Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What's in a Name?

Usually, at the beginning of each year I do an “About the Author” column to help our new readers get to know me a little better by learning some incredibly interesting facts, like my favorite breakfast cereal, and which shoe I put on first.

Recently, however, I have begun to notice how many other Marcs there are on, so in lieu of a “getting to know you” column this year, I thought I’d go with a “getting to know who I’m not” theme.

When you go to Amazon looking for one of my books (two-thirds of my sons think they’re really great), and you start typing my name in the search bar, things can get confusing.

For instance, if you just type in “Marc,” there can be a lot of misleading suggestions dropping down for you.

Marc Jacobs is not me. Apparently, he’s some big shot fashion guy from New York. He seems to only design things for women. In contrast, I know nothing about women and even less about women’s fashions.

Marc Anthony is a singer who is also not me. I can’t sing. I think he also dances, so that’s strike two. He might also have a line of expensive women’s hair care products. I don’t know anything about women’s hair care or even men’s hair care. I don’t even have any hair to care for. Strike three.

If you type in my first name, but have no idea how to spell my last name (and who could blame you?), but you suspect it might start with a consonant, you’d be right! Being the shrewd guesser you are, you would probably choose the right one and type “Marc S.” This still presents problems.

One of the first drop-down suggestions Amazon will give you is Bruno Marc shoes. Marc is my first name, not my last, and I don’t make shoes. I own shoes, but none by Bruno Marc. His shoes seem fairly affordable, though, so maybe I’ll grab a pair.

Marc Secchia might be your next choice. You’re getting closer, because he’s an author too, but he writes prolifically about dragons. I can’t even spell prolifically, and I don’t write about dragons.

You might be tempted to click on Marc Singer, but I’ve already told you, I don’t sing. And I was also not the super-buff star of the 1982 smash hit The Beastmaster, even though people get me confused with that guy all the time.

I am also not Marc Shapiro, even though he’s an author as well. He seems to write unauthorized biographies on semi-famous people. If I were going to write a biography on someone, chances are I would get their permission first. I hate getting sued.

If you happen upon Marc Stevens in your drop-down choices, beware. He writes what appears to be very low-budget erotica. I am a children’s book author. Those two things don’t go together.

Marc Simont and Marc Silvestri are also not me. They are illustrators of books. I am not. I wish I was, but my stick figures don’t even look like people. It’s sad, really.

If you have a near-photographic memory and somehow remembered that my last name starts with “Sch,” you can still get into trouble. Typing in “Marc Sch” brings up more issues.

Marc Schelske is a Christian author and also seems to be a singer. I’m a Christian, and also an author, but “Christian author” usually gets you a specific type of book. And we’ve been over the whole singer thing. The world does not need to hear me try to sing. The unruly crowd at the karaoke place made that abundantly clear.

Marc Schoen, a man who is also not me, is a Ph.D. in something or other who has also written books, two of which are entitled When Relaxation is Hazardous to your Health, and Your Survival Instinct is Killing You. He sounds fun, huh? I, on the other hand, want you to live a long, healthy life. And I think you should relax and take a break whenever you want, unless you’re my pilot.

Marc Schorin is not a real person, but I am. His name comes up because a lot of people who want to learn how to stop relaxing keep misspelling Schoen.

Marc Schiller is a real person, who wrote a real book about his really weird life story. He’s the real-life victim of the insane kidnapping and murder plot by three steroid-junkie Miami personal trainers known as the Sun Gym Gang in 1994. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson play two of the idiot bodybuilding criminals in the recent movie, Pain & Gain. I have never, to my knowledge, been kidnapped by muscular lunatics.  

Once you’ve got as far as “Marc Sch,” if you’re good enough to guess the next letter correctly as “m,” you should be home free. I think I’m the only “Marc Schm” on the Amazon suggestions list.

So there you go, new readers. Now you know a little about who I am and a lot about who I’m not, as well as how to avoid the pitfalls and successfully navigate to “Marc Schmatjen” on Amazon. Thanks for joining us! Browse around a while and see if there’s anything that catches your eye. And for any of you veteran readers who already have some or all of my books, I would sincerely appreciate an honest Amazon review from you or your kids. Thanks in advance!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2018 Marc Schmatjen

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