I’m a bad novelist

Head in Hands“I need a new domain name,” I said to my friend Erin. “SFAuthor.net is boring.”

“I think you should just use your name,” she said to me. “Your name is your brand. You have robertkroese.com, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” I said. “But my name is too hard to spell and pronounce.”

“How do you pronounce your name?” she asked.

“RAH-bert,” I said.

“Don’t be an ass.”

“It’s pronounced KROO-zee.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. It’s terrible. And I want something with character. Back when I was blogging under the name Diesel at MattressPolice.com–”

“You what?”

“Oh, you didn’t know about that?” I asked. “I went by the name Diesel for about five years. It started when I was working at this place where there was this guy named Rob who was a complete asshole and–”

“Besides you, you mean.”

“Right, so one day one of my co-workers asked me what nickname I’d like. This is why you should always be ready with a cool nickname, by the way. Because you never know when somebody is going to ask you that question. Anyway, fortunately I’d given some thought to this matter, and I told her without hesitation that I wanted to be called ‘Diesel.'”

“Why?”

“Because it’s cool. I thought I explained that part already. Pretty soon everybody at the company was calling me Diesel. One of my co-workers later went to work for Google, and she only knew me as Diesel, so when she got me hired over there, that’s how she introduced me. I had Google executives calling me ‘Diesel’ for two years.”

“You’re such a dork.”

“No, it was awesome. They didn’t know I’d given myself the nickname. One time my boss mentioned me in a meeting and the attendees didn’t even realize I was a person. She said something like, ‘Oh, Diesel can fix that,’ and they thought it was some kind of new amazing artificial intelligence app somebody at Google had developed.”

“Huge dork.”

“Anyway, I’d secured the domain MattressPolice.com and I needed a cool blogger name to go with it, so I blogged under the name Diesel. But then I wrote a novel under my real name and had to get all respectable and shit.”

“So what happened to MattressPolice.com?”

“Sold it to a guy who claimed to be running a mattress watchdog organization.”

“I can’t tell if you’re joking.”

“That’s exactly what I said to the guy who bought it. The point is, I need something like that.”

“A persona, you mean.”

“Not a persona, exactly. I’ll use my real name. But I want a domain name that gives me some room to ruffle some feathers. People come to sfauthor.net or robertkroese.com and they don’t know what to expect. I want them to know right off that I’m…”

“You’re what?”

“Well, I’m not a typical novelist. If I were smart, I’d spend my free time networking with other authors, learning about Amazon sales algorithms, researching trends in publishing…”

“And instead you argue with people on Facebook.”

“Right. It’s a terrible marketing strategy. But I became a writer because I had stuff to say, and I’m not much of a writer if I’m constantly worried about offending people. I say what I want to say, and if people are offended, that’s their problem. At least, that’s what I do on Facebook and Twitter. But when it comes to posting on my website, I’m still a little reluctant to go all out, because it feels like this is my “professional” face. That’s why I went with sfauthor.net. Because it sounds like a real author‘s website. But the result is that I don’t post much except occasional updates about my books. And it’s boooooring. I want a domain that gives me leeway to write whatever the hell I want, even if that means I’m being a bad novelist. Hey!”

“No,” said Erin.

“What?” I said, typing furiously at my computer.

“Don’t do it.”

“Look, it’s available! BadNovelist.com! That could be me!”

“I said no.”

“Right, but I don’t think you’re seeing the potential here.”

“This is your brand. You want to advertise to everybody that you’re a bad novelist?”

“That’s the thing,” I said. “I am advertising it. I just want people to know that I’m aware of it.”

“That makes no sense. This is a terrible idea.”

“Exactly! I’m a bad novelist! Don’t you see?”

“No.”

“You’ll see. It’ll be great. BadNovelist.com. I’m doing it. Hey, do you think I should get a Punisher tattoo?”

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11 Comments on I’m a bad novelist

  1. Heh. As a marketing writer/project schlub for my day job, if you were my client I would strenuously advise against this branding and you would be giving me chest pains. But as your friend on social media, I’m sort of interested to see how this tactic will pan out. It does at least align with your “arguing with people on Twitter and Facebook” mission statement. :)

  2. I’m imagining a picture of a novelist sitting near a puddle of urine with a giant arm over him wielding a rolled up newspaper.

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