A Writer in Progress: Saying Good-Bye to My Original Book Title & Learning a Lesson the Hard Way

Banff, Canada - Sometimes Beautiful Moments do happen!
Banff, Canada – Sometimes Beautiful Moments do happen!

I’ve always had a lot of respect for writers. However, I have a new-found respect for writers who put all the responsibly on their own shoulders and go the self-publishing route.

I mean, the list of responsibilities are endless and I have only scratched the surface of what needs to be done in terms of writing a book.

Take, for instance, coming up with the ideal and perfect title for the book. When I first started on this journey to write a book, I thought the name of the book was one thing less I had to worry about. In my mind, the title was carved in stone. It was what I had been referring the book to in my head for several months. It felt perfect! It felt right!

However, one evening last week, the title I had chosen was written off completely. And it all came about with the simple typing of the words, a few clicks of the mouse, and a google search. Right there and then, my dreams of having a book called ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ vanished into thin air. There was a movie [with the same name] released in 1997, a blog with the same phrase as a title, and tons of books sporting the same chain of words on their covers [its true – just do a title search on goodreads.]

It sucked, big time! It was disappointing, but at least I found sooner rather than later [when the book was published.]

I decided to take a step back and I quickly realized that….

it was back to the drawing board.

After coming up with several more words and word combinations, I put a damper on them all. None of them felt appropriate. None of the felt like ‘the one’! They didn’t indicate that message, that effect that I was looking for.

However, I was determined not to give up and the search for those perfect words continued forward.

And I think I have now found the a title that I am happy with. 99.9% that is!

I am sorry to leave you hanging but I will tell you the name of my book as soon as I am 100% certain about everything. [A little hint – its nickname is now ‘The I.D.’]  And this time I am going to do my research before anything is carved in stone!

So, I guess the moral of my rambling is what sometimes seems perfect is not. And do your homework beforehand when it comes to something as big as a book title.

[More about my feelings about the overall process in a post coming soon when the first draft is completed.  However, if you would like to read more about my book, click here.]

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42 thoughts on “A Writer in Progress: Saying Good-Bye to My Original Book Title & Learning a Lesson the Hard Way

  1. That’s hard. I mean finding out that THE title you were so sure about can’t be used anymore. You have all my support.

    Funny enough, I am also planning to put together an ebook sometimes soon and I had an idea about the title (nothing set in stone, just an idea). After reading your article I checked online and BAM, there is an ebook with a similar enough title. Doh!

    Maybe I will have to change my plans as well..

    1. That might be a good idea, unless the other book is a different genre than yours. Even then, people may get confused when looking for your book online and buy the wrong book.

    2. @marghini – It is! However, everything happens for a reason and like my husband said, maybe it happened so I could come up with an even better title.

      Good luck finding another title if you decide to change it. I saw on f/b that you were in Vietnam. I hope you had an amazing time and you came back feeling energized and relaxed!

  2. So excited to hear you book is progressing along, Constance. The title is really a tricky bit. You want to be original, and you want it to some up your book and convey the themes within it. I’ve actually decided to come up with the title of my book until after I’ve finished a draft and am in the editing stages…as we write, stories change and maybe even the purpose of our books change as writers 🙂

    Publishing is certainly a whole different thing compared to writing. I remember doing a publishing subject at uni and it blew my mind – so much to know from copyright to royalties. Good luck, Constance. Sounds like you’ve got good content out, that is a massive achievement and I will say this again – I am very excited for you 🙂

    1. I hear what you are saying and maybe I should have left it to the editing stages, but for me, the title kind of guides me in a way. I guess that this can be good or bad – good in that it keeps me focus, bad in that I may be limiting myself.

      I am sure there is so much to consider when publishing. Some people say the self-publishing route is easier than you think. However, all the responsibly to format, deal with the legalities, finance, as well market and promote the book rests on your shoulders. However, it is all a learning experience and I am up for the challenge [I think I am, anyways].

    1. I think the title is pretty important and with so many people using the internet to do research these days, it is important to stand out and be different.

      And yes, that means the first draft is nearing completion – just a few loose ends to finish. Fingers [and toes] crossed that it will be completed soon.

      How did you decide the title of your book?

