Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's in a Name?

The bard wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I'm not sure I buy into that observation. It might work for roses and young women like Romeo's Juliet. It might work for many other people and things. But it doesn't work for everyone and anything.

I'm currently working on my upcoming e-book, "Flash-Free Model Photography." Leastwise, that's the working title at this point. Whether I stick with that title or not is of less consequence to me than how I'll credit myself as its author. At this point, I've decided I will probably release the book under my family name, Giordano, rather than the name I use (and have used for nearly 20 years) for much of my professional work. Believe it or not, my family name and my legal name aren't the same either, but that's a whole other story. Regardless, whether using my family name ends up hurting sales or helping them remains to be seen.

You might be wondering why I'll likely use a different name (as author) for my next e-book? Simple: I'm hoping some of the work I've done, i.e., work that is associated with my professional name, will not be considered as a factor by some photography web sites when they're considering whether or not to promote my new book.

There have been a number of high-profile photography sites who decided not to promote any of my previous e-books because, according to them, a few of their visitors might make the connection between my name, as the author of those e-books, and the work I've done as a glamour, nude, tease, erotic photographer. It wasn't simply my Guerrilla Glamour book they declined to pimp, but my Guerilla Headshots and Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography books as well; both of which are entirely "G-Rated." 

The fact that both of the latter two books are suitable for anyone and everyone, content-wise, and that the web sites who declined to represent them admitted they liked the books very much and could and would probably sell a whole lot of them, earning them some decent affiliate commissions, didn't seem to matter much. What mattered was my name and how any association with my name might somehow and in some way, no matter how small a way, impact their self-defined wholesome reputations.

As a result, my thinking regarding the author's name I'll use for my next e-book, another which will be "G-Rated," goes like this: If I use my family name, Giordano, as author of this next e-book there will be no association between the book's author, in terms of his name, and any photographic work that might offend a few people no matter how much time they spend researching that name.  While I feel like I'm catering to the asses, not the masses, that's what I'll probably do. There is a risk that my next e-book will suffer (in sales) as a result of it's author having  zero "name value" but that's a risk I'll probably have to take. A rose by any other name sometimes doesn't smell as sweet. Sometimes, it smells sweeter. Other times, I suppose, it smells like crap.

The pretty girl at the top is Tera Patrick. (Click to enlarge.) It's one of many photos I used in my Guerrilla Glamour e-book. It's indicative of a lot of work I've done. I guess it's also indicative of the sort of work which resulted in all my three of my previous books being rejected by a number of well-known photography web sites.

No comments: