376 points on the Scrabble board for YOU

A recent blog entry on names reminded me of a question that has been swirling around in my mind for quite some time. (If you could slide the gin pail a bit toward me I'd be much obliged.)

I have a last name that consists of 17 letters, which also is not a last name that people find easy to pronounce and I don't think anyone will ever remember anything about it other than "the one with the ass-long last name." I always thought of playing around with a short version of it or perhaps changing it ... but I wanted to ask if it's that big a deal, or if it really will affect me in some way?

well, after seeing your name on the from on my email, I will say this: it's long, it doesn't trip off the tongue, BUT it's visually memorable.

You'd be surprised how many book sellers can find a book based on "parameters" like "yanno, that blue book from the girl on tv this morning". So, a search for "yanno, that novel by the long ass name writer" should be a piece of cake...unless of course they start searching for the name Longass.

If you write well enough, you'll be in the front of the store anyway.


Random Walk Writer said...

My mother works in a bookstore. The pet peeve of virtually every bookseller is the customer who comes in and says, "I was in the other day and found the perfect book but didn't get. It has a yellow cover" or "Can you help me find the book they were talking about on the radio?" Said customers never remember anything useful like the subject of the book or the author or anything other than "It sounded interesting."

Please, please, please, Miss Snark, don't encourage this. My mother isn't allowed to step on the feet of clueless patrons with her stiletto heels.

Miss Snark said...

One of the great joys of retail is walking talking (but not thinking) actual customers.

There's a reason Miss Snark is not in a field that requires interaction with the general public.

I'm sure your ma has her own clever way of dealing with customers who are cluefree.

When Miss Snark was incarcerated in a full time retail job and was asked such questions, she universally directed people to aisle 16. Usually people realized they hadn't given enough info at that point OR they trotted off obediently. Either way, it ended the cycle of inane Q&A.

kitty said...

I once worked in a pharmacy at the film counter.
I'd like to buy a roll of film.
What size?
I don't know, but it comes in a yellow and black box.
Yeeah, just like all the other film we carried back then.

Concerning the author's last name -- As a customer, I do have mixed feelings about that. This has posed a problem for me in the past when I couldn't quite recall the title and had no idea about the author's last name. When Dr. Zhivago was published, at least everyone knew to whom you were referring when you said "that Russian guy."

M. G. Tarquini said...

Be nice, people. Let's all do the happy dance that people still go in book stores and ask for books, that they aren't going there to get DVD's or sitting at home pinned to the X-Box or Sci-Fi Channel.

I don't care how they ask for me, so long as they ask for me.

bordermoon said...

Oh, Random Walk Writer, say it twice! You would not believe the number of times library staff get the following: "I want the book they were talking about on the radio this morning." Do they know the title, the author, or even the content. NO -- but damn it, the radio said the local library would have it, so where is it? Apparently the fact that the radio probably said "check you local library or bookstore" and that the radio station didn't check the library holdings before saying this passeth the patron's understanding. And no, we don't know what the book was. WE were at work, not listening to the radio, okay?

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Someone suggested that I use my blog alias as a pseudonym; they thought "Sex Lastname" would really sell books.

But I'm leaning toward sticking with my real name and writing well, thanks to the influence of Ms. Snark.

Heck, it's not like I christened myself Sex, or my real name either. What does it matter?