SPQ 026: Should I “Americanize” My Author Name?
“I have a very ethnic name. Should I consider changing it to something more Americanized to help influence sales on Amazon? If I’m trying to brand myself as a writer, author, and entrepreneur, should I just leave my name the way it is and hope people focus more on the quality of my content than the ethnicity of my name?”
Steve says Hung should not Americanize his name. In episode 9, Steve talked about some of the challenges he’s experienced with using a pen name.
Hung’s book, “Take Action!” is now on Amazon. It’s doing very well, coming in at 3,000 on the Amazon sales ranking chart. That’s excellent!
The world is becoming smaller. People care more about entertainment or value, not the name behind it. They want a great reading experience, so if you can provide that, people will love you for it.
There are some great examples of people who don’t have traditional American names but still do very well on Amazon:
- Moises Naim: (Venezuela)
- Paolo Coelho (Brazil)
- Thomas Piketty: (France)
- Stieg Larsson: (Sweden)
- Jo Nesbø (Norway)
- Marie Kondo (Japan)
- Ramit Sethi (United States)
- Atul Gawande (United States)
All of these authors have “ethnic-sounding” names, but they do very well in the American marketplace. Embrace your differences and be proud of your name. Bring your heritage into your personal story to help audience members connect with you.
Resources and Links
SPQ09: Steve talks about using a pen name for your book-based business.