Thursday, March 16, 2006
A Book By Any Other Name.....
Will it be as sweet?
Fortunately, I chose the name of my first book, THE GREAT PRETENDER. It's the title I originally self-published with. When Penguin bought the book they liked and kept that title....thank God.
Alas, this was not to be the case with book #2.
I got to thinking about the title tug-a-war after reading Tess Gerritsen's entertaining yarn about how her most recent work got its name. Oddly enough, Barnes & Noble wound up choosing her title. Go figure.
On that note, here's a peek at the title maze of my second gem:
Doomed Title #1) A BLOSSOM FELL - this one lasted about a minute and a half because, although it had a special place in my heart being a Nat King Cole song and all, everyone agreed it sounded too "romancy".
This one was nixed very early on. Pre-1st draft. :-(
Doomed Title #2) RAINDROPS ON ROSES - I loved this one, too - started the book with it, but for obvious reasons, it didn't live any longer than its predecessor.
It, too, was nixed. Sniff.
Doomed Title #3) A LIFETIME OF LIES - Now this one I really loved! So did my agent. So did my editor. This doomed title survived the longest. I wrote a good chunk of the story under this one and it really changed the tone and the intended execution of the plot.
So there I am, plotting away when--wham!---publishing suits have their meeting, someone (art person I think) decides it doesn't have the same punch as THE GREAT PRETENDER and, just like that, we're back to square one. It was also nixed.
Alas, book #2, now nearly completed, was nameless once again. Sniff.
Doomed Title #4) A GRACEFUL DECEIT - Now this one was my favorite, because it has tremendous plot significance and would tie into the overall reading experience. I loved it. My agent loved it. Editor, etc. felt it lacked "oomph".
My agent did a survey of her own on it and she reported that, hands down, folks greatly preferred the winning title......
What is the winning title?
**THE GREAT BETRAYAL** Ding, ding, ding! This one won the gold. I picked it, liked it, but felt readers would think it a sequel to THE GREAT PRETENDER.
They did some kind of in-house "survey" (not sure how credible those can really be) and it was decided that 1) TGB is simply building on my first title, 2) it helped the branding effort, and 3) no one would think it was a sequel. Go figure.
So - which one do you prefer? Anybody agree that folks just may assume book #2 is a sequel to book #1?
Warning to my fellow authors - don't get any ideas about stealing any of my "bit the dust" titles - I have every intention of using them all! Stay tuned. ;-)