So, guys, there's something weighing on my mind. I'm not sure if it's a problem or not, or if it could be potential problem in the future, but it's stressing me out a little (easy to do with the OCD, I'm afraid) and I wanted to ask your opinions.
(Note, since nothing on the internet is private, and lots of people have google alerts on their names and stuff, if you guys think this post is somehow in poor taste, since it is going to obviously involve names and there's no way of getting around that, I will take it down after I get some advice. I'll try to be classy.)
So basically, I write under the name Kate Ellison. I'm a pretty brand-new author, and my book has only been out about 6 weeks now. But a few weeks ago, another book popped up in the Amazon search list by Kate Ellison. Curious, I clicked on it and saw that there's a book available for preorder by someone with the same name as me.
Obviously this sort of thing happens, two people with the same name, and it stands to reason that there could be two writers with the same name. That's all fine and dandy. And technically my book is out first, but whatever. I did an author search to make sure there weren't any Kate Ellisons before I used the name, and maybe she did too, or maybe she didn't think about it (and didn't know I was going to use it) ... either way, I now feel like I'm in some kind of game of chicken. Who's going to flinch?
So what I'm asking is this. Do you think this could cause problems down the road, for either her or me? I don't want to screw someone else over, and I don't want to cause some kind of author feud. I also don't want to confuse readers. If one of us starts selling well and getting known, won't that be extremely inconvenient for the other? (Or profitable, but still annoying, to have to constantly clarify that you're "the other Kate Ellison?")
I can think of several solutions:
1) Change my name by adding a middle initial, or a middle name.
2) Hope she changes hers before her book comes out.
3) Leave it be and see who becomes more successful (and therefore more recognized for the name?)
Does anybody have thoughts or advice? I am really uncertain about what the right move is, and I would like to address it soon. I have two books that I hope to have out in late summer/early fall of this year ... by the time her book comes out, I'll probably have 4-5 books out. I would like to figure this all out before then.
I also do not want to confuse readers, especially if our books end up being very different in style and tone. That could really annoy people who buy something thinking it's by one of us and accidentally getting the other's work.
What should I do?