Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A day late and a dollar short; What's in a Name?


I was supposed to blog yesterday. But a bunch of stuff kept me from it -- mostly family gatherings and the editing. I spent most of last week's downtime in the editing cave, getting edits done for A Curse of Ash and Iron.  I am so glad it's done! One step closer to the big day! 

Still waiting on the cover, hope to see it soon.

So I'm a little late in posting my blog. What I wanted to blog about this time is titles. Book titles.

I have published six books up to this point, and never had to change a title. Until now. I'd heard about authors having to come up with new titles for their manuscripts after they sold. I've seen them go through lists and lists of options, tearing their hair out to find one that both they and their publisher agree on.

I can sympathize.

For the first time ever, I had to change a title. It wasn't that the original title didn't fit, it was that the title had already been used. And let me back up a minute. Titles can't be copyrighted. You can have as many books with the same title as you want. No one has the market on a title. BUT, the title that I submitted the manuscript under had already been used by this guy named Neil Gaiman. Maybe you've heard of him? Anyway, his book is an anthology and so different, the editor thought there would be some confusion or that it would take away from MY book.

So the hunt for a new title began. It was difficult at first, because the manuscript had had the old title for YEARS, and it was hard for me to think of it any other way. I mean, I can't say I was 'attached' to the title, it had to go. When I started writing it, I had no title. I came up with something totally ridiculous first, when I took the first 30 pages to a Mentoring Workshop, and then I came up with what I thought was the PERFECT title. And then we had to change it.

My agent and I tossed around a few ideas, having to do with masquerades, and theater, and other themes in the book. Editor shot them all down. I think I went through three lists before we came up with A CURSE OF ASH AND IRON, in early January.

Which was good, because we couldn't announce the deal without a title. Overall it was fairly painless, and now I can say that I'm one of those authors who has had to change a title!

And now, A Curse of Ash and Iron has really grown on me :)


  1. So Neil Gaiman got your title first. You're in good company. :) Your new title sounds great. I know how you felt about the first one though. My forthcoming tween novel had a different title than the one I gave it many years ago when I started writing the story. The publisher said the title didn't fit. She was right, of course. :) Best of luck with your latest.

  2. It's a bummer that Mr. Gaiman had already used your title, but your new one is pretty cool B-) Congrats!