Title snafus and dealing with them.
This is one of those things I feel like should not have happened to me. Ever. And yet, here it is! A title snafu.
First, this was not an April Fool’s day joke (the day we were going over covers) and please, please, please, feel free to laugh.
For those who don’t know, I have a new series going called Twisted Royals. The books are titled using a [Keyword + “Prince”] format. I went through Amazon and collected common key words, things that seemed to show up a lot in both romantic suspense and erotic romance book titles on a regular basis. I then made my titles based on those combinations. It gave me a list of around 14 titles. Which was good because I had a cast of 12 guys with plans to add more.
The idea behind titling the books this way was to use a series word plus a key word to increase visibility, cue readers into what to expect between the pages and create an easy titling method. Because, titles are hard.
We’ve also set on a branded look for the series which means that things like title placement and fonts are more or less set in stone. At this point, given how we’ve leapfrogged through the series doing covers, I cannot afford to change them. Besides I kind of dig the overall look.
On April Fool’s my cover artist, the talented Charity Hendry, sent me the first proof for the third book, Reckless Prince.
Nice title, huh? It fits the hero wonderfully. He’s very much The Rock in The Rundown. “I don’t use guns. I’m enough of a weapon.” Reckless and a bit cocky, for sure.
And then, I really looked at the title… That doesn’t read reckless… does it?
In case you don’t “see” it, at a glance the title could read Prickless Prince…. Not the story I want to tell!
Cue our panic.
First, the branding is already set in the previous books. We love the look of it, readers like it, and like I said above, I do not want to change that.
Second, this book has been on pre-order since February. The title has already been out there for readers to see and expect.
Third, dear god… WHY DIDN’T WE CHECK OUT ALL THE TITLES? Here’s the thing, back when I was in seminary, we had a whole section about running potential marketing campaigns past a twelve year old, because adults do not see the possible innuendos that kids do. Or other people. I knew better than to not check!
A few things happened very fast after this realization.
- I laughed, cried and panicked for about 10 minutes
- I sourced a new name, Bad Boy Prince (which will be revealed later this week)
- I sent out immediate emails to support on all vendors and included a screenshot of the title as is and why it needs to be changed
- I went into the book on all the vendors where changing the title is not locked out (KDP, Nook, Kobo, D2D)
- I embraced the oopse and posted it on Facebook, because that was too good to not share
How do you change titles?
- Amazon/Kindle – Inside KDP on your Bookshelf simply edit a book, change the title and save. The chances can take 72 hours to show up, just like any other changes.
- iBooks – This is done from iTunes Connect. Go into a book, edit the meta data and change the title.
- Nook – Through Nook Press, edit a book, change the title and publish.
- Kobo – Edit the book through the Writing Life dashboard, change the title and it automatically saves when you hit your Next button.
- Draft2Digital – Edit the book and Next through the steps, select your vendors and publish. Chances will be pushed out to all vendors.
The only vendor this title was not listed through yet was Pronoun to get to Google Play.
What did I learn from this?
Once you have a branding set for your series, especially if it’s got stylized fonts, run all the titles through the branding to make sure they’re okay. And don’t just look at them yourself. Get someone else to look at them. Bonus if it’s a husband, fiance, son, someone who will see the worst possible reading of the title. Again, your best title proofreader is a twelve year old boy.
As of today Kobo has populated the new title and the rest are still processing. So far I’ve heard back from a few support desks, all of whom are understanding and cooperative. So yay! Here’s to this becoming that funny story I tell over drinks at a conference.
About the Author
It can never be said that NYT & USA Today Bestselling author Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and fostering cats.