Help name my book!

Discussion in 'Community' started by Penman, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Penman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    #1
    All,

    In a couple of weeks I have to hand my freshly minted manuscript to my agent. It's a novel - my first work of fiction and hopefully a bestseller.

    I've been working with a title in mind for a while which I recently decided wouldn't work at all. Over the past couple of weeks I've been coming up with new ideas.

    Please - if you're interested and have time, take a look at the shortlist below and pick the one which would most likely make you stop in a bookstore and pick something up.

    I won't tell you about the book - people shopping won't know anything either most likely. I just want an opinion on the level of interest/curiosity they generate. The novel's a comedic romance with a fairly serious backbone. Not an airport novel and not a Pulitzer candidate.

    It'd be great to know if you're male or female too - 70% of the book-buying public are women. I think that people here are probably book types and would be thrilled to know I switched from a PC to a 17" PB to write the manuscript. Hell - if I get 50 responses I'll thank Apple in the acknowledgements.

    Options:

    Lowest Common Denominator
    The Space Man
    Nothing to Anyone
    Selling Nothing

    Thanks in advance,

    Penman.
     
  2. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #2
    it's hard without knowing anything about the book, but I guess the purpose is to make us pick it up in the first place. so I'd say Lowest Common Denominator, or maybe Nothing to Anyone. I don't particularly like The space man.
    good luck.
     
  3. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

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    #3
    I'd also put my money on Lowest Common Denominator. The designers may be able to do something clever with the initials LCD.

    Alternatively the Nothing to Anyone could lend itself to a very minimalist cover in a very strong colour.

    The latter would stand out more on the shelves, but I prefer the former title.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #4
    I would pick "The Space Man"

    With these titles I wouldn't even look at the book:
    Nothing to Anyone
    Selling Nothing
     
  5. ecche macrumors regular

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    #5
    i'm sorry, but none of these titles appeals to me in any way.

    "the space man" - for trekkies? (could be successful as it has already attracted "cdr. laforge")

    "nothing to anyone" - another political manifesto? (how boring!)

    "the lowest common denominator" - for math graduates? (you know, the guys with the casio wristwatch/calculator combinations)

    "selling nothing" - too negative!! (a shocker for those Avon salesreps?)


    good luck anyway!!
     
  6. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #6
    I can see these are all some sort of pun. Maybe with some interesting cover art, one of them would work, but as they stand, especially when standing on their own, I don't think any of these cut it.

    Along the lines of the titles you've suggested, maybe something like "nothing for sale" would be a little more active.

    Anyway, from a fellow writer, I wish you the best of luck with the novel.
     
  7. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #7
    hey penman,
    why don't you throw us a bone (in the form of a short synopsis) so we can throw back a couple of suggestions?
    I, for one, hereby solemnly promise not to write a novel by the same title in the next two weeks ;)

    edit: also, knowing who your target reader is would help
     
  8. cubist macrumors 68020

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    Muncie, Indiana
    #8
    Yes, we need a synopsis.

    "Nothing for Sale" is kind of catchy.

    How about "Nothing for Something"?
     
  9. Penman thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #9
    Synopsis

    Thanks for the help. The only problem with a synopsis is that it will then mean you approach the titles with knowledge of the book an average buyer wouldn't have. However - I se the curiosity and I guess it will affect the cover art.

    The book is a novel - it'll look like one. It'll have 'A novel' written on it, so no problem with confusion over manifestos or math text book.

    The book's about a guy who works for a popular men's lifestyle magazine in London. His sister is unwell and he has a strained relationship with his father. He's arrogant, good at his job and acerbic. He get's offered a position launching the same magazine in the US and moves to LA to do so. In LA he works in an entirely different environment and suffers a degree of personal and professional culture shock. He meets two women and starts having a relationship with one of them. Then his sisters condition worsens and he travels back to the UK where a series of events collide that bring the people he's met in LA into contact with his life in London. He's a slaesman - he approaches his life as a series of sales opportunities. Selling himself, his ideas and his magazine to everyone he meets.

    That sounds nice and boring eh? There's a lot more involved than that and another entirely different plot line I haven't mentioned. I won't discuss them because doing so would result in my agent arriving at my house with bolt cutters and slicing off my legs at the knees.

    The book's 60% humor. It's based in a lot of personal experience (I worked for a very well known Men's lifestyle magazine under identical circumstances) and if the book were a movie it'd have the same flavor as High Fidelity, Four Weddings & A Funeral and Office Space. A lot of the dialogue harks back to a Grant, Hepburn comedy of the mid 40's. The thread that deals with the main character's family is not played for laughs.

    The working title (which will probably be the one people say they like best) was 'Selling Claire'

    Penman.

    PS Title's are personal things. I've been through about 150 already. Please don't worry about consensus - I don't expect it. Just what you think. Someone's bound to disagree.
    PPS I can always call it 'Da Vinci's Other Code'
     
  10. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #10
    A couple more suggestions:

    Sold Out
    Selling Everything
    Li(v)es of a Salesman
     
  11. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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  12. ecche macrumors regular

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    #12

    yep! much better!
     
  13. sonofslim macrumors 6502a

    sonofslim

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    Jun 6, 2003
    #13
    i skipped your synopsis so i could come at this objectively. i spent a few years working in a bookstore, and if i had to shelve those titles without knowing what they were about (wouldn't happen, but for the sake of argument) here's where they'd go:

    lowest common denominator: either mystery/thriller or sociology/political writing

    space man: fiction

    nothing to anyone: fiction, or possibly poetry

    selling nothing: don't know (my least fave)

    selling claire: fiction

    from your original list, i'd go with nothing to anyone. just gut reaction, though.
     
  14. Penman thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #14
    Thanks.

    Thanks for the feedback. It's really coming together now. I'm sorry to say I can't go deeper into the content of the book before it's rolled by the people who are supposed to know things first. I'll certainly check back in as progress is made though. Keep commenting. I really appreciate the free focus group.

    Penman.

     
  15. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    #15
    I liked lowest common denominator.. of course I'm a math nerd...

    After reading the synopsis, selling claire i like the most.

    I think I would have picked it out of all of them first.. but the synopsis impacted my choice, no doubt. good luck, sounds interesting.
     
  16. 0s and 1s macrumors 6502a

    0s and 1s

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    #16
    I like Nothing to Anyone. It sounds depressing...just like my life. Good luck with the book release.
     
  17. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

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    BrisVegas, Australia
    #17
    well i first liked Nothing to Anyone, or Lowest Common Denominator.

    but since you mentioned Selling Claire, yep i really like that and it sounds very appropriate for the book.

    LOL :D 'Da Vinci's Other Code'. :p sounds like a good title actually, i could just imagine the cover with a way-out whacky charicature of Da Vinci, a complete send-up of the Da-Vinci Code. i love it! hope that's your next book. :)

    and don't worry, we'll get 50 responses so you have to put Apple in your acknowledgements. :D

    and BTW, i'm male.
     
  18. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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  19. im4candee macrumors newbie

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    May 9, 2004
    #19
    LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR!

    Hi, I am a female. I would not even pick up your book if it was called THE SPACE MAN. Call it Lowest Common Denominator... that title just grabs me. I hope to see your book in stores! :)
     

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