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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Looking for a new title

With the e-Book layout complete for Security & Exchange, I've looked through the PDF file with a growing sense of pride and trepidation. And I think this is a place that Long Tale Press may have some difficulties in the future. How many books go to press through traditional publishers with the same name that the author wrote on page 1 of the first draft? I'm guessing the percentage may be in single digits. And now that I see the completed book, I can't help but think that Security & Exchange is the wrong title. It really has nothing to do with either, and I'm tired of people asking me if it is a Microsoft book about fighting email viruses.

When I first conceived of the name, it came complete with a series of titles for my great new mystery sequence. "Security & Exchange," "Municipal Blondes," "Stocks & Bondage," and a couple of others. The last two aren't bad titles, but even the finished second book doesn't fit the title. They are detectives, not stock brokers.

So, I'm looking for a new name for S&E. Something that is marketable. A quick title that will grab people's attention and say, "OOO, sounds cool." Here's the blurb. If you can toss out some suggestions, I'd appreciate it.
"_______________ is a contemporary first person detective mystery set in tech-savvy Seattle. Computer code and hidden files prove as deadly as dark alleys and flying bullets as computer forensics investigator Dag Hamar tears down a missing man’s laptop computer and traces the billion dollar fortune the one-time friend took with him."

Here are a couple of suggestions from lobo_luna writers group.
The Code Tracker
The Cipher Chase
Fated to Die

Any other ideas or opinions?


I remember the ending and would steer clear of the last two offerings although I like them in general.

That's what I immediately thought as well. I like your current title more than the four suggested.
Is the launch Friday?
I have to admit that I thought 'Microsoft' when I read the title in the first place...

That being said, in the name of all that is good and grammatically correct, pleaaaase don't name it F8ed2D1e... as a reader who abhors internet speak masquerading as literature, I would pass that over on the bookshelf as a matter of principle.

"The Cipher Chase" sounds like an interesting novel. The other two titles of the series are very fun... Can one of them moonlight as a stock broker so that you can still use them? ;) Keeping with the judicial theme, you could call it something like "Hung Jury" or hmmm.... somehow combining the business sense in the other two titles with computers and murder... I'll think on it.
The best title that pops into my head is simply "Simon Says".

On the subject of titles generally, I'm not terribly worried that we'll have problems. Our manuscript pool participants will be free to comment on the title as well as anything else, and the author can take it under advisement. We might make a point of suggesting to the pool that they pay particular attention to the title, after they finish reading the whole work, to make sure it is apt.

But honestly, the fact that publishing houses routinely over-ride authors on the goddamn NAME of their stories is one of the things that particularly piques me. It smacks of sending your kid to school only to have the principal say "yeah, she's a nice kid, but I think she's more of a 'megan', so that's what we're going to put on her diploma."
Yes. I thought of Simon Says, but a quick search showed about 50 books by that title already. Granted we won't be directly competing against any of them, but no one doing a search would find it either.

I have to agree that publishers changing the name of a book has always seemed arbitrary, but the reason that books sell is primarily based on the cover. People look at the flap as well, but if the title doesn't grab them, they will simply not look at anything else. When I think of the past, say five books I've written, I think my working title is only appropriate for release on two of them. And the next one this fall isn't a particularly saleable title as well. Who would want to read about Gutenberg's Other Book? It doesn't say anything about mystery, high action adventure, or a guy racing against competitors and the clock to find the secret buried there first.

At the moment, I'm kind of leaning toward "Invalid Password" as the idea. I'm not thrilled yet, though. Yes, I do believe the reviewers should comment on the title as a portion of their review.
I guess it depends on the book's target audience. I find "Gutenberg's Other Book" very intriguing, personally, but that's probably because I know who he is and what he's famous for publishing. If you're going for a broader, more DaVinci Code audience, then maybe it needs another title.