I mentioned last month that my editor, agent, and I were working on a title.
Well, now it has been settled on as THE title, and I have permission to reveal it!
The Ever Afters 3:
Of Sorcery and Snow
I think it’s pretty awesome, and I hope you guys do too. I don’t believe I’ve ever explained how we settled on titles, so if you’re curious, read on. (If you’re not interested, feel free to skip it and just squee with me over how awesome the title for Book 3 is.)
The title we had the most trouble with was for the first one. The title that I came up with on my own was–*SPOILER ALERT* Don’t keep reading unless you’ve read the first half of Book 1–was Ever After School 1: Beanstalks Aren’t For Wimps. It’s not a great title. A great title needs to be a) catchy and b) stand out and c) reflect the tone of the book and/or series. I put some thought into it, but not very much. I knew that if a publishing house bought it, they would probably have ideas about what the title should be. The Sales department, the guys that present the books to actual bookstores, usually have a LOT of good ideas.
So, after Simon and Schuster signed the first two books, I wasn’t surprised at all when my editor, Courtney, mentioned that we needed a better title. Well, for the book, but while I was at it, I decided to go ahead and think about a new series title too. After working on the manuscript for a while, my agent Jo and I felt like Ever After School sounded too young.
I asked Courtney to let me brainstorm for a while.
Then I went to the bookstore and the library, and I literally wrote down every title I could find. Certain words stuck out like, Chronicles or Legacy, or character names, like Harry Potter or Gregor. Then I wrote out dozens of series titles, like The Character Chronicles or The Tale of Ever After. I also came up with a bunch of new titles for book 1, such as Tall and Terrible, The Glass Prison, Of Ash and Giants, and Of Giants and Ice. I dutifully emailed these to Joanna and Courtney, who voted for Ever After for the series title and Of Giants and Ice as the book title.
Then, Courtney took it to some meetings at Simon and Schuster, and her colleagues loved Of Giants and Ice. They thought Ever After wasn’t specific enough–it didn’t exactly scream kids’ book, you know. (This is true, because even now, the words Ever After bring my brain straight to an awesome Drew Barrymore movie.)
(Random note: I was obsessed with the first song in that trailer when that movie came out.)
So, Courtney suggested we go back to Ever After School, which everyone still loved, or maybe The Ever Afters.
Jo and I were like, “Oooooh, The Ever Afters sounds so cool! But we should do some more brainstorming.” But after a weekend of coming up with alternate titles, like The Final Ever After and The Character War, The Ever Afters still stood out as the most awesome.
So, that’s how The Ever Afters 1: Of Giants and Ice came to be.
Wow, that was a longer story than I thought. If you’re still reading, I <3 you.
Titles for Books 2 and 3 were way easier. I just came up with a list of objects and creatures from the book and emailed them to Jo, her assistant Danielle, and Julia, my new editor. Then, together, we picked out combinations that sounded cool. Julia picked out Of Witches and Wind. Also, the first version of Book 3’s was Of Sorcerers and Snow, but since that was kind of a mouthful, we shortened the second word to Sorcery.
The thing about titles is that it’s the reader’s first introduction to the book–a lot of times, you hear a title before you see the cover, and we all know how we judge books by their covers. 🙂 I had no idea so much thought was put into titles before I entered the publishing world. It’s really cool. I know this all sounds like a super long, intense process, but it was actually pretty painless in comparison to some. I’ve been very lucky.