Monday, April 23, 2012

Scots crime writer Shona MacLean ‘killed off’ to appeal to men


Shona MacLean s publishers decided her feminine name might be putting off male readers, so she will now be known as SG MacLean

Shona MacLean' s publishers decided her feminine name might be putting off male readers, so she will now be known as SG MacLean

SCOTTISH crime writer Shona MacLean has been forced to change her name – to S G MacLean – to make her novels more appealing to men.
The change follows the publication of three successful historical crime books under her full name. The title of her latest novel has also been truncated in its paperback form, to make it more punchy and eye-catching.

Crucible of Secrets now appears simply as Crucible.
MacLean, the niece of world-famous thriller writer Alistair MacLean, is published by London-based Quercus, which was named publisher of the year in 2011.
She said: “The thinking was that my name was too soft and feminine and men wouldn’t buy my books.
Now they have decided they want to make the covers more masculine and my name less obviously feminine.
“I was slightly concerned that anyone who was waiting for the book to come out might not realise it’s the same book or by the same person. But the name change seems to be working well.
“Crime books are more traditionally male, and my books have a male protagonist.
“This kind of thing has happened to other thriller writers, like C J Sansom, S J Parris and V C Letemendia.”
Full story at The Scotsman.

2 comments:

mj said...

Am surprised that this thinking still exists in the publishing industry. Surely a book is a book, regardless of who it is written by.

I hope it makes a difference to her sales if that was the key reason why it was changed. However, as they changed her name + the cover imagery, it'll be hard to determine exactly which had the most impact on sales.

Bookman Beattie said...

It is pretty old-fashioned thinking I would have thought. And really they should have considered the name of the book at time of publication. Having said that choosing the title of a book can often prove most difficult. During my publishing days it was often a decision made at the last minute, long after the writinfg of the book had been completed.