      1. I did a lot of brainstorming to come up with ideas. I still have my notes somewhere. I also love mystery novels so that is why my title {the missing teacher} seems like a mystery novel title 😛 but I loved the hidden meaning behind it and when I told a published author my title, years ago, he said, “Hmm. Good title.” He confirmed what I felt to be true. So, the short answer is, I played around with words, researched what is a good title and had fun 🙂

        1. I love the title as well and you are right – it does sound rather mysterious!! I just checked out the sample pages of your book on Amazon and you had me laughing right from the beginning [you poor thing being in that predicament while running!!] I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of the Waldolf education system [maybe because I have been living in Asia a long time! That is my excuse 😉 ] I plan on reading more! 🙂

          1. Glad you laughed and thought it was funny 🙂 I was worried when I put it out there that my opening would offend more than “interest” readers. Cheers ^^

  3. @”I will tell you the name of my book as soon as I am 100% certain about everything.” – O.K. young lady, look forward to reading you asap… meanwhile, good luck and have a positive week! cheers, Mélanie

  4. Oh Constance, I can imagine what a big frustration and disappointment it must have been to have had your mind set on a title for so long and then for one quick Google search to quickly erase all that but like you say, at least it happened early on in the process! Good luck with the rest of the process and iill be keeping my eyes peeled for the big reveal of your new title!

    1. Thanks so much, Skikha. You are right – it is good that I found out early. This is all new to me, so everything is a learning experience and we learn from our mistakes. Hopefully, the next one will be even better than the original!! 🙂

  5. Sometimes I really believe it is all fated. There could be a million things that could have been, might have been better, book title being just one. It is fated that you should pick a different book title, and so you made that annoying discovery before you published your book.

  6. It’s always tough to change a title when you originally were so in love with it, but sometimes your second or third choices turn out even better! I know Susan Blumberg-Kason originally had a totally different title for her memoir Good Chinese Wife…the resulting title was one that came up later on. And it works great. So you never know!

    1. So, I am a big tease and I have a flair for the dramatic [according to my hubby]! lol I guess that sounds about right! haha 😉 😉

      Maybe it was just meant to be another name [and hopefully, a better name!] However, I think everything has a way of working out, usually for the better.

  7. I’m looking forward to hearing your new title.

    I didn’t have the title for Tiger Tail Soup until it was finished. I did check if there was any other book by that name, and fortunately it’s an unusual name, so I was safe. There is one YouTube video of someone telling a story from Jamaica called Tiger Tail Soup, but by now, if you search for Tiger Tail Soup, my novel will be your first nine search results.

    1. I think in the world of internet and google searches, it has to be a title the stands out [especially if you take the self-publishing route which I am considering.]

      I have always loved the title of your book. I think the title, Tiger Tail Soup, stands out and is intriguing. It makes you want investigate more because of its uniqueness.

      1. Thank you, Constance. I was uncertain at first, but I’ve come to like it a lot. The only criticism is that someone might think it’s a children’s book. But I think the cover and the subtitle (a novel of China at War) makes it clear it’s not a children’s book. By the way, a subtitle is handy for marketing.

        1. I love the cover of your book. I have always wondered if you created the image yourself and if the drawing of the girl was of a real person [it is a drawing right?]

          Thanks for the advice, Nicki. I have been working on a subtitle as well as an eye-catching cover.

          1. I’m glad you like the cover. I don’t know how to do the computer graphics, but I worked with the publisher. The background of my cover was from one of my paintings, and I chose the fonts and worked on the arrangement. But the girl is a photo I chose.

            1. I knew the cover was a painting of yours. However, I wasn’t sure about the girl.

              I have a new found respect for writers as I never realized the amount of time and energy it takes to prepare, write, edit, publish, and market a book.

  8. I can really relate to being forced to change the title of your book. After changing the title of my book several times, I thought I had the perfect title. God Bless the Child, such as Billy Holiday’s 1930s hit song. Well, no one was more surprised than me when a couple of months later, I learned that Toni Morrison would be publishing a book with the title Gold Help the Child (no doubt taken from Billie Holiday’s song). Even though there’s no copyright on titles, our stories are somewhat similar, except mine is a memoir and Morrison’s is a novel. Devastated, I’m back to the drawing board too. Sigh.

      1. That’s wonderful! By the way, I’ve come across a few self-publishing related blogs and sites recently. Are you still interested in these sorts of things? I can pass them on if you like. They are by people who’ve already been successful at it.

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