I’ve just finished my third-ish draft of my first novel, Flying Too Close to the Ground. I dislike the title because it is long and has both the word “too” and “to” in it. CLUNKY! Plus, the title is based on a Willie Nelson song, and like teens are going to appreciate Willie Nelson as much as they should.
Do I need explain that I suck at titles? Even when I worked for a magazine wherein the titles were pretty straightforward, other editors and designers usually changed them for me. That’s why I’m willing to pretty much pay anyone who can go through the agony of finding a new title for me.
So . . . A CONTEST! If you haven’t read my book, please watch the trailer under the “My Books” tab. And then read the following snippets from my book pitch:
When a speeding semi strikes Sammy Weiss on Main Street, Miya Fischer fears the girl’s death will kill her whole town. Thus begins Miya’s battle. She must stop Sammy’s dad and her friend Kate Weiss from changing everything that matters.
Before the tragedy, Miya’s whole life is planned out: skip college, inherit Grandma Okano’s diner, and maybe even marry the friend she’s secretly in love with. After the tragedy, Kate’s family proposes a bypass road to protect school children and likely put the diner out of business.
For courage, Miya reads Grandma Okano’s tanka poems about living in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II. She tries to discover what it means to be half-Okano—brave, patient, loyal—but mostly Grandma’s poems raise more questions than they answer.
That’s all you’re getting. I can’t give away the ending to everyone on the whole Internet.
Now send your title ideas before April 24 at midnight, and the person who suggests a title I like best WINS. The prize? A Willie Nelson record anthology!
Kidding. The real prize is . . . uh . . . it’s a surPRIZE. A good one. So good I’m still deciding what it is. I’m thinking it will be a.) a paperback book of your choice, b.) a box of delicious fudge from the BYU Bookstore, or c.) a $20 credit to Sara’s shoe shop. Or something else if the prizewinner enters the contest despite an aversion to reading, eating chocolate, and wearing shoes.
By the way, I reserve the right to not select a winner, sort of like Delacorte. Especially if no one enters.
Sorry this isn’t random like all the drawings I’m seeing on my friend’s blogs lately. It’s more like that game Apples to Apples, where the person in charge selects a winner based on their own twisted word associations and biases. I always confuse all the players when it’s my turn to choose the winner. Like, “What does ‘infamous’ have to do with ‘sauerkraut’?”and I say, “If you were me, you’d know.” So expect to be confused in this game too. “Why did you pick that wacked title instead of mine?” I’ll tell you right now, I don’t know.
But don’t let the unfairness of it all stop you from playing. (Pretty please!)
You can comment on this post or e-mail me privately if you’re embarrassed about your ideas, like how I’m always embarrassed about mine. But you can’t enter anonymously or I’ll eat the fudge myself.
One more perk: if the editor I sell my book to keeps your title, you’ll not only get a surPRIZE but also an acknowledgment in my best-seller. Now that’s worth entering for—seeing your name in print on the page no one reads. Ah, the glory.
Good luck, and thanks for your help, everyone!