The Name Game

The world of writing, and it’s authors, can be a fickle one.  One day you’re riding high and everything you write is successful (so I hear) and then, for whatever reason, your books stop selling and your publisher lets you go.

One of the main reasons for this turbulence could be your own name.

The BBC website is reporting that one of Britain’s best loved comedians of the 70’s and 80’s, Les Dawson, had penned a romantic thriller before his death, but had never published it. Although writing was his ‘first love’, he felt his work wouldn’t be taken seriously, even though he wrote it under the pseudonym of Maria Brett-Cooper.

Not only did the story remind me of how a name can change things, as in the J. K. Rowling incident of The Cuckoo’s Calling, it also reminded me of an old story that highlighted how your name can make things change for the positive.

Anyone remember this list that showed the most successful authors in Britain from 2012?

  • Number 1 is JK Rowling (naturally)
  • Number 2 is Jamie Oliver, a TV chef
  • Number 10 is Delia Smith, a TV chef
  • Number 19 is Nigella Lawson, a TV chef
  • Number 24 is Jeremy Clarkson, a TV presenter of car shows
  • Number 42 is Alan Titchmarsh, a celebrity gardener and chat show host.
  • Number 45 is Gordon Ramsey, a TV chef
  • Number 46 is Katie Price, a topless model

That’s interesting enough, but when you look here at how the market for celebrity authors is flooded with ghost-writers, it starts to leave a poor taste in the mouth, especially when you think of poor Les Dawson.

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