What's In A Name?
Updated: Apr 9, 2018
the name of a book, composition, or other artistic work.
"the author and title of the book"
The better part of this week was devoted to picking a title for my upcoming book. I had been using the same working title since I started writing the novel over 20 years ago. Friends were drawn to it, my first developmental editor loved it, and I loved it. I was sold. Done. Check that box and move on.
Except for one thing. My publishers hated it.
Now, the three of us entered into a very delicate dance. I'm working with Acorn Publishing, a hybrid publisher, and as the novel will be self-published under their imprint, all of the revenue—and publishing decisions—are ultimately mine. But why work with people if you can't draw on their expertise, right?
Sounded good in my head. But I just didn't agree.
I fought the title change. I argued, proselytized, warned them that the title I was so loyal to made a lot of sense the minute the reader finished the first page of the novel. And they suggested that with the title I proposed, the reader would never get that far—they'd click right past my eBook online and rest their Starbucks on the hard and soft-cover versions in stores and at book fairs while they thumbed through the work of others.
I'm not gonna lie, that was tough to swallow.
We decided to have the public weigh in, and gave a two sentence blurb about the book to Facebook followers of both my professional page and theirs. We got many interesting responses, some with really good alternate title suggestions, and some which were not going to be a fit.
I wrote an email to my brother, a notorious avoider of social media, and asked for his opinion. His response was, "I have no idea. I guess use something from the text. 'Flygirl' sticks out to me." It happens to be the nickname of my protagonist. And there it was.
My first novel, Flygirl, will be released in early 2019.
So, in case you were wondering about the scientific algorithms run to determine the very best title choice for upcoming published novels, consider this process. And email my brother.