Archives for posts with tag: title

So, Friday I’ve sent the replacement pages and the new cover file to the printers. The day was pretty hectic and at night I had to go to a meeting as well. When I finally sank on my sofa at 9:30pm or so, I had a melt-down… Realising that the new title isn’t at all what I wanted.

This sounds now as I can’t make up my mind. No, honestly, I am not the one who is always last to order, because everything on the menu sounds delicious. I am usually very good. Chop, chop, chop, get on with the job! But the title of a book is sooooo important. If you don’t get it right, it can be indeed very costly. Once it is out there, you can’t change the title easily. Even if the story is great. If the title doesn’t fly, you are sort of stuffed.

Sitting on my sofa, pondering about where I am in regards to the project, I realised, that my entire strategy of the project is build around the hermit narrator. Who in the world knows what dede puppets are? Nobody… but everybody knows what a hermit is. In two sentences I can explain the content of the book, when I am asked what Hermit’s Web is all about. While if I call it Dede Chums, I have to start by describing the type of puppets first and by the time I get to the contents of the book, the listener has fallen asleep.

However, my friend who commented on that the book gives the impression of being a children’s book has heaps of very valid points. After thorough consideration I don’t think Dede Chums gets around this issue, though. I still like the word, but it is so quaint and old-fashion, that I might now attract little old ladies to buy the book for their grandchildren. After all it is about puppets. There is nothing in the book that is not appropriate for children, but it is not directed at children. It is aimed at people with a little bit of life experience, who will recognise their own friends in the descriptions of the puppets. And it is a stage for my puppet art.

So back to the original title –  Hermit’s Web it is!

I will have to eat a little humble pie, when I write to the printers, but it is better to change the name now. My reasoning is, if I change the name and it doesn’t take off, I would always wonder if it was the title. While if I stick with the title Hermit’s Web and it becomes a sitter, then I know there is something wrong with the book as such, eg others don’t share my sense of humor or don’t take to the puppets.

I had another idea to position the book more precisely. Another friend of mine suggested to just print on the front of the book that it is not a children’s book. But instead of saying what it is not (a children’s book), I now clearly state what it is (an art book). I have added a line at the top: dede puppet art book.

This morning I checked the proofs of my book and it’s all good. I only had to replace four pages as I changed the title. (Luckily at this stage no extra cost occur, as it is only in the proof). Instead of Hermit’s Web the book is now called Dede Chums. A pretty old-fashioned word, but let’s face it, hand-puppets are pretty old-fashioned too. It was difficult for me to let go of the original title as I think it describes exactly what I wanted to say. I must have had close to 50 alternative suggestions but nothing stood out. Waking up this morning “chum” finally popped into my head. I am happy with this term as it indicates friendship. And that is what it is all about.

Here is the front cover of the book:

Dede book cover