Wednesday, November 23, 2011
My Fiction Day - Titles and Covers
I won't tell you my original title because I don't want it to stick in your head. It was two-words and to the point. I adore to-the-point. It makes my day. And the title fit in a theme with the other two books nipping at this one's heels. So now we have to change all of them. That's okay. I'm good with that. They were very accommodating with my preferences in the story. I'm still scared to say the title quite yet, though. They haven't given me the nod.
But we emailed back and forth in a three-way conversation for three days. Probably 20 emails. We looked at the crimes in the book, the location, the characters, the lifestyle of the region. Finally we narrowed it down to locale being the carrying theme. Then we couldn't agree on which location in the book. I lost on that one, but the final choice was doable.
The fun part was filling out a Q&A for whoever creates the cover. I described the protagonist. I rated the story on light/dark, mood, pace, emotion. I had to name five items from the book that could represent the story. That was friggin' hard to do and not look like a cliche. I even was asked if my book were a color, which one would it be. (I chose Rust.) Then I had to find covers and images from Dreamstime.com to give them ideas on how I invision the story.
If I ever self-publish a book, I've learned I'll never use a template. Not after seeing the thought that's going into this cover.
If you choose to self-pub, however, make yourself slow down and brainstorm with someone who respects you and your story. Do not stand alone in all these decisions of title, cover, font, and so on. Get feedback. Let someone validate your selections, or dash your choices. You need that.
My writing group isn't happy that the book's name has changed. After all, they've heard it by another name for years. But I'm not the one investing the money into the book. I'm not the one with a neck on the chopping block, with a serious need for this book to make a return on investment. I think we forget that when we get sassy about publishers. They spend thousands of dollars and we sit back and cry like divas, in many cases, because the title and cover aren't what we envisioned. Or they made us change the protagonist's choice of boyfriend or alter who kills the bad guy. I, for one, am willing to listen. They've made way more money at this than I have, and the least I can do is give their expertise a chance to pitch itself to me.
Now I'm anxious for them to start book two. It's beginning to get fun and wild, people. Just realized this post really doesn't have a lesson and maybe not a fluid theme, but hey, thought you guys would appreciate the update. Hope it made sense.