If you follow this blog you’ll remember more than one post where I talked about the many things over which authors have no control. One sentence summarizes much of this: “We write the books, but quite frankly, if we sign a contract with a publisher there are many parts of the process over which we have no control. When we sign, we give them many rights to do as they see fit.”
Two weeks ago I gave you hints about my newest novel and asked your input on titles. I gave you a list of possibilities, and you let me know which ones sounded most appealing. Additionally some of you took the time to suggest new possibilities, for which I am both delighted and grateful.
I took your favorites and my own and presented them to my publisher, assuming that one of them would appeal to 1) my editor, 2) the editor in charge of all Mira books, 3) and finally the marketing team who are well known for rejecting titles they don’t think will go over well with stores and readers.
My editor was lukewarm about all our choices. Ed-in-charge was even more lukewarm. And the titles stopped there. No point in taking them to marketing when neither editor was thrilled. They wanted something more layered, something more evocative.
Not happy here.
Convinced I would never come up with anything I liked better I immediately came up with one anyway. Delighted, I passed it on. My editor wasn’t thrilled. She would send it up to the next level but she planned to wait while I thought about it some more.
As always, Nemo to the rescue.
Stomping and muttering around our development with Nemo in tow I told myself (repeatedly) that this was silly and impossible. I had given them more than half a dozen possibilities. What were they waiting for?
Then out of nowhere the title appeared.
When We Were Sisters.
Remember this is a novel about former foster sisters who are pulled together to work on a project. I loved the title immediately. It hearkens back to their past together, and the reasons they’ve remained close. In every way it suggests there is more to the story than first meets the eye.
My editor felt the same way. The head of the line did, too. And yesterday I learned that marketing agreed and When We Were Sisters is a definite go. It will be on bookshelves in June 2016.
Of course I have to write it first.
Contractually I have the right to refuse titles my publisher suggests. I do not have the right to refuse covers. I give input. Sometimes my opinion makes a difference and sometimes not.
Above you’ll see the cover for The Color of Light, the fourth Goddesses Anonymous novel, due at bookstores in August 2015. To the right you’ll see the new cover for the mass market (smaller sized) paperback of One Mountain Away, coming out in May.
What you can’t see is all the wrangling that got us to these two covers and my fear that one proposed cover would be used. I was successful convincing my publisher not to go with that one. It was, in my opinion, an inappropriate cover for a novel about a minister. My publisher graciously asked other professionals for feedback and chose the two you see here. I will always be grateful that my opinion was taken into account, more research was done, and something other than the original selection was chosen.
Let’s hear your opinion on these covers and titles. Since I already know you’ll be polite, I’ll say have at it.
What do you think?