Well, I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’ve finally come to a resolution on the issue of the G. And the decision is that I’m going to let it go.
My main reason is this: my ultimate goal is not to be a blogger but a published writer, therefore my name needs to be in an appropriate form for the cover of a book, regardless of whether that book might end up being traditionally published or self-published. Think about it – have you ever seen an author’s name on a book cover without a surname? ‘Susie G.’ is a catchy handle for the online world but just doesn’t cut it for the professionalism required of a published work. In addition to this, ‘Susie G. Murphy’ is just a bit too long for my liking, whereas I think ‘Susie Murphy’ has its own rhythmic flow to it. So it was quite a straightforward choice in the end!
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed their opinion, both online and behind the scenes. I valued each and every bit of input and took it all into account when I came to making a decision on this. Your thoughtful advice was very gratefully appreciated – thanks a million!
Now on to the housekeeping side of things – how to change everything over to my new identity, Susie Murphy? Top priority was to source a new domain name as I can no longer tell people to “go check out susiegmurphy.com” if the G isn’t part of my name. Logic would dictate that I choose susiemurphy.com as a replacement but that domain is unfortunately unavailable.
On a whim, I decided to check if susiemurphy.ie was available and got very excited when I found out it was! An excellent solution, getting a ‘susiemurphy’ domain name and an Irish extension at the same time – surely this was the answer to my problem.
It turns out that trying to get a .ie extension is much more pain than it’s worth. You can’t just buy any Irish domain name, especially if it’s a personal name – you have to prove you are who you say you are, providing documentation to support your application. That would be all right except that all my official documentation says ‘Susan Murphy’, not ‘Susie Murphy’. And for good reason – I want to have a separation between my personal life and my public life, even if it’s just a matter of two letters. Only that’s no good for Irish web domain hosting companies – without official proof that I am really Susie Murphy, I can’t acquire the domain name. Maybe that all works out for the best though as Irish domain names are actually quite expensive – if you buy them in advance for a number of years, you have to pay the entire amount upfront and then fork out even more upon renewal. So I repeat: more pain than it’s worth.
What’s the alternative? I decided to purchase susiemurphy.net instead. Not quite as common as .com or as strong a brand as .ie but still a decent extension in its own right. And much nicer on the pocket too. So from now on susiemurphy.net will direct you to my WordPress website. (Incidentally, susiegmurphy.com will continue to do so too. I’m going to hold onto that domain name for a little while longer, just in case anyone stumbles upon the link in older posts/comments or even previous submissions – I definitely don’t want it leading them to dead space.) The original WordPress link will still say susiegmurphy.wordpress.com but that’s no big deal – to be honest, how often would you really look at that?
My Twitter handle will also remain as @susiegmurphy but I’ve changed my name to simply Susie Murphy and that will work just fine – there are tons of people on Twitter whose names and handles do not directly correlate. I personally find my eye is always drawn to the name over the handle anyway.
I’ve updated my name to Susie Murphy on my Facebook page (a simple process while the page still has less than 200 likes – it would have been a more complicated task if it had had more) and I’ve created a new Susie Murphy personal profile in order to join groups and networks on Facebook, which public pages are not allowed to do. This will enable me to connect with the online historical romance community and communicate directly with those who have an interest in my particular genre.
Finally, I’ve created a new email address: email@example.com. There must be a bunch of Susie Murphys in the world because almost every variation on Susie Murphy was already taken (apart from adding on a random number which, to me, looks a bit amateur). Not to worry, firstname.lastname@example.org makes it very clear what I’m all about.
And that’s it sorted! Just one little letter caused all this ruckus. While I’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to the catchy Susie G. name tag, I do think that Susie Murphy is the best and most professional way to go.
Keep an eye out for it on the front of a book some time! (Optimism all the way. 🙂 )