What name to use when published?

We all know the importance of branding.  Anyone trying to sell a product knows how important it is to get it right from the beginning.  Authors are no different.  We’ve written a piece (novel, novella, short story) that someone else believes in and wants to publish.  How are we going to brand it?

I’ve toyed with this topic for a while and decided to use my maiden name or some variation of it:  J. Keller Ford or Jenny Keller Ford. Lately, however, I’ve had other say they really like my married name, Jenny Michaud (‘me-sho’).  I don’t know.  How do I choose?

I know!  I’ll let you guys decide.  Which name do you like the best for an author name?  Please vote in the poll below and leave comments galore.

Virtual chocolates to everyone who votes!  


15 thoughts on “What name to use when published?

  1. Jenny,

    I cannot pick! Truly, I think you are safe going with any of the above. I like each for respective reasons. The only issue, I fear, in using Michaud is the constant mispronunciations you will encounter. My beloved Diana Gabaldon is a victim of this. I had been saying her name wrong for years, thinking it Gah-ball-dawn, when it is Gah-bowl-doughn. I do like the sound of Me-Sho, though. I also think Jenny Keller Ford has a beautiful symmetry.

    Good luck! Either way, readers are going to love you. 🙂



  2. I voted Jenny Michaud (I think the French name would help your name stand out on the shelf), but I liked what a lot of the commenters above said about the initials and I think I agree. I would vote “JK Michaud” if it were available as an option.


  3. I like the initial. I have a ya series and an adult commercial fiction novel, my plan is to have two brands. But I have no idea what book will take off first so both are currently branded under my name.


  4. I think Keller Ford is easier to remember, and more snazzy sounding. I think you’ve made the right choice. If my maiden name didn’t sound like the bark of a dog, I may have comsidered using it. I added the “M” to make it sound more “authory”


  5. I voted for Jenny Keller Ford BUT if you’re going to write anything that might not appeal to men because it’s written by a woman, consider JK Rowling’s example and skip Jenny. Also, I love the name Michaud and know how to pronounce it, but most people will stumble with it, so, not so good. Jenny Keller Ford has a great, full sound to it. Nice.


  6. I use only my first and middle names when publishing my work. In fact, other than for business purposes (taxes, dmv, etc) I don;t use a last name.


  7. J. Keller Ford sounds pretty formal. Jenny Keller Ford seems a bit long. Perhaps, Jenny Keller, or Jenny Ford? Personally, I like Jenny Michaud, maybe because I married a Frenchman and love the language. Sorry, I know that doesn’t help much! 🙂


      1. That’s true! I’d forgotten about her, as much as I love her mysteries. I’m sure that whatever name you use, it will be the cover art and story blurb that will sell the book more than the name – until you make a name for yourself. Then, everyone will be clamoring for books by YOU! 🙂


  8. Tough choice when you ask someone who’s just ‘me’. 🙂 However, I did go with my initials over using my Christian name simply because I thought it sounded more interesting. To me, though, you’ll always be Jen Keller Ford, coz that’s how I refer to you in my head. 🙂


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