All of which comes to mind this evening because I’ve thought of a wonderfully silly title that I want to use on one of our novellas. If the rewriting works out as planned, I'll use the new name to replace Carole’s Christmas, our Christmas-themed novella that we pulled from circulation a few months ago. We yanked the story, thinking we might make it part of a larger novel, but the project didn’t come together as we’d hoped. Before it reappears, we decided to make some changes to it.
The title definitely needs an overhaul. If you go to Barnes & Noble’s website, BN.com, and put “Carole’s Christmas” into their Nook search, you get well over 600 titles. Charles Dickens is featured prominently. If we return to the site and use the old name, we won't be.
Glynn is involved in the rewriting of Carole but he doesn’t know that I want to play with its moniker. The new title woke me up in the middle of the night last week and it made me laugh. Thinking about it makes me want to laugh now. So, before I offer this silliness up for someone else's approval, I want to make sure it works within the context of the original piece. After all, what if he thinks the new title is just…ehhh? If the new name doesn’t make him laugh, too, I’ll be so depressed.
The two of us may not be the best judge of book titles, however. We both thought World War Zelda was a winner and the majority of would-be readers just blinked at the story, wondering exactly what we were trying to offer them. Was the novella a romance, or a zombie story, or an apocalyptic story or what? Which is not the wrong thing to wonder since WWZ is kind of a weird smushed-together combination of the different genres. Then, at the end, everything resolves in a fairly kinky manner.
The ending also made me laugh. My desire to laugh is probably killing our book sales.
Since WWZ wasn't finding an audience, we pulled it too, thinking we’d make it more romantic, or up the zombie factor, or double-down on the Apocalypse while lightening up on the kink – but finally decided, after many failed efforts, to let it stand as it is. Sometimes a story finds its own form, even if the writers wish it were more commercial. I ended up adding an Author’s Note at the beginning of the piece and we're putting Zelda back on the Amazon shelves soon. Probably in Kindle Unlimited, where it might find a new audience or a bigger readership. Although, maybe not.
And I still like the title.