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Here’s one of the cover ideas my cover designer came up with for the new book. It’s not the one we’re going with (that one is even rougher), but it will give you an idea of things to come.

Is there a difference between James Rada, Jr. and J. R. Rada? I hope you will think so in a couple months. I’ve written a couple e-books under the name J. R. Rada, but I haven’t put that name into print yet. That should change by the end of the year when I jump back into YA books with an updated version of an e-book I wrote called A Byte-Size Friend.

I’m actually encouraged by how well this book could do. I gave it to some YA test readers and they loved it.

When I first considered writing the book, I was torn between writing under my real name and creating a pen name (which is technically still my real name). I wanted to be able to attract any of my regular readers, but I didn’t want them thinking that A Byte-Size Friend was a history book.

In the end, I decided to create a similar name to so that it will hopefully be obvious that the book is written by James Rada, Jr. but not a history book. I intend to use the J. R. Rada for any genre writing I do (YA, fantasy, thriller). I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to do some of the stories in my files, but at least I’ve laid some groundwork.

You may not think it’s a big change, but if wearing glasses was enough for Superman, then changing to initials should be good enough for me.

Some writers use pen names to truly disguise themselves. J. K. Rowling tried a pen name when she did adult genre novels. Dean Koontz, a favorite author of mine, has apparently used lots of pen names. He made the same decision I did and changed his name with each new type of writing he did. Many have now been released under his own name and probably done better with sales. Rowling’s books did when it came out that the creator of Harry Potter had written them.

I was quite surprised to see how many authors use a pen name. I guess I’m in good company.

What I didn’t quite think through in deciding to go this route was that I may have doubled a lot of my marketing work. Anything that I created for James Rada, Jr., I’ll have to create and maintain for J. R. Rada. This means Facebook pages, Twitter account, author websites, etc.

It always comes back to marketing, doesn’t it? Oh well, it’s part of the business.