As you may or may not know, another writer is using my name now on her book. This is unsettling enough, but the book in question seems to be soft-porn while I am trying to build a reputation as someone who writes clean books. So what do I do? Haven't figured that out yet.
Things you need to be aware of when choosing a name:
1. Anyone Can Use It: Another writer can come along and use your name on their books. Yes, it is allowed. But if you try to use a name like JK Rowling, you will be in deep trouble.
2. Don't Use Initials: This is something I wish I'd known. If you use initials, people may not be able to find you depending on if they use periods and spaces. Think about it. When I use K.C. Blake I can find myself on Goodreads, but if I delete the space like K.C. Blake, it thinks I am talking about a different person entirely. And when someone else comes along and does this: KC Blake without periods or spaces, the program doesn't recognize it as a name already in use. Say no to initials for your own peace of mind.
3. Don't Use Regular Names and Spellings: Because the name Blake is ordinary and K.C. is used a lot, people tell me (now after it is too late) that I shouldn't have used this name. I should have used Kasi (like I use to with Harlequin). Yeah. So now I know.
Did I forget anything? If I did, let me know. Pen names are important. Even if it is your real name, think before you use initials. Or consider a different spelling if it is too common.