I can’t lie – I am finding it really hard to remember the title of my new book, The Best Life List, or Best Life’s List or Dances With Wolves…I didn’t title it. In fact, to date, I haven’t named a single of one of my books. They came to me already named and often conceptualized. In the case of Game-Based Marketing, Gabe Zichermann, my friend, gamification guru and co-author extraordinaire brought the concept and most of the content. And while we liked All the World’s a Game or Funware by Design, the “creatives” at Wiley thought business people like to know in advance about the book they are picking up. And with the rest of them, some editor in Publishing-Land (like Candy-Land but with sexy librarian hair) had a book idea, a title for it but no writer to carry it out.
Once I was chosen to author a book, however, all the content was mine (which is something I maybe shouldn’t brag about…) – or mine and a co-authors’ depending on the project. At one point Have Sex Like You Just Met…No Matter How Long You’ve Been Together (breath), was titled The Good Girl’s Guide to Sex – but there were a lot of books that were starting with “The Good Girl’s Guide” at that time and it turned out that book stores wouldn’t shelve it unless we changed the name. I was working with relationship genius, Elena Donovan-Mauer, and suddenly we weren’t just expected to provide the content of a book, but we had to title the damn thing too!! Insanity ensued as did suggestions such as Spice Up Your Sex Life, Have Good Sex Now, Sex Doesn’t Have to Suck and Neither Does This Title, etc.
What the editor finally chose (see the 9,000 word phrase in the previous paragraph) was not, I’m pleased to say, attributable to either Elena or myself. But it wasn’t for lack of trying.
The Best Life List (or whatever) was never my title. I was merely enlisted to write 300 ten-item lists for cool women during any phase of her life that were each light, engaging and informative. (Oh yeah, and I had three weeks to do it…)
Since this blog is about “Naming Things” (did you just spit out your milk in stupefied amazement- either positive stupefied amazement or negative?) I will bore…I mean captivate you with the reason the book was written by someone named “Dee Dee Clermont” instead of someone named “Joselin Linder” or “J.P. Linder” or even “Joselin K. Rowling” in the next blog entry.
And then I will follow it up with the reason the names of each of the 300 ten-item lists almost killed me, two editors at Adams Media and one nameless woman simply referred to as “The Publisher” (a blog entry unto herself).