27 March 2010

NAME THE NEW ME - A CONTEST

I was recently asked, by an agent I was speaking with, whether or not I'd be willing to use a pseudonym to sell future books. In particular, books that are not part of the Ray Sharp - now the Wen Lei Yue - series.

It's not that my books are box office poison. Well, not exactly. I, like several other authors I know, do fall into the dreaded category of "great reviews - mediocre to lousy sales." That's not exactly a category with much curb appeal for publishers.

Publishers want "great reviews - great sales." They're even happy with just plain "great sales" no matter what the reviews. They are, after all, in business to make money. Most publishers would rather take a chance on a new writer, than try to break out an established writer with a less than stellar sales record. Especially if it's in a new genre, or with a new series, or something like that.

I happen to like my name. I'm proud of what I write and want to be able to write it under my own name. But then, I'm not so proud that I'm willing to miss out on publishing opportunities.

Thus the pseudonym.

It won't do to simply open a phonebook at random, plunk down a fingertip and there you've got it. Among other things, I don't even have any phonebooks anymore. I've tossed them all out. I use my computer for that.

I want a pseudonym that rolls easily off the tongue. I want one without too many syllables. I want one that no one else is using and that isn't too close to some other author's name. (No Harry Melville or Marcy Twain for me.) And I want one that I can still get the domain name for, preferably a dot com.

So I've come up with one. I'm not going to tell you what it is. I'm going to let you guess.

The first person who guesses correctly wins their choice of a signed hardback copy of any of my books. I'll even give you a hint, a big hint: it's an anagram of my name. My whole legal name, by the way, is Eric Laurence Stone. It might be an anagram of all of that, or of any parts of that. That's for you to guess.

I like the pseudonym. But once one of you guesses what it is and wins this contest, there will be a new, standing offer. If anyone out there comes up with a pseudonym for me that I like better and that meets the criteria I stated earlier in this post - and I will be the sole, subjective judge of that - you will win a complete set of all five of my, so far, published books, in hardcover, signed by me.

Good luck.

14 comments:

Rachel Brady said...

Dang it. Now I'm not sure what to do with the rest of my Saturday afternoon... finish reading your book (which is awesome) or try to name the new you (which I'm sure will be as awesome as the current you). Love the anagram idea. I'm getting out the pencil and the scrap paper...

Rachel Brady said...

Lance Stine, Lance Crest, Lance Ernst, Ian Store, Ian Reece, Clint Reece, Clint Ares, Eli Crane, Art Lee, Ron Castle, Conner Steele, Lane Reston. Other random names that have no pairing: Clause, Stoler, Truce, Trace, Storre, Clute, Reston, and Custer.

I tried to cheat and use an on-line anagram maker with your name, but instead of giving back names, it just gave back phrases. I especially liked "Secure Intolerance" and "Erections." :-)

Others here: http://wordsmith.org/anagram/anagram.cgi?anagram=eric+laurence+stone&t=1000&a=n

Eric said...

Impressive, but all wrong so far. I am rather fond of Secure Intolerance. And well, what can one say about Erections?

Kurt Taylor said...

Lance Euecrrone

JP said...

Depending on the type of audience you want, Secure Erections might be just the thing.

Mike said...

I've always liked Oskar Barnes. I know that's not an anagram but I like it anyway. Or Kilgore Trout even though it's taken (but not by a real person).

Arian Ardie said...

Laurie Centercones is the best I can do using all of the letters. The name is in there somewhere.

Eric said...

There are certainly some amusing names being bandied about. Should I ever take up a career in porn, Secure Erections is certainly a front runner. But nope, none of you are even close so far. A further hint - it might include the letters in my entire name, or it might not. It might be just my first and last name or my first and middle name or my middle and last name. I had to make it challenging, after all.

Steve Ulfelder said...

Lonestar Rice!

Steve Ulfelder said...

Laurence Rice.

Eric said...

Close, but no cigar.

m2mallory said...

How about "Nic Oreste?"

Eric said...

Sounds Greek. Nope.

Arian Ardie said...

Rice Notes