02 March 2008
One of the most challenging things about writing my novel was coming up with a title for it. While I was writing it, I didn't even have a meaningful working title. I just filed everything under 'grumpy underpants' or more often tagged it 'grumpy'. 'Grumpy underpants' was an idea I had for an appalling band name, but even as I was writing the story in a folder with that name, I knew the name was too awful to include, even in passing.
The best idea I had for a title for the book was to call it 'Limited Edition'. That would sum up the central concept of creating music on demand, and would also be a friendly nod to the way CDs have been marketed in the past. It would also mirror how each book is printed on demand. Research suggests figurative titles sell better too. In short, it's the perfect title.
But from a business point of view, it's rubbish. If you type 'Limited Edition' into Google, you get all sorts of stuff. I'd be up against the likes of Virgin and a magazine of that title. And since this book is only available online, it was important that people could find it easily.
'University of Death' is the band at the centre of the my story. The book doesn't relate where the band got its name from (perhaps Dove will enlighten us on his Myspace blog soon?), but I always thought of it as a pun on 'University of Life' and liked it because of the theatrical stage show it inspired.
Some people appreciate the title but others have been put off by it. I tried hard but I really couldn't think of anything else that could label the book and would enable people to find it relatively easily. If you've got any suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments. Not that it can be changed now. Changing the book title in the middle of its distribution would be like renaming a child - not really the done thing. Even if you've called him Griffon.
University of Death:
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