Hi everyone,

I am new to Crimespace but would like to know if you think my last name... Rocchiccioli...  (Roc ca chel li)  could be holding back my sales.  I have one thriller published, Chaos in Crescent City Medical Center and another that will come out this next week.  I am considering changing and writing under my maiden name Townsend.....  What do you think?


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If you don't yet have a fan base, you might be able to get away with changing your name, though keep in mind that for all practical purposes, this will mean starting over from the beginning.

My first novel published as Karen Dionne, but for the second, my publisher wanted me to use my initials, K.L. Dionne, on the thinking that more men would pick up my novel if they didn't know it was written by a woman.

That issue aside, the name change was a complete nightmare. Barnes and Noble didn't link the two names until we specifically asked them to, which meant that when people who'd read and enjoyed my first novel went into a bookstore asking for the new novel by Karen Dionne, nothing in their computer system came up. Even my own publisher didn't link my two novels on their own website until I asked them to. And I'm pretty sure that to this day, if you search on K.L. Dionne on Amazon, only the one title comes up.

My opinion: publish under one name and stick to it. Your low sales are more likely due to the challenges of getting noticed than your difficult-to-pronounce last name.

Well, Rocchiccioli is a more memorable name than Townsend. But it is hard to pronounce. On the whole, I'd probably stick with it.



I agree with Karen on this one.  If you want to change it now is the time as you are likely not to have a large fan base yet.  Having said that I.J. is also correct as some well know authors, such as David Baldacci have quite tricky names and it hasn't hurt his sales any.



I think this is a fair question but do not have a good answer. 

Do you link your novel to other stories and sites? 

I do not think the name is holding you back, no. Like most of us 2 million people with novels out there, it's much more likely you haven't been noticed. If you don't know Hugh Howey and J Konrath yet, you probably should, mainly for the marketing info and inspiration. Both say the more fiction you have available under your name, the more likely people are to try you. I'd listen to them and Karen, stick with what you started. I agree Rocchiccioli is memorable, if hard to say. So is Khaled Hosseini.

Good luck!

Never worry about that. If the book is good, the name on the cover won't hurt it. Besides, if you hit the big time, your name will be a brand.


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