If you get my newsletter, you’ll already know all about this. But for those who don’t, big changes are coming, and I want you all to know about it. And this takes a little explaining.
Back in the day, if you went to the bookstore to find a book, you’d scan the shelves. And if you didn’t quite get the author’s name right, that was fine because you could just browse around until you found it. You just had to get close.
But now when you shop online, everything is run by algorithms. And there are two parts of that that are relevant to this discussion. One, you have to spell the author’s name exactly right. That’s fine if you have a normal name. It’s not so fine if people don’t know if your name starts with a V or a Z or a B because they heard you on a podcast. They also don’t know if there are spaces in your name or where they are. On the Dutch Amazon site, they have my name as van der Klip. People also don’t know if there is a K or a C or one or two P’s. Needless to say, it’s creating a problem with my discoverability.
The funny thing is, I had always planned to publish under my family name, Crosswhite. But I got some bad advice ,and now I am trying to fix it. More on that later.
The other part about the Amazon algorithms is that they are all about the customer. They want to serve up to the customer the product or book they think the customer wants. So if a book buyer is looking for a historical romance, the algorithm will look to see which books look like a strong fit. Part of how they do that is by looking at what other book buyers have done. In my world, these are called “also boughts.”
That also creates a problem for me because I write in two different genres: romantic suspense and historical romance. So that confuses Amazon.
After talking to people in the business and other author friends, I am rebranding and changing my name. For romantic suspense, I’ll write as JL Crosswhite. For historical romance, I’ll write as Jennifer Crosswhite. And for contemporaries and nonfiction, I’ll write as Jen Crosswhite. Variations on a theme, but easy to type, remember, spell, and Amazon will see them as different entities.
Which leads us to the book I finished. Flash Point is book two in the Hometown Heroes series. It follows Protective Custody, though they can be read in any order unless you’re OCD like me and must read books in the proper order. Anyone else like that?
It will release January 15, 2019 under JL Crosswhite. So I have a lot of work to do to switch over websites, newsletters, etc. Which is why I wanted to give you a heads up. So stay tuned!