Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Title Angst


Picking a title is a lot like choosing a name for your kid. Pick the wrong one and you could turn an aspiring jock into an A/V nerd or vice-versa. What would Twilight be if it had been called The Boys of Forks? Harry Potter if it had been Trouble at Hogwarts? Maybe they'd have grown into their names, but maybe not.

I've been wrestling with the title of Dirty Little Secrets practically since I thought of it. It wasn't always called that - we'd gone through about five different titles before sending it out, but nothing felt quite right. Dirty Little Secrets was a bit of a "hail mary", and it seems to have stuck. I still have my doubts - is it a tad exploitive? Too commercial? Not commercial enough? I've polled critique groups, talked to my agent and my editor and everyone agrees that it's fine. Right, it's fine. Good title, fits the story with just enough intrigue to make someone want to pick it up. Fine.

Which was all well and good until J came home from school yesterday. Seems he's writing a report on my book (apparently it's okay even though it's not a "real" book yet) and a couple of the kids in his class thought that Dirty Little Secrets "maybe sounded kinda like a wierd title".

OMG - I'm right back to that place where I'm not sure about anything anymore. Somebody help me.

On this date: In 1959, the Rebellion in Tibet.

5 comments:

Shelli said...

ugh titles are hard. go with your gut- publisher wil change it anyway ;) didnt laurie stolartz write a book recently called dirty little secrets. I may have dreamed it good luck and thx for kind words.

cynjay said...

Her book is Deadly Little Secrets, which is a cute twist.

That's part of the problem - the publisher loves the title and doesn't want to change it, so the angst is all mine. It's in copyediting right now, so time is running out - soon it will be set in stone.

Hope you're feeling better!

Natalie said...

I wouldn't worry, Cyn...J's age group won't be your target audience, anyway. How cool that he's doing a book report on it! :-)

Robin said...

I absolutely LOVE the title. Always have. DON'T CHANGE IT!!!
I have a feeling that the boy in J's class probably refers to just about everything as "weird." So take it as a compliment!

cynjay said...

Okay ladies - if you say so. I'm still going to obsess over it, I'll just obsess quietly and leave things as they are.

It is kind of funny that J is doing a book report on it. Is it weird that I'm more worried about his report than I am about a Kirkus review?