A recent post on Miss Snark reveals the horrible truth that often writers have no control over what their books are called. That’s right, folks, your publisher can change the title to something they deem more commercial.
There was much debate over the title of the first book in my trilogy. I’d always imagined Magic or Madness as the series title with the actual books being called Reason and the Two Cities, Reason and Margarita, and Reason defeats the Evil Monster Marauding Zombies from Hell. Marketing intervened and the series title became the title of the first book, leaving me and my editors to come up with new titles for books two and three and thus the whole working title thing of Magic! Magic! Magic! Oi! Oi! Oi!.
In addition to not having final say about the title. Writers also usually have no control over the following:
- The cover
- The jacket copy
- What font it’s typeset in
- Whether there’s an author photo or not
- When the book is published
- What format the book is published in (that’s right, Scott did not decide that the third book of his paperback trilogy, Uglies, should be printed in hardcover)
- Whether there’s a signing in your town or not (when I do a signing it’s usually because a bookshop has requested that I do one or because my publicist at Penguin has arranged one or because I’ve set it up myself—though I’m getting too jaded to do that anymore)
- The cost of the book
- Whether it’s available in your country
- Whether it’s available as an audio book
- Whether a movie is made out of it
Am I missing any? Feel free to add more in the comments.
What writers (mostly) have control over is the words within the covers of the book. (You know, excepting the copyright page etc.) That’s pretty much it.
P.S. I was so cheered up by the good news comments that I’d like to invite you to all to keep sharing your good news. I’m contemplating renaming my blog the Pollyanna blog. Or the Gladblog. The glad game rocks!
P.P.S. Congratulations to all of you for your good days and publishing triumphs and award nominations and absence of cancer and every other thing. So wonderful!
P.P.P.S. And do keep us all posted on the outcomes of all that good news. Orangedragonfly, that means you have to let us know when your husband gets home. (If you’re allowed to, I mean.)
P.P.P.P.S. Sadly Ellen Kushner jumped the gun in the good news comments: Magic’s Child is not yet finished. But as soon as it is I’ll be announcing it right here. (That is when I recover from the over-the-top celebrations!). In the meantime, good luck with your books. May they all be reprinted often and wind up on bestseller lists! May your days be beautiful, your health excellent, and your loved ones close by! (That’s right, I am Pollyanna the Glad Girl. Just got my hair bleached blonde yesterday.)
P.P.P.P.P.S If none of this makes any sense it’s because I’m working too hard and as an Australian I find that I’m deeply allergic to it.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Don’t forget to add more stuff writers have no control over to the comments.
P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I go sleep now . . .