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Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Of Book Titles and Such
Often, I buy a book based on its title alone. Sometimes, I just can’t help myself. A great title helps any book, but when a great title graces the cover of an excellent book, the publisher has a bestseller in the making.
Let’s look at some great books and the terrible titles almost assigned to them.
George Orwell’s 1984 went to the publisher with the title of The Last Man in Europe.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island started its life as The Sea-Cook.
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men had a working title of Something that Happened.
Katherine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools was almost titled Promised Land.
And at one point, Tolstoy considered calling his greatest novel by the cheerful title of All’s Well that Ends Well instead of the appropriately solemn War and Peace.
As you can see, titles make a difference. Pick your title with care but be ready to drop your original title if a better on comes along.
My first love was reading, and my second love was writing. Deciding how to string words together fascinates me.
My interests and pursuits are wide ranging. I'm a self-employed educational entrepreneur and book packager. During my career I have worked as a consultant, professor, business owner, author and ghostwriter.