Once upon a time I decided to start several social media accounts, and I was semi-smart enough to use a consistent username, though it did not match up with my blog name. Though that was OK, I thought, because I wasn’t really trying to brand my blog. But rather myself.

But why I thought my initials and birthday would mean anything to anyone or stick in anyone’s mind other than mine I have no idea.

So now I am facing a dilemma. I want to rebrand everything with my actual full name so I can get better name recognition so that when I hopefully query in hopefully 2016 (I have been saying I want to query for the last two years but one day this will actually be true) I will have a pretty decent platform.

But here are the problems:

  1. Every reasonable variation of my name that I can think of has been taken on all the social media sites I use.
  2. It could actually be confusing for the people who do know me if I switch now.
  3. It might mess up links and such.

When I looked through the authors I follow on Twitter, the vast VAST majority of them have Twitter handles that are very much their name.ย So basically I feel like I failed for not jumping on this train long ago. I should have planned this better. I shouldn’t have been so paranoid about putting my full name out there because apparently it’s more common than I thought and someone probably wasn’t going to track me down based on it. But who knows, maybe I would have run across this problem back then too. I don’t know how long these names have been taken.

And then there’s the issue of having a private Instagram account for people I know offline, but wanting to have a public one as well that I can use for bookstagram and similar things, and trying to juggle all that

It seems my only options (at least on Twitter, and I haven’t checked to see if anything matches up across the board) involve adding writer or writes or an underscore or numbers, and I don’t want to do that (even though my current ย one has numbers, again, I am trying to simplify to my actual name). So what do I do? Stick with what I have? Choose a username close to my actual name but will still have something added?

And as more people grow up and sign up for social media accounts, what options will they have if they want to use their actual name?

Oh, and let’s not forget I haven’t even looked into domain names yet, which will be my last step in branding myself before querying and I have NO idea what my options are for that are…

Any thoughts on my branding woes?

*EDIT* Thanks to Jackie Lea Sommers and her comment, I was able to find something that was available without numbers or underscores and didn’t feel too long, yay! A million thanks! Of course, if you still have any thoughts on the discussion in general feel free to chime in! But now you can find me on the web as acshawYA. ๐Ÿ™‚

7 Responses to Branding

  1. When I first started blogging, I used the name of the book that I was about to query … which was foolish in hindsight because that book never got representation. It was good when I switched my domain to my full name. That said, my issue with Twitter was that my name was too long– so I chose @jackieleawrites, but I’ve seen some other fun additions like adding “the” before your name or “iam.” Some add “YA” afterward (if that’s what they write) or add their middle initial to their name. Just ideas. You’ve probably considered all of them already! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I did include my middle initial because I am actually thinking about authoring as A.C. Shaw instead of Amy Shaw, but “the” and “YA” are good ideas; I might have to look into those! It’s shorter than “writes” but is less annoying than numbers and underscores. Thanks!

  2. Domain name hunting was good for me, but when it came to email and Instagram, I wasn’t successful. I know I don’t want to use my name, though, so I just stuck with artofescapismblog for certain sites. :/

  3. Ah, I had this dilemma when I re-branded my blog. My first choices were not available but I did have a list of alternatives and I manged to find one which was available on all platforms -THANK GOD.

    I see that you have already selected a name in your edit but you could use this site: to check for the availability of the usernames on most platforms. Good luck, Amy! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I had the same dilemma with twitter. I signed up in the very beginning with my real name, but then got bored with the whole thing and cancelled my account. Then wanted to do it again but not as really me so I created a fake name account. Then I met a bunch of people on twitter with their real names and I wanted to be in the club so I created an account with my name. I totally lucked out that my name was still available because there’s over 800 Annie Jackson’s in the US (and even more in the UK) which I know that’s to I couldn’t keep it that simple on any other platform but I mostly have accounts that match my domain so it works out. But I still won’t give up my name on twitter to match my domain ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, you want an email address that matches your domain/handle/whatever.

    I like the name you went with! AC Shaw is a great author name and the YA works really well ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks! I kept debating whether to use initials vs. my name, but it seemed people liked the initials and it feels right. But I couldn’t use it as a handle either without the YA, but that’s OK, because I really like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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