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Book Beat Babes
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Cheryl C. Malandrinos Shares Her Costly Pen Name Experience
I'm happy to host the multi-talented Cheryl C. Malandrinos at Book Beat Babes today, where she shares with us her pen name experience. Morgan Mandel
Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Cheryl has written numerous articles on time management and organization for writers. She is also the author of Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness, a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger. Cheryl also writes under the name of C. C. Gevry. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
As a virtual
book tour coordinator, I give marketing my own writing a fair amount of
thought. For me, writing is as much a business as it is a creative outlet. Having
released Little Shepherd in 2010,
when A Christmas Kindness was
contracted, I opted to use a pen name. Many writing friends asked why. I
thought I had a good answer. The first book was a Christian title, but the
invested in a second website and opened social media accounts under my pen
name. It soon became apparent how difficult it would be to properly build a platform for my pseudonym.
challenge is that I had been writing under my actual name for years through
blogging, numerous articles for an online magazine, and my first book. The pen
name had no history. Talk about starting back at square one. Lack of time
didn’t help. I found myself spending what little time I had focusing on what I
wrote under my real name rather than seeking opportunities to spread the news
about a book that was still a year from being published. The simple act of
having to log out of one Facebook or Twitter account to use the pen name’s
social media accounts became cumbersome. My followers didn’t increase the way I
wanted them to because I only used those accounts about 10% of the time I was
Almost a year
after my second book was published, I had an expensive epiphany. Why couldn’t A Christmas Kindness be published under
my actual name? Both books are set during Christmas and both books have a
message to share with readers. Though A
Christmas Kindness is not a Christian title, it shares values that would
appeal to both secular and Christian markets. How could I have not seen that
earlier? Darn hindsight.
publisher offered authors a chance to have their printed books formatted for
digital, I decided to have A Christmas
Kindness totally reformatted using my actual name. The printed version will
follow in the future, but both reformats cost me money I wouldn’t have spent if
I had more carefully considered using a pen name in the first place.
Kobobel Grant, founder of Books & Such Literary Management, wrote an
excellent blog article that discussed reasons why writers might want to use a
pen name and why pen names don’t always work. You can find it at http://www.booksandsuch.biz/blog/should-you-use-a-pen-name/ Just don’t scroll down to the
comments where I openly admit (like I do here) that my use of a nom de
plumefalls into the latter category.
There’s only so much humiliation I can take in one day.
About Cheryl's Little Shepherd Book:
is in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. Can he trust
the miracle of Christmas to keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn