Author Marketing - 2018 and 2019

I couldn’t find any semi-recent marketing posts so I created this one. Hopefully we can brainstorm a bit and learn from each other re: marketing in 2018.

As I get ready to submit CCH2 to Hosted Games, my thoughts turn again to marketing. For the past 2 years, I have branded my series, but not myself. On Facebook. On Twitter. Even my website.

So I’m wondering how do I make the change to marketing myself instead of my stories? Some options I’ve considered…

1) Do I just start marketing myself as “Eric Moser, Author” or “Fiction by Eric Moser,” etc.?

Is that snappy enough? It’s harder to remember than “community college hero,” that’s for sure. It’s direct and to the point, but I’m not sure how it makes me stand out at all. And it’s not as google friendly.

2) Do I create a pen name?

I see the pro as being I could make it snappy and memorable, helping lead folks to anything I write over the coming years. Negative is that it might feel weird making up a persona, and I’d have to be careful of not using any name that too’s closely tied to a genre to keep my options open later. (As an example, I know a local writer who uses “Dark” as pen name’s last name. Yes, it works well for his genre - Victorian horror, but it wouldn’t work if he went outside the genre).

3) Or just keep plugging along with CCH as my brand for the next two years?

The positive is that I wouldn’t have to change anything, and it’s working okay thus far. The negative is that it’s really just kicking the can down the street. I’ll eventually have to brand myself outside of just CCH.

Some branding examples I’ve seen and examined around here…(I know I am missing a lot of people!)

@JimD uses “Games by JimD.”
@MultipleChoice uses “Multiple Choice Studios.”
@Lucid uses “Lucid’s Games”

All appear to be successful and well thought out, although all three target the gaming part of their writing. I’m not sure how these folks would tweak branding if they ever wrote a non-interactive story. Maybe they’ll jump in and share?

So what is everyone thinking about marketing in 2018?

Are you marketing your stories?

Are you marketing yourself?

Are you using your real name?

Are you using a pen name?

If you use a pen name, how did you decide on it? Is it tied to a genre? To interactive fiction?

I am glad to offer information and tips from what I’ve learned, although I’m still a novice.


I remember @JimD having a good article on marketing. I can’t remember if it was on the cs wiki or his blog…

I will definitely have to check out Jim’s blog when I get the time.

These are all really good questions. Will definitely be checking back on this thread for ideas for myself. :blush:

1: Either sounds good. Personally, on Facebook, I went with “Avery Moore Games”. I suppose “Eric Moser, Interactive Fiction” is another option. Just try out a bunch of different ideas, and pick your favourite. (Maybe do a poll of which sounds best.)

2: I actually thought Eric Moser was a pen name. :yum: I personally use a pen name, but that’s mostly because I find my own name quite bland and boring. Eric Moser is a cool name, so I don’t really think you need a pen name. Obviously, it’s up to you though. (The only problem with this is that obviously, you’re already known by quite a few people as “Eric Moser”, so changing to a new name would mean that some of the fans you have gained with CCH wouldn’t recognize your new name in future projects.)

3: Yeah, that’s a very good point. It works fine, so long as you’re only writing CCH, but once you start work on other projects, you’re going to want people to recognize you for your name.

I am, but… Not very well. So far I only market my games on social media, which I don’t have many followers on, and most of the follows I do have, I think come from the COG website anyway. Have been thinking about making my own website, but I’ve never actually made a website before, so I’m not really sure how to go about it. (Also, there’s the same dilemma that you have, do I make a website for my game, or do I make a website for me as an author?) :thinking:


I think if you are not passionate about having a pen name, I would just be Eric Moser. That’s my plan, at least. So everyone be looking out for Nuclear Powered Toaster by Eric Moser, coming soon!

Seriously though, with you planning Talon City as conventional fiction, that is all the more reason to be yourself. An alias that sounds like a message board username is definitely not going to play on the cover of a paperback.

As for marketing yourself vs. CCH, it depends on your future plans. If you don’t expect to complete another CS game anytime in the very near future (as in the next 12 months or so) I would focus on the series. You already established it, and the priority right now would be to help CCH avoid any sophomore slump rather than sacrifice its success to boost projects in the far-flung future.

Myself, the name Matt Simpson seems fairly not embarrassing (aside from the Bart and OJ jokes I heard so often as a youth), so I will be me. And I will promote myself as a whole rather than just NPT. I have a Facebook page for Opportunity Cost Studios, but am not sure if I will stick with that name or change it up. I have yet to do anything with it, just waiting for when there is a concrete release date to start ramping up marketing. I have no love for social media, so my lack of followers will likely be an issue. But the 57 Twitter follows for @nptoaster will sure get tired of my shilling!


Take everything I’m saying with a grain of salt (or maybe just here as a voice for the audience?) since I’m not writing or marketing myself as an author, but …

I agree with this pretty hard–you have spent two years building up an audience under the Eric Moser name, so making a change to that now will probably make some waves in your established audience and cause more confusion than assistance in building traction–people who know to recommend “Eric Moser” might have a hard time making the adjustment to saying “Author McWriterson.” Making that change now would probably mean you have to work pretty hard to make sure everyone stops using your real name and only uses the pen name, which could alienate old fans who don’t recognize the new name as easily, or leave your work in an awkward middle-ground of being credited under two names.

I’d also argue that a pen name really wouldn’t add much–since “Eric Moser” is a pretty middle-of-the-road name in my opinion (not the weirdest name I’ve ever heard but far from generic enough to be unmemorable) unless you’re anticipating clamoring for privacy (which, changing it at this point probably wouldn’t do much for that) I don’t think a change would really be worth the confusion.

And for what it’s worth on the “google-friendly” front–I plugged in some searches and yeah, just “eric moser” mostly came up with the usual “did you mean to search Facebook?” options, both “eric moser games” and “eric moser writer” had links about you coming up at the top of the page, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that

Re: social media marketing, I know Zach Sergi has Facebook, Twitter, etc, accounts for his individual series as well as himself as an author. No clue at all how much work goes into maintaining all those, but you could potentially leave up your CCH-specific web-presence (especially if you’re planning on doing more with the universe after the current trilogy, in interactive games or no) and then make separate sites/accounts for yourself as an author. I do think if you want to keep expanding, you don’t want to tie your whole brand into CCH that hard–“Eric Moser, Writer” vs “Eric Moser, Writer of CCH and also by the way other things too”


My social media presence isn’t successful, but I just went with Samuel Harrison Young because I knew I would be writing lots of different stories. I have three in one series published, but another in a new series submitted and a WIP that’s going to be a standalone. On my page, I can post about all of these without any confusion.

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I’m happy to see this post here as I am quite literally in the middle of building my website and my brand as a writer! Like, literally all the tabs I have open at the moment are about building a brand.

I'm struggling a bit myself with whether or not to have a pen name...

My real name is Bailey Neely. I’m incredibly fond of my last name as I think it looks and sounds great and it carries a good bit of weight where I’m from, but I really just do not care for my first name. I don’t actively dislike it, but it’s certainly not a name I would pick out myself. So the name I’ve been using when writing is B. A. Neely. It’s gender neutral and can be used for a wide range of genres.

The issue with using B. A. Neely is that my website – which will double as a blog about writing – is branded as Fantasy Fawkes, which I love. I had originally intended to write with the pseudonym of Nora Fawkes, which is why my username here is Fawkes. I branded my website with the intention of driving traffic from here to it. As I’m working on it and further developing the brand and how I plan to use it in the future, I’m thinking that perhaps it would be best to revisit the idea of using a pseudonym with the name Fawkes to better connect the website with myself.

It’s not a huge issue for me to switch to using a pseudonym as I haven’t marketed myself much as B. A. Neely. I’ve been considering using E. S. Fawkes. It remains gender neutral, sounds nice (to me), and is better suited to my website’s brand. It just means I have to create a new email.

Now, to further address your questions!

  1. I’m personally marketing myself as B. A. Neely, Fantasy Romance Author. All of what I write is fantasy and most of it has a huge focus on romance. This doesn’t just apply to interactive fiction, so it works well. It also follows the format other authors use. I think “Fiction by Eric Moser” works well, especially if you plan to branch out into other genres under the same name. “Eric Moser, Fiction Writer” works too.

  2. As others have said, you’ve already marketed yourself as Eric Moser. It’d be best, I think, to stick to the name you already have, especially since it’s not genre-specific. If you were a woman or had a name most considered feminine, many people would advise you to consider using initials instead of a first name so that it’s more gender neutral. If you ever branch out into writing romance, it might be something to consider. It wouldn’t be too off-brand of a name.

  3. I strongly suggest you start building a brand around yourself instead of your series. That’s one of the first things authors are taught when they’re building a brand. You’re going to write other things eventually – better start preparing for that ASAP.

Furthermore, on the subject of pen names, I know that JK Rowling writes mystery books under the pen name Robert Galbraith. You can do that, you know – only use a pen name when you start writing in a totally different genre. Best to do so transparently, though, or you’ll end up like the late Richard Bachman.


That’s interesting. I know that most female authors are encouraged to use gender-neutral names (part of the reason I went with Avery), but I’d have thought that rule wouldn’t apply to romance novels, since the majority of romance readers tend to be female.

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It doesn’t apply for women who write romance novels, but it does apply for men who write romance novels. Of course, there are exceptions to this “rule”; Nicholas Sparks, for example. Then there are female authors who achieve success outside traditionally “feminine” genres with feminine names; Anne Rice is a good (and hilarious) example. (Anne Rice’s birth name is Howard Allen Frances O’Brien. She wouldn’t have needed a pseudonym.)


Ah, I see! Well, it’s good to know that the fiction market sometimes discriminates against male authors, as well as females. :yum:


@Avery_Moore, you are the first person I have ever met to say that I had a cool name. I will accept it! As far as building marketing base, I find Facebook to be easier than Twitter. Facebook lets you send targeted (‘sponsored’) ads based on the targeted audience’s interests, and I’ve had some luck in gaining new likes targeting groups who like comic books, Marvel/DC, interactive fiction, even just “books.” And it’s not that expensive. I’ve never spent more than $10 in a month.

I think your website question is a good one. Could you get the domain for your pen name, or some variation?

@hustlertwo, first lol. Second, you cannot take my name. Third, Matt Simpson is a strong, American name. Nothing to offend! Oh and I think Facebook only lets you change the name of your business page once (I think this is still true?) so I’d be careful changing it until you are certain of your direction. And yes I am focusing on Talon City in March and April, so yes I need to figure out where I put out updates for that.

@HomingPidgeon, so you don’t think I should become Zach Zap? Or Peter Pow? Or Brian Bam? You know, something punchy!?!? (no I am not doing this) And yes I’d rather not juggle too many accounts. I don’t know how Zach does it either.


Well, I have put little work and no money into it, so I would likely just delete the page and create another if I go another route. But thanks for the warning!

Will you put out updates for Talon? Is it going to be something episodic or just a straightforward ‘publish when done’ sort of deal? If you are putting any of it out before CCH gets published or immediately thereafter, it would be best to put all under your new flagship page, “The Moser Know” (a truly horrible and semi-incomprehensible pun).

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Might I suggest, MoseTown? Scratch that, I immediately misspelled that as NoseTown, abort, abort!

I don’t see any reason not to use your real name. After all, it’s short and easy to pronounce–I don’t think you can get much ‘punchier’ than that unless you decided to go with Paul Puncherface. :thinking:


I have most of it outlined and it’s designed to be around 70,000 words or so. I honestly think I can write a draft in 60 days. And yes that’s another reason I was thinking about rebranding.

@rose-court, it needs “Productions” at the end. MoseTown Productions. Gold!


Probably, but I’m still unsure whether to make a website promoting myself as a writer, or promoting my games. Of course, the downside of promoting my games is that I would need to make separate websites for each of them, whereas, promoting myself as a writer, I would only need one.

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As a consumer, I want brands that are recognizable, easy to remember and have a history a small bio. The questions I would ask when branding myself are what are my works? What are my thoughts, values and how can I easily share them to others\fans? What defines me as writer? The media platforms to start with are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Move to website after that if you want make yourself appear official. Then I’d suggest getting a logo one that connects fluidly with your name.

Take all my advice with a grain of salt, as I am no writer.

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I went through this EXACT thing. We talked a bit about this at the Imaginarium.

When I first started, I made a page called Life of a Wizard. It was my first story and I didn’t know there’d be more. I ended up making the change to Lucid’s Games.

Yes, I think the earlier you rebrand yourself, the better. If I were you, I’d go with something like Eric Moser, Author. I kind of wish I’d kept my real name in there in case I ever branched into other things. Although this seems unlikely. :slight_smile: My novel still sits unread on my hardrive. :smiley:

I’m an average author and an average game designer. It’s a great combo though, since it lets me make a lot of cool games. At least I beat the great writers who can’t code and the great coders who can’t write. :slight_smile:

So yes, Eric Moser, Author… or Mosetown Productions. That’s just awesome.

Your name is great, so the only reason you’d do so is for privacy. That’s totally your call. I’ve been very open with who I am, and so far, I haven’t had many fan-stalkers at my door. :slight_smile:

Bite the bullet. Do it BEFORE CCH2 comes out. That way the new people will know no other, and the old fans will be excited enough with a new game that they’ll hear about the change.

I’m a terrible marketer. I hardly even spend time on the forums, besides popping in on my own threads.

  • That said, I did start a mailing list after the Imaginarium. It’s filling slowly, but I think it will be nice to give a direct message to my fans when the next game releases.

  • I still use Facebook. This is because I’m old and lazy. :slight_smile: It’s still growing and people can access it even if they don’t use Facebook, so I don’t think it’s terrible.

  • My biggest marketing strategy is my opening menu in my games. I make sure that everyone who plays something of mine knows about the other games I’ve made.

Am I marketing myself? I suppose I am. It would be nice if I could afford a real marketing person, but I can’t. I hope that CoG markets me a little. Their mailing list and “other games like this” on the site are very important too.

Although I’m Lucid’s games, I still use my real name, Mike Walter, in my games. I think the double approach is working just fine, although I do get people asking on Lucid’s games about “my staff.”. :slight_smile:

Other things I’ve thought about:

  • Twitter and blogs. It has to be thought about. Along with this is blogs, private forums, and other things like this. Truth is, I don’t have time for it. I’d rather spend my energy making new games than holding court online. :slight_smile: I suppose that some people can do both, but I’m planning to continue with what I’m doing.
  • Merchandise. You’re already doing it. My daughter asks my why I’m not getting into “the merch.” That cracks me up. :slight_smile: You’re the expert on this side of things. How is that going?
  • Website. I should probably do this, but I’m just too bogged down with other things. I like the idea of owning your name, but some real estate dude stole mine. :slight_smile: I could get LucidsGames with various extensions and I might some time, but I don’t really want to devote any time into making a website.

That’s about it from me. I’m not entirely ignoring marketing, but I’m not a marketing adept either. I look forward to hearing how your marketing goes.


Says the guy with five best-sellers. :stuck_out_tongue:


If you’re an average author I may as well quit now :joy:

I’m an average author you are in the top five top authors in the Hosted Games brand alongside JimD, Cataphrak, Eric Moser and Allen Gies