Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What's In A Name?

First, an announcement.

The third book in the Wings series will be titled...

Illusions!!

I know it was a long time coming, and I apologize for that. But now that it's public knowledge, you might be interested in why the book remained untitled for so long. You also might not, in which case you will want to skip the rest of this entry. :)

When I first sold Laurel's story, I had titled all four books. The original titles were:

Autumn Wings
Winter Spells
Spring Enticements
Summer Illusions

The plan was for each book to take place during the season in the title, but fairly early on I realized that this wasn't going to work. Furthermore, the sales team at HarperTeen pointed out that with the books tentatively releasing annually during the early summer months, "Autumn" and "Winter" might not draw much of an audience.

So we scrapped the titles and tried to think of new ones.

One serious contender for the first book was Forget-Me-Not. We thought perhaps each book could have a flower name, but while Forget-Me-Not seemed like a decent replacement for Autumn Wings, naming the rest of the books proved more difficult.

We tried on a lot of titles--some serious, some not. Flower Girl and Petalwings didn't make the cut. I was only kidding when I suggested Roots and I'm pretty sure my husband was only kidding when he came up with Venus Boy Trap, but some days it was just easier to think of silly titles than serious ones. :) (My mom suggested Petal Pushers and I told her she was dating herself.:D)

After much deliberation, my fabulous editorial team settled on simply dropping the season from the title and calling the book Wings. Sadly, the struggle for evocative titles had scarcely begun.

I did enjoy some respite, as there was no rush to title the rest of the books. For a while, books 2 through 4 were just called Spells, Enticements, and Illusions. It was suggested early on that Enticements didn't stand on its own, though, and for about a month we called it Enchantments. Somehow that title made it to Amazon Canada, and from there to the rest of the Internet... but it was actually vetoed pretty early on. Like, six months before Wings even came out. (Yanno, ancient history!;))

Spells, however, stuck to Book 2, and eventually HarperTeen gave me permission to announce the title. Which I promptly did! And one month later, I was told that we needed a different title. I was worried, because I'd already announced the title, and I didn't want readers to be confused!

But there wasn't much to be done but brainstorm, and the process began anew. Should we continue with one-word titles? Should we keep the word plural? Wings was both a metaphor and referred to a particular passage in the book--was there something similar we could use from Book 2? It was either my editor or her assistant who came up with Essence, and I prepared to announce the new title on my blog.

And then it was Spells again. I don't know where in the process Essence got trapped--sometimes booksellers express concerns, sometimes it's sales or marketing, you'd be amazed how many people have to "sign off," literally or figuratively, on decisions like this sometimes! But everyone went back to calling Book 2 Spells, and that's how it was released.

So hopefully that explains why I was reluctant to announce Illusions until the title was finally finally final! I would hate for someone to miss a release because they were looking for something with a different name. And sometimes I was very jealous of other authors who managed to get their titles finalized early on in the process! But then again... it's hard to complain about a publishing team who works hard to get things just right.

Now, before you go asking for the title of Book 4: it doesn't have one yet. :) My hope is to post the final cover art for Illusions before Christmas this year, and while I still don't have a firm release date, you should still be able to expect Illusions to arrive at your bookstore around May of 2011.

Ciao!

24 comments:

Logen said...

I love the name and I can't wait to read it :) Love your work.

Georgia said...

I like the name :) I can't wait to get the book in my hands!!

FionaChan said...

woot can't wait for the book, and the book cover!

Anonymous said...

How very exciting! I am hoping to be able to keep myself busy with other good reads in the mean time. I devoured Mockingjay and am eagerly waiting for The Scorch Trials in October (which I know you have read already - how jealous am I?!), and have a few other books I would like to check out too. But I also have a goal to have a short story ready by the end of the year. It is a WIP, hopefully I will be able to keep working on it!

Marie said...

While I do think the seasons thing is interesting, I do like the one word titles as well. I think Wings and Spells fit the books perfectly. I can't wait to read the next one!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

FAB! I can't wait!

Karen Carr said...

I love it when authors post about the whole publishing process, thanks for this!

BookChic said...

This was really interesting and I loved reading about the titling process. Thanks for sharing this with us! :)

Graham Bradley said...

Man you'd think you were naming a baby!

Oh wait.

:D

Draky said...

I love the titles and effort committed to them.
Sometimes you have to be very patient for things to go well ... :)

ENJOY!!

Mary (The Sweet Bookshelf) said...

Oh I love it! I'm already thinking of all the reasons it is named Illusions! Hum....

I can't wait!!!

Swimmer said...

Now I am just patiently waiting for a cover and sneak peek to the book! The title is so good that waiting patiently has become a task!

Ezmirelda said...

Wow, can't wait to see the cover for illusions. :)

onangelwings said...

I just finished Spells and believe it to be a fantastic read. Unfortunately, I missed Wings and need to go back and re-read. It is a great ride. Looking forward to #3.

Kristina♥ said...

I love the name! I love seeing how authors came to the decisions of their titles, and it was awesome to see the arduous process you went through to come up with the titles for your Wings series. I have to admit that I love -all- of them so far, and I can't wait to see how the title Illusions will pertain to the story. :)

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how many teens are screaming in joy right now!
I love the title, but then again, I would love anything because I love the freaking books!!!

Tahlia said...

Great title. That alone makes me want to read it, but then I'm really into the idea of illusion. what's real and what's not, is an area of interest for me.

I had 3 changes of title before I hit on the one I'm going with and as soon as teh first one changes you need new ones for the rest of teh series too. Your's are all fitting together nicely.

Heather said...

I love that title! Your story is a great reminder to us writers not to get too attached to our original titles!

lotusgirl said...

I think the process of choosing the titles is fascinating.

tifanny10 said...

i loveee the nameeeee!! and i just wanted to say that i would be totally heartbroken is laurel doesn't choose tamani in the end :(

Shan said...

I want to add this book to my shelfari list of books I plan to read! I couldn't find it on their data base. I guess it's too early, huh?

Anonymous said...

ohh i love the title and i would like laurel to pick david ;)

Anonymous said...

I have only just found Wings and Spells and im alrady hooked i cant wait for the next booked to be released

Taylor said...

Luv the title and book cover! I'm praying that laurel picks Dvid (cuz he's just so darn awesome!) yeah. can't wait!!!!