You may have noticed that the name and URL of my blog has changed. This is because I’ve changed my author name and I’m now using the pen-name of Heather Burnside. I also changed my imprint name to D M Publishing when I published my debut novel SLUR. This replaced D M Writing Services because the previous name sounded too much like my writing services business rather than an independent publisher. Plus, I wanted to separate the two because I publish my books entirely independently from my writing services business.
When I first wrote my debut novel SLUR some years ago I planned to use a pen-name. It’s a personal decision that many authors take. Sometimes, in order to express yourself fully in a novel you may write about topics that you aren’t always comfortable with. In SLUR, for example, I took the decision that my characters would be authentic and that this would be reflected in their behaviour and language. At the same time I was a bit embarrassed when generating local publicity because it made me feel exposed.
With my non-fiction books, on the other hand, I didn’t see any reason to publish in any name other than my own. Therefore, as these were the first books that I published, they went under my own name. By the time I published the novel I had built up a following on social media etc. through the non-fiction books, which left me with a bit of a predicament. I knew that if I changed my author name when I launched the novel I would have a mammoth task in changing everything over to my new pen-name. Consequently I decided to leave things as they were for the time being.
Recently I have been carrying out the research for my second novel whilst also finalising the short story book that I plan to publish in the coming weeks. The more research I do for the second book, the more I have come to realise that I would prefer to write under a pen-name. Some of the material will be quite contentious as well as violent in nature and I would feel more at ease with publishing under a different name.
Whilst I have had some down time over Christmas this has given me the opportunity to assess my future direction with my books. I decided that although it would be a burdensome task to change everything over to my new name, the longer I left it, the more difficult it would become. So, although it has been quite stressful changing everything over, I’ve decided to go for it.
There have been some complications. For example, as my second book will be a sequel to SLUR this means that I have also changed the author name for SLUR. This was easy enough to do with the Kindle version but for the print version CreateSpace have told me that they need a new ISBN number and a new title. As I want the title to stay the same I’m still trying to figure out a way round this. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Additionally I have changed my blog, Twitter Account, Facebook page, Amazon author page and Goodreads page. Here are all the new details:
Website (with WordPress blog) – www.heatherburnside.com.
Email – I can still be contacted via my previous email address.
Facebook – This is still currently www.facebook.com/DianeMannionWritingServices. I’ve submitted a request to change the name of the page to D M Publishing because I use it for news about my books rather than my writing services business but I will have to wait up to 14 days to find out whether they have accepted the change. Therefore I’m not changing any of the other details yet as I may end up having to set up a new page.
Twitter Handle – @heatherbwriter. N.B. There is also a smaller account for D M Publishing with the handle @heatherpublish.
Amazon – The links for SLUR are unaffected: http://viewbook.at/Slur although some details still show as Diane Mannion so I’m currently trying to sort this out. My author page should be changed in the next couple of days but I’m still working out how I can get the CreateSpace version of my book changed.
Goodreads – My new Goodreads URL is https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomHeather_Burnside.
Mailing List – You can also sign up to my mailing list here to be the first to hear about books by Heather Burnside and any special promotions that I will run from time to time. I promise not to clog up your inbox as I use my mailing list solely to tell readers about my books and I will never share your details with any third parties.
6 thoughts on “New Year, New Name”
This is quite a decision to make though probably better done now than once you have anything else published. It is quite freeing to write under a pen name! There are so many things to change though aren’t there? Well done for making that leap I can understand the reasons for doing it.
Thanks for your feedback Georgia. I’m glad I’ve made the decision although I wish I’d have done it sooner as it’s been a bit of a headache. Most things are done now though so there’s just a few problems to iron out. 🙂
Wow, it’s complicated, the Createspace thing. In order to keep the same title SLUR, I imagine you’d probably have to start over, delete your title and resubmit everything again. But of course this means your current title on Amazon would disappear along with reviews (unless they were submitted via the Kindle version). The author forum at Createspace is very helpful and informative; if I were you I’d ask the question there. Good luck – this is a tricky one. Happy new year, my friend! I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can. X
Thanks for your feedback Alice. I’m still trying to sort things out with CreateSpace. I have my own ISBNs so I’ve also emailed Nielsens to see if they will let me change my author name without using another ISBN. At the moment CreateSpace are telling me that I need to change the title and ISBN but that’s ridiculous because there are plenty of books with the same title but just with different authors and ISBNs. I’ve just sent another email to CreateSpace so I’ll see what that brings. 🙂
Crikey, that is a big job – good choice, I wasn’t quite joking about the DI Burnside bit!!! I couldn’t write under a pen name because I think it helps my online presence to have everything just as my name, but obviously our needs are completely different – very good idea to have your writing services separate. Phew – that’s all done, then. Heather! Best of luck x
Thanks very much Terry. Hopefully I’ll get everything sorted out eventually – I’m getting there slowly but surely. 🙂