Marge Simpson using Google from Dannysullivan@flickrSo there I was doodling away in a media training session when the instructor informed each of us that we should google our names frequently to see what was being said about us on the internet.

Really?

Of course everybody at the session had already done this. Repeatedly. But now we weren’t only being given permission, we were being told we MUST do it in order to look for reviews and information about the reviewers, misinformation we might be able to clear up, pirated copies of our novels to report to our publishers. And did I know there was something called Klout.com that measured our Google mentions as well as our followers on Twitter, the number of people who’ve friended or liked us on Facebook, the readers of our blogs. Google ourselves and get an idea just how popular we are.

Really? Just like junior high school, only electronically?

Do you google yourself? It’s an interesting experience. There are a number of Emilie Richardses in the world. Luckily for me none I’ve encountered so far are porn stars–which happened to an author friend when she googled her name. It is true, though, that you can find out many things about yourself that you didn’t know. Let me take you on a journey, a recent trip through Googleland with only the words Emilie Richards to guide me.

To shorten this I limited my finds to the last week on the web. Planning to try this yourself? You can start by clicking “search tools” after you’ve typed in your name, and choose a time span for your results. Otherwise they may go back before you’re born. (I really don’t doubt that possibility. Emilie in utero, after all Google knows all.)

Ignoring mentions related to this blog and my Facebook page and website, the first interesting mention I encountered was a blog post about One Mountain Away, written yesterday. 52 in 52 (the blog’s name) was a wonderful find, a day-maker for me. Thank you, Dodie, so glad I decided to look for my name today. For the record, I carry a little piece of Charlotte in my heart, too.

Next I found a TV listing for one of my German movies, only the listing was in Czech. As for which movie? That’s a real puzzler. But you can get a preview if you play the video segment. Maybe you’ll be able to tell us.  Immediately after that I got a used book listing in an unknown language. Care to hazard a guess which language it is?

I won’t go on about the listings in languages other than English, of which there are many, because that will show my stunning ignorance of all things non-English. Lots of them come with movie snippets, so google my name if you’re interested in watching videos.

My favorite movie listing came when I tried this a few days ago to see if googling myself would be fun to blog about. I found an English description of one of my movies from a book titled Duncan’s Lady. My story, a paranormal romance, was set in Scotland, and the heroine, Mara, had such strong psychic powers she couldn’t live in a city because she was too easily overwhelmed. So she built a little croft and raised a garden and only reluctantly interacted with the hero and his daughter. At least at first.

In the German version Mara is a doctor in a small town in New Zealand with no psychic powers, and the major romantic conflict is that she and Duncan are afraid they may be half-brother and sister.

I told you that googling your name was interesting, right? For the record there are similarities to my book. There really are.

Most of the names are the same.

I found more nice reviews, comparisons with other authors, pirated ebooks that I reported to my publisher, a Wikipedia page I was too terrified to read, and lots more. It was a little like diving for treasure, with the full understanding I might find nothing but sharks and dead fish. This time I only found driftwood and the occasional pearl.

Try it yourself. If you find something fascinating, let us know. And if you find googling yourself too boring, there’s always that college boyfriend you’ve wondered about for years and years.

Wonder no more.

If you haven’t told us what kind of books you most like to read–see last Friday’s post–then be sure to comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Iron Lace. Full details here

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