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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old November 11 2009, 06:14 PM   #31
Man of Steel
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

So why a title and cover change on Stern's book? Does title change come from writer or editor?
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Old November 11 2009, 06:18 PM   #32
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

^ Could be either/both. Changing the title of a book is a pretty common practice, and can happen for any of a number of reasons, with a likely reason being that another title was found to be more suitable for the final version of the story, as opposed to the title conjured when it was still in the outline/writing stage. You'd be surprised how often writers go back and forth, agonizing over "the perfect title"
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Old November 11 2009, 06:19 PM   #33
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Man of Steel wrote: View Post
So why a title and cover change on Stern's book? Does title change come from writer or editor?
It depends. I have no idea what the story is in this case, but all sorts of people get involved in the title process, and there are a million possibilities.

Maybe his agent suggested the new title. Maybe some guy in the marketing department. Or the publisher's cousin. Maybe somebody thought the title was too similar to another book on the list. Or maybe the author just changed his mind.

There's no hard and fast rules here. Just people making stuff up as they go along, and having lots of meetings.

And, a lot of the time, the early titles are just "placeholders" for the real title which nobody has come up with yet.

"Let's just call it DARK VENGEANCE for now. We'll think of something better when the time comes . . . ."
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Old November 11 2009, 06:32 PM   #34
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
^ You'd be surprised how often writers go back and forth, agonizing over "the perfect title"

Is there really ever a perfect title?
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Old November 11 2009, 06:35 PM   #35
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Nope. Just one that doesn't suck as bad as the one you had before it.
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Old November 11 2009, 07:01 PM   #36
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Typical examples:

THE BLACK SHORE was originally titled PARADISE, but somebody thought that was too close to Melissa Scott's THE GARDEN.

THE EUGENICS WARS came dangerously close to just being titled KHAN: THE RISE AND FALL. (I actually have a mock-up of a cover with that title on my office wall.)

My TERMINATOR novel went from DARK SKY to COLD STEEL to COLD WAR before it finally saw print.

And TOMORROW SUCKS (my scifi vampire book) started out as a joke title before somebody finally suggested, "Hey, why don't we REALLY call it that?"

These things happen. Titles are just something that get tossed around until one stands out.
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Old November 11 2009, 07:09 PM   #37
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
Nope. Just one that doesn't suck as bad as the one you had before it.
That's great, just when I'm working on a title for my novel (which is a little over a quarter written). I think my title is a little too descriptive of what is in the book, though it does tell you what the main event is.
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Old November 11 2009, 07:33 PM   #38
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Orion's Hounds was originally Spirit of the Hunt, but Marco didn't like that. Of the suggestions I made, we both liked Orion's Hounds the best, but at first Marco didn't want to use it because he feared people would be confused when it didn't involve the Orions. So we were going to call it Heaven's Prey, but then Marco decided, "What the hell, let's just use OH and live with any initial confusion." And there was no confusion over the title as far as I'm aware.
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Old November 11 2009, 07:40 PM   #39
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Typical examples:
And TOMORROW SUCKS (my scifi vampire book) started out as a joke title before somebody finally suggested, "Hey, why don't we REALLY call it that?"
I thought this was something new so I looked it up. You had a vampire book out in 1994? Man, you were way ahead of the curve...
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Old November 11 2009, 07:44 PM   #40
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

ronny wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Typical examples:
And TOMORROW SUCKS (my scifi vampire book) started out as a joke title before somebody finally suggested, "Hey, why don't we REALLY call it that?"
I thought this was something new so I looked it up. You had a vampire book out in 1994? Man, you were way ahead of the curve...

Actually, my first vampire book, THE TRANSYLVANIAN LIBRARY, came out in 1993 . . . .

Vampires are always a hot property.
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Old November 11 2009, 07:56 PM   #41
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Man of Steel wrote: View Post
Is there really ever a perfect title?
I think so. Though I think they're comparatively rare.

"A Hole in the World," for instance, was the perfect title for that episode of Angel. "Chosen" was the perfect title for Buffy the Vampire Slayer's series finale, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was itself the perfect title for that series.

M. Butterfly is the perfect title for David Henry Hwang's play. Rent is the perfect title for Jonathan Larson's musical. The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade is the perfect title for the bizarre play by Peter Weiss. Jesus Christ Superstar is the perfect title for Lloyd Webber and Rice's musical.

"Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" is the perfect title for the DS9 episode. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" would have been the perfect title for almost any TOS episode other than the one it was applied to. "The Best of Both Worlds" really was the perfect title for the TNG episode, as was "Chains of Command." "Emissary" was perfect for the DS9 opener, given the dual nature of Sisko's role as both emissary of the Federation to Bajor and Emissary of the Prophets. "These Are the Voyages...," whatever else its faults, really did have the perfect title for what everyone thought might be the last episode of any Star Trek series for a very long time. "The Undiscovered Country" would have been the perfect title for Star Trek II.
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Old November 11 2009, 08:19 PM   #42
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Another true story: Years ago I was in a writer's workshop with a guy who was working on a fantasy novel. I loved the book but hated the title, and told him so. A few years later, he sold the book to a big NYC publisher--where I had just gone to work as an editor. I finally got to change his title to the one I had suggested way back when. (I confess to gloating a bit!)
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Old November 11 2009, 08:53 PM   #43
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
And, a lot of the time, the early titles are just "placeholders" for the real title which nobody has come up with yet.
Too true - being rubbish at thinking up titles I did once sign on the dotted line of a contract where the title was "I'll think of a title when it's finished, honest"
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Old November 11 2009, 09:24 PM   #44
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

Greg, isn't the vampire market a little saturated at the moment?

Hopefully I'll come up with a better title before my book gets picked up (if it is).
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Old November 11 2009, 10:11 PM   #45
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Re: Small 2010 update - covers and titles

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Greg, isn't the vampire market a little saturated at the moment?

Hopefully I'll come up with a better title before my book gets picked up (if it is).

I thought so ten years ago, and it's only been growing since. Not that I'm complaining . . . .
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