Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “Dark Visions”

What’s In A Name (an author’s name)?

This post caught me by surprised. I am used to hearing of the successes of such authors as J.A. Konrath and Amanda Hocking, that I thought this was another example. Daryl Sedore is another struggling writer, trying to crack the social media combination to fame and fortune. He, however, found another route: he changed his name. He posted 10 novels on various e-book sites such as Amazon and Smashwords and then went to work on his blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, all of which registered high in rank, followers and every metric except book sales.

So he tried something extremely brave in my opinion. He took his books down and no one asked where they were. He realized that he was directing all his media messages to other writers.So he changed the covers, (thanks to his very talented wife, Brenda), added new blurbs,  and re-uploaded his books.
He also used a new author name. And the results were amazing.

As Daryl Sedore, he sold just 200 books over 5 months. As Jonas Saul he sold 350 books in the first six weeks.

Now I have to admit to being intrigued? I suspect that part of the increase in his sales are the beautiful book covers. “Never judge a book by it’s cover” should be ignored by anyone hoping to sell books (theirs or someone else’s). The title of the book is also critical, no argument here.

But the question lingers: Do we pick up a book because of the name of the author? What do you think?


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).


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