31 January, 2014

On Titles - Advice Needed!

A short post today with a request for your advice...

My soon-to-be-published novel currently sports the title The Art of Letting Go. I love this title. It fits the themes of the book not just well, but on a couple of different levels. I thought of it when my original title - Thousand-Word Things - was vetoed by my agent as not being commercial enough (though he did quite like it and so did some of my readers). I've been very happy at the thought of my book being published as The Art of Letting Go, and now it will be! Except...

Mariah Carey's new album is going to be released this spring. The title? Why, The Art of Letting Go, of course. I can't quite believe the coincidence - that a global superstar (whatever you think of her music!) should happen on the same title as me for a piece of work to be released at roughly the same time. It's not fair - I chose this title well over a year ago!

Perhaps it doesn't matter. It's not as if she's releasing another novel - I'm not going to lose out on sales because somebody who intended to buy my book accidentally bought a Mariah Carey CD instead. But I'm wondering whether I should change my title after all. The album has been eagerly anticipated for a long time now and she released a single of the same name, from the album, last November. Maybe it could work in my favour, but maybe it will mean that anybody searching for my book will never find it among pages and pages of search results relating to Mariah. What do you think? To change or to stick to my guns?

My agent did suggest Mariah and I should hook up for a joint stadium tour or something, but I don't want to show her up when we're both prancing around in skimpy costumes...


Image from Wikipedia

16 comments:

  1. I think, if you have your heart set on The Art of Letting Go, that you should stick to your guns.

    You could modify it, at a push, to either 'Letting Go' or 'How to Let Go' or maybe use 'Release' or 'Relinquish' in the title. I wouldn't though!

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    1. "The Art of ..." bit of the title is especially significant to the book as it uses modern art to explore the themes of truth and lies, so I definitely don't want to lose that. I think you're right - I think I will keep it!

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  2. Ha! That must be annoying. I say it's a great title and since they're different products, keep it. It's unlikely there'll be TOO much confusion...

    Though I'm sure you have a great singing voice.

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    1. You better believe it, kid! Maybe Mariah can write my next book and I'll do the vocals for her next album...

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  3. Stick to the title. I had to google Maria to find out who she was but I know Chloe.

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    1. You may be the only person in the world who knows who I am and not who Mariah Carey is - bless you for it!

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  4. Hi Chloe. It's been a while, and I see congratulations are in order, on two levels. I'm delighted for you, and sincerely hope it goes according to plan for both your happy events.
    For what it's worth, I like the 'new' title for your book, because I think it's intriguing, and that's what will take prospective readers to the blurb, which in turn will take them to the first page.
    Since I last passed this way I've written (in about five drafts), a crime novel titled 'Beyond The Law'. It had various working titles over about 18 months, but when I chose my title I stuck with it, even when I discovered a movie, and a TV series of the same name.
    It's an eBook on Amazon and has been selling steadily (since Nov '13). It would have been nice to wait around for an agent, and do the traditional thing, but I'm trying to keep up with a changing world.
    Keep up the good work!

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    1. Thanks, Tom. Sounds as if you've been a lot more productive than I have - well, on the writing front, anyway! Glad to hear you are getting some sales - always better to be moving at the forefront of a trend than lagging behind it!

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  5. I think I'd stick with it. Then, when Mariah's people contact your people to demand you change it, there might be big pay-off in it for you if you hold out long enough!

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    1. OK, I'll hold out... but only because I trust your waters.

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  6. You had to go and tell everyone about my waters...

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  7. I think sticking with your title is the best idea. As you say, the 'Art' reference is relevant, and you feel the title suits your book. If Mariah's album is a big success, the phrase will be in people's heads and that might encourage them to pick up your book if they chance across it (online, or perhaps even on the front table at Waterstones...)

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  8. I think you should keep it. One, cause you love it so much. But also because it's a different medium. But third... it may help you. If someone searches The Art of Letting Go on Amazon, just a general search, not for books, they may stumble onto it. I'd go for it.

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    1. Thank-you, I think I will keep it. That's been my dilemma from the start - will it mean people stumble across my book by accident, or can't find it when actually looking for it?! I hope the former!

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  9. For goodness sake don't you go letting go of anything; what you are holding on to is far too precious!!

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