That’s right. A new title!
I want to talk a bit about why the book got retitled, as well as my adventurous process of finding the right one, but let me get to the goods first. (I know that’s what you want. You’re welcome.)
So without further adieu, THE LAICOS PROJECT is now…..
. . . . . . .
. . . . .
. . . .
. . .
I love this new title! It is bold and dark and mysterious. Simple but strong. Eerie and ominous. Above all, I love how it has intrigue the way LAICOS did. It makes the reader ask questions. Taken? Taken from where? When? Why?
While I’m in love with the new title, I must admit that the process of finding it was not all hugs and hearts and sunshine. Titling a book is a tricky business, and one of the first things editor Erica had told me when she first acquired my book was that it would need a new title.
In the same way that authors don’t “pick” their covers, we don’t “pick” our titles, either. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have a say in them, just that many people do. Here’s how I like to think of things: The front of a book is a piece of advertising. It is the window display of window shopping. As you’re walking down the rows at your favorite bookstore, those titles and cover art are calling to you, advertising to you. Regardless of the well known saying, people really do judge books by their covers.
There were some concerns regarding THE LAICOS PROJECT as a title, and while it still holds a dear place in my heart – it’s been the name in my documents folder for the last year and a half, after all – I understand those concerns. THE LAICOS PROJECT feels heavily sci-fi, and we didn’t want to turn off any potential readers, specifically those that tend to shy away from the genre. Also, “LAICOS” is a word that makes sense in the context of the novel, but without being rooted in the story, it holds little meaning for a reader. And say they hear about the book through a friend. Will they know how to spell the title when they search for it on amazon? See where I’m going with this?
I started brainstorming new titles back when I started my first revision (June). TAKEN was approved just this past week. It’s been a long journey (nearly five months), and I won’t lie: finding the right title for my book was hard. Really, really hard. Erica will agree. So will my agent, Sara. We went through round after round after round of options. It was extremely fun at first, coming up all those possibilities, but eventually I ran dry. I think I actually sent an email to Sara at one point, saying something along the lines of, “I have no titles left in me. Those are all the titles I know.” I sort of felt like a failure. How was it possible that I could write an 80,000 word novel and be incapable of picking the right 1-5 words to sit on its cover? But we got there. We, not I.
Renaming this book was a gigantic team effort. Erica may or may not have recruited all of HarperTeen to help. Sara’s brainstorming efforts may or may not have extended into her office, resulting in the singing of “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and “The Boys are Back in Town.” And in the end, I’m not even sure who first recommended TAKEN. Was it me? Someone at Harper? Did it come up in a group brainstorm? I truthfully can’t remember. I met Erica the other day (for the first time ever! Yay!) and even she wasn’t certain.
But you know what? I don’t care. We found the title and I love it! It is the result of stubborn persistence, a mountain of patience, an endless supply of positivity, and dozens of minds feverishly brainstorming for months on end.
I can’t wait to see TAKEN evolve over the next few months. (I’m already daydreaming about how it might look on a cover!)
Until then, I’m going to focus on my revisions (which are almost wrapped up), and devour a few good books. Oh, and I’m also going to try to not get startled every time I log into goodreads and see TAKEN sitting where THE LAICOS PROJECT once did. You should do the same.
And if you haven’t added TAKEN to your goodreads shelf yet, maybe you’d like to do that now. *nudge, nudge*