PDA

View Full Version : Googling common names



Randy Lee
02-21-2014, 11:21 PM
I'm hearing that agents often Google writers who submit interesting queries.

My name is very common. If you Google my name and add the word "novelist," you'll find a novelist with my name but it won't be me.

I don't wish to be confused with that guy. Yes, I could use a pen name, but the query is going to need my legal name.

If I add "the novelist that shows up when you Google my name is not me" to my query, will that be a net plus or a net minus?

jvc
02-21-2014, 11:34 PM
Don't add that to your query. And not all agents, or probably even most of them, google-fu you. Don't worry about that. Just make your query as brilliant as you can.

Old Hack
02-22-2014, 11:54 AM
As JVC has said, make your query as good as you can and don't use valuable query-space to explain you're not *that* writer. You can make those explanations after she's read your full.

Randy Lee
02-22-2014, 07:50 PM
That's probably best, I suppose. I fear that I won't ever get to the point of having the full requested if I am confused with the other novelist of the same name, though.

His publisher is the type that will publish anything as long as the check clears. And his publisher is on the SFWA's list of publishers never to do business with. I have enough baggage of my own, I don't really need anyone else's.

Old Hack
02-22-2014, 08:12 PM
In that case, the agents who receive your submissions are very unlikely to be aware of this other writer. When they look at your query, all they'll care about is whether your query is interesting enough or not. Then all they'll care about is if your writing grabs their attention. Once they've read your whole book and want to offer to represent you they might start to Google your name. You can explain things to them at that point.

Ken
02-22-2014, 08:15 PM
Is Randy an abridgement for Randolph or something similar?
If so you could use the later instead. Or even abridge Randy to Ranny or Ran.
Or just plain R.

R. Lee I dub thee !

DarthLolita
02-22-2014, 09:51 PM
If your writing credits don't match with the work of this other writer, and if maybe you add in your middle name/initial or something, I think the agents will be able to put two and two together.

If anything, they might just ask you if they're wondering about it.

(Though I agree, don't try and add in that explanation on the query letter)

J.Reid
02-23-2014, 05:48 AM
Agents aren't googling you UNLESS you're referencing a book you've already published; or you're writing non-fiction.

And we know about common names. Some of us have them too. (No, I'm not the stripper, and you can be thankful for that)

Ken
02-23-2014, 05:59 AM
(No, I'm not the stripper, and you can be thankful for that)

Thankful? Nothing of the sort.
You've got a really nice tail !
A shark one ;-)

grayworld
02-24-2014, 12:15 AM
If an agent were to Google me, he or she would get page after page of British Petroleum stations in Broome, Australia.

I imagine that if an agent or publisher is interested in your work, they'll contact you directly rather than dismiss you or the other guy based on what they read on Google. I wouldn't add the "I'm not him" part.

Randy Lee
02-24-2014, 04:06 AM
All right. Thanks for the advice. I'll follow it.

I'll still use a pen name to avoid confusing any readers I may someday have.

And thanks for your reply, J.Reid, because of the additional insight you gave. I'm almost a fan of your site, but it certainly is intimidating.

blacbird
02-24-2014, 06:46 AM
If an agent were to Google me, he or she would get page after page of British Petroleum stations in Broome, Australia.

Your name is BP?

caw

Randy Lee
02-24-2014, 09:13 PM
If an agent were to Google me, he or she would get page after page of British Petroleum stations in Broome, Australia.

I imagine that if an agent or publisher is interested in your work, they'll contact you directly rather than dismiss you or the other guy based on what they read on Google. I wouldn't add the "I'm not him" part.

Guess it depends on the Googler. When I googled your name in quotes and then the word "novelest" without quotes, the very first result was you.

So you don't have the same issue I have. Congratulations.:):):):):):):):):)

J.Reid
02-25-2014, 08:46 AM
And thanks for your reply, J.Reid, because of the additional insight you gave. I'm almost a fan of your site, but it certainly is intimidating.

Excellent. My work here is done.

Helix
02-25-2014, 09:00 AM
If an agent were to Google me, he or she would get page after page of British Petroleum stations in Broome, Australia.


Crikey! I didn't know there were so many BP servos in Broome. Four! That's almost one per family.*

I have a fairly unusual name. Of the other two people who share my name and have a web presence, one works in disability services and the other is an environmentalist. I don't know if I've benefited from uncritical Googling**, but I hope so.


* Where 1 family = 5,000 4,000 largely unrelated locals [I seem to have over-estimated the permanent pop'n]
** I'm sure there's a joke in that, but it's eluding me at the moment