Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Titles... UGH!

I wrote a book. The book has had three titles. It may yet get a fourth title. I'm told editors sometimes say things like, "We'll buy it, but you have to change the title." I will say, "You got it, Mr./Ms. Editor." I'm not wedded to my title.

Titles are HARD to create. You want to say so much in so few words. Titles are a writer's nemesis. Well, not all writers. Some people just NAIL it and you can not imagine any other title. Here's a new deal I just read on Publisher's Weekly. How's this for a title?

Jay Louis's HOT CHICKS WITH DOUCHEBAGS: Deconstructing the Unholy Wrongness of Hottie/Douchey Coupling and How to Recover from the Douchebag Plague, based on the website HotChickswithDouchebags.com, to Jeremie Ruby-Strauss at Simon Spotlight Entertainment, by Michael Harriot at Vigliano Associates (world).

That reminds me, I gotta go turn on Channel 100 on my Sirius.....

12 comments:

Amanda said...

The greatest ideas always happen a) in the bath or b) with a glass of wine so for real inspiration combine the two...by the way what is a douchebag?

Trish Ryan said...

I've spent DAYS talking with my editor, her assistant, and assorted random people on the street over the past few months trying to figure out the right title for the book. You're right - it's more complicated than you'd think. Good luck!

John Elder Robison said...

When I wrote my book, I had used the name of one of the KISS chapters as the title. The first editor who read it suggested a different chapter name as a title, and I agreed - it was better. When Crown took on my book, one of the things they did was study whether there was some better title still, waiting to be discovered.

They tested titles with focus groups, and decided Look Me in the Eye was best.

If their research had identified something that readers liked better, I'd certainly have considered changing to that.

Kim the blushing blog owner said...

John, one of my titles was "FIND MY EYES" and my agent suggested I change it. So I did. You never know, do you? :)

Amanda, for real? Ahem, douchebag is an Americanism for a shmuck, an asshole, an undeserving person, a jerk, a "git" perhaps in Brit?? Based on the French, doucher, to bathe from which we derive douche, a women's hygiene spritzy thing for up one's watoozie to freshen and cleanse. Are you laughing yet? Hey, you asked!

K

Laura said...

Hmm. I probably wouldn't want to be reading a book with douchbag in the title. You know, I like to read in the waiting area of the speech and ABA therapist's offices, and that might not give the best impression. ;) So, if your editor suggests anything about douchbags or rubber thongs in the title, you may want to think twice! I'll still read it, whatever it is titled, though!

Michelle O'Neil said...

what's a watoozie?

Holly Kennedy said...

When I wrote The Tin Box, the title made perfect sense to everyone and was never fiddled with. The Penny Tree, however, was retitled 3x and The Silver Compass has topped them all by being retitled five.

I think it's great that you're open to changing your title. After all, everyone involved in finding the 'perfect title' for your work (agents, editors, marketing, etc) share a common goal with you -- to sell wagon loads of your book!

It's hard, though, isn't it?
What's your current working title, btw?

Anonymous said...

LOL - whatoozie!?@! That's just as good as "va-jay-jay" on Grey's Anatomy :).

Kim the blog owner said...

Michelle, watoozie? Um, rembember when you found out in the delivery room that there IS no stork and the baby has to come out of your watoozie? There you go! Va jay jay? No way way!

My submission title is One Kat. Two Lives. Party on Garth.

K

Ahvarahn said...

Instant Illumination by Sean D'Olear...

irene said...

The post and comments today are exquisite! *whew* I have to go dry my eyes from the laughter.

Kim Stagliano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.