Seriously. I’ve been throwing around “a year and a half” but really, it’s only about a year and two months. That’s crazy. So I need to stop saying a year and a half. Closer to one year sounds much closer.
In the interest of full disclosure about how this whole publishing process works, I’ll tell you about my first official “work” for my editor! (Other than, you know, writing the book.) She, Karli, emailed me the Advance Marketing and Sales Information sheet. This document will help with the titling and packaging meetings the team will have to discuss, well, how to package my book. The title and cover are so important when selling a book. How many times have you pulled a book off the bookshelf (or the virtual bookshelf on Amazon) just because you like the title or the cover is amazing. That’s what we’re aiming for. The title has to carry just the right amount of weight, has to hint at the story inside without being too on the nose and giving too much away. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be so vague that it doesn’t mean anything.
Similarly, the photo and design on the cover needs to evoke the emotions you want the reader to have when they read the book. It has to strike the right chords and mesh with the title well so that the reader has a sense of what they’re getting into, but again, it’s not so specific that it gives the story away. (Sort of like a movie trailer that tells you way too much. I’ve seen book covers that show two people hand in hand, kissing, in love–then read on the back cover that the whole book is about whether or not these two people will end up together. Well, thanks, you just showed me on the cover that they in fact do end up together, and happily, so no need to read the book.)
So in this information sheet, they had me brainstorm a lot of title and cover ideas; dig into the themes and ideas in the story; talk about the main characters, their physical appearances and personalities; and think about what emotions and “takeaways” I want the reader to have and feel when reading the story.
I realize this can all sound a little silly–brainstorming emotions–but it was really fun