easier than doing it later down the line?
OK, to help with this, I’ve just done a Google search of the name Rebecca Bradley and this blog comes up as the first listing. I don’t think it would be wise to change the domain name now. The other author (there are other Rebecca Bradley’s – illustrators, designers etc) is listed second to bottom of the first page and it’s her Wikipedia page, not her own web page or social media. So I’m thinking, I need to keep the blog as just Rebecca Bradley, but what do I do about my books?
I am completely confused. Any help or idea’s would be greatly appreciated.
Rebecca – I would suggest you speak with IT / SEO consultant to fix this error. You should not do any other changes or publish until you contact SEO Consultant, hope this helps!
SJI Holliday says
You could add the J to your books, and you could buy the domain rebeccajbradley and get it to re-direct to your rebeccabradleycrime – which you would keep using anyway. Then you have both, everyone knows who you are, and hopefully no confusion on Amazon etc. 🙂
Janet O'Kane says
How annoying for you! Do the other RBs write crime? It may be worth consulting Michael J Malone to find out how he dealt with this problem, hence the J.
Oooh, what a nasty surprise! I’ve also found you when searching for Rebecca Bradley online, but perhaps that’s because I automatically gravitated towards crime when associated with your name. Not sure I know what to advise, but good luck with whatever you decide to do!
Prashant C. Trikannad says
Rebecca, I agree, you could add ‘J’ to your books and continue with your current domain name, though you could add a ‘J’ in the blog title at the top of this page. Those who know you and visit your blog regularly will always come back irrespective of the change or otherwise. Good luck to you.
I would add the J with your books. I don’t think it matters with your blog. Good luck with publishing on Amazon. I’ve put two books on now, kindle and paperback, and although it seems daunting at first, and there were some difficulties, I did overcome them! Good Luck with it.
Alex J. Cavanaugh says
Add the Initial but don’t change the blog address.
Changing the domain now might be a risky move as most people already have bookmarked the current one. I think is a good idea to add the J to the books, and also to your name on the blog, but I wouldn’t move to a new domain. Best of luck and let us know what you decide 🙂
Margot Kinberg says
Rebecca – Oh, that is a tough situation! I agree with the others that changing your domain name might cause more problems than it’s worth. But if you want to set yourself apart, adding the ‘J’ to your title, your blog and so on might do it. And you can make those changes in a fairly straightforward way. Just my thoughts… Wishing you well with this.
Carol Balawyder says
It’s an interesting dilemma, Rebecca. The previous comments have given some great suggestions. I suppose you could add the J on your book cover and on the back cover write your current blog address. Hope all works out for you. 🙂
Buying the domain with the “J’ and redirecting is a good option. Changing to include your J to your book maybe a positive as it is your first and so doesn’t cause confusion with previous publications
Adding the J to the books sounds good, but I’d leave the blog as it is. If you tag all future posts Rebecca J Bradley, then any searches on that should find you since the search engines look at tags as well as blog names, as far as I understand.
I’d just stick to “Rebecca Bradley”; there are plenty of examples of there being two or three or more authors with the same name (in the case of “John Grant” it’s at least half a dozen!), and readers very rarely get confused.
Linda King says
Ohhhh. Wish I could help but I have no idea. It seems that you have received lots of good advice, though! x
Tough one. But I think I agree with realthog above. Go with Rebecca Bradley and trust your readers.
Jacqui Murray says
There’s another ‘Jacqui Murray’ who’s written at least one book. I simply ignore her. I have the URL and have my name on Goodreads. Even if I didn’t, I can still publish under my name. How about some poor bloke who’s named ‘John Murray’ (my husband, btw)? There are hundreds with that name. There aren’t enough middle initials to fix that problem.
Plus, they aren’t any better known than you. I wouldn’t worry. There will be more in your future to worry about.
This is why I write under a pen name – my real name is wa~y to common. Go ahead, Google ‘Jennifer Johnson’. I guarantee that it won’t be me.
A couple times going through kindle files and blog and book sites I’ve seen something similar, where names on books don’t exactly match names on blogs and it’s usually a case of a missing middle initial or middle name. Or one time, a second last name. The only time I found it confusing was when there was the inconsistency of names on covers.
But you if you want to talk SEO/SEM strategies….I’ve done that a bit. E-mail me and we can talk.
(Can you tell I’m a marketing student? XD)
I’d also not change your Goodreads name unless it really bothers you. Like you said, different genres and different publishing schedules – readers are smart. They’ll figure things out. It would make you more distinctive, but if it’ll confuse you in the long run and make you second guess your name on things in the future it’s not worth it. Plus, searching people on goodreads you come up on the list before her and you’re by far the more influential. Actually…she has an author profile but isn’t on Goodreads as a user at all.
And for kicks, I GR’ed ‘Jennifer Johnson’ as an author and you can totally tell there’s different ones based on covers – there’s a huge difference in design for romance and non-fiction. The other Rebecca Bradley has older covers, they’re published from at least a decade ago, and people shouldn’t have trouble between them and you especially if you follow genre cover trends.
So yeah, don’t change the domain name and as for Goodreads/Covers it might be nice but I don’t think it’s necessary.
Or you could do something completely different like Re Becca Bradley. Or pretend your name is Rebecca Bradley Crime.
D.A. Cairns says
Bit of a pickle but I’d stick with Rebecca Bradley as your brand. I decided long ago, way before I published my first novel, that I wanted to be D.A.Cairns. There was another writer called David Cairns, and I also liked the sound of D.A. Inspired I guess by my favourite author C.S.Lewis, I think initials sound more ‘literary’. If you had gone with Rebecca J Bradley from the get go, it would be a different story but you have an already established brand, so I wouldn’t change anything, and I would use Rebecca Bradley for the book. Good luck. By the way I’d like to order a copy of Shallow Waters in advance.
Rebecca Bradley says
Thank you David! I have built up a good brand with Rebecca Bradley. Particularly the blog. It ranks very high on google if you search for me so I certainly don’t think I should be changing that and in turn it is making me think I should stick with me name. Thanks again.
I would add the J but leave the blog as it is. I didn’t look into my name when I published and there is another Sue Fortin but fortunately she makes Christian based music CD’s. There is also another Fortin (Canadian) who writes romance but , so far I don’t think there’s been a problem. I think your genre and presence will be enough to distinguish yourself.
Rebecca Bradley says
Thanks Sue. I think I’m definitely going to leave the blog. It does have a high ranking on Google and it would be silly to change it at this important point. Its interesting that there is another Sue Fortin writing and you’ve had no issues. That because you’re different, it’s enough. Thanks Sue.
Oh dear, Rebecca, nothing is straightforward is it? As if it’s not hard enough to write in the first place there are all these other pitfalls. Wish I could help, but know nothing which I could give you as advice. Good luck anyway, with the advice others have given.
Rebecca Bradley says
Thank you. There has been some great advice and ideas and I think I’m getting my head around it. Thanks for your support.