Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Hurry up and wait

 I had intended this post to be the revelation of my new book title, the twelfth Inspector Green mystery, featuring the disgruntled, exiled Green toiling away in the "Siberia" of police assignments and even contemplated retirement. Like THE DEVIL TO PAY, the previous  book, it also features his daughter Hannah, now a young patrol officer, and her boyfriend Josh, a newly minted homicide detective. I submitted the manuscript to my publisher on January 10, five days before the deadline. The publication date is January 2025, so I know it's going to be a glacial process. I heard nothing back until this past week, when I learned who my editor will be, and later exchanged emails with him. Luckily, it's the same experienced editor I've had for almost all of my previous sixteen books. So unless I have really missed the mark this time, it should be a fairly smooth and amicable editorial process.

To me, the title is the crucial crowning touch of a book, which captures its essence, creates intrigue, and matches the mood of the book. Thrillers and cozies both have identifiable qualities that capture the essence or at least the mood of the book. The single work FEAR would never  work in a cozy, and many thriller readers would run screaming from a pun. 

I want my titles to be unique, sophisticated, and thought-provoking as well as emotionally gritty, because that's the kind of book I aspire to. Sometimes I discover the title early on but other times the book is written but has an unfinished feel because I haven't found the perfect title. 

This was the case this time.

I had a working title that I used through, but it never really felt right and I was concerned that it was too generic sounding and also too "thriller-like". At some point in the writing, another title came to me that seemed to fit almost perfectly, but because it has similarities to one of my previous book titles, I pushed it aside and kept looking. But my thoughts kept coming back to that title.

As I sometimes do, I asked my four beta readers (the Ladies Killing Circle) to vote on the two possibilities, and the results were split,  for the same reasons I had. So in the end, because the deadline loomed,  I sent the manuscript to the publisher and suggested they decide which title works best. That was six weeks ago, and although there has been progress, there are still some members of the publishing team who have yet to weigh in.

So that's where we stand. I'm hoping for an answer in the next two weeks, but in the publishing business, you never know. So stay tuned, and maybe by my next blog post, I'll have something to talk about. And crow about.

1 comment:

  1. Titles are hard. Sometimes I come up with great ones. Sometimes I just settle.


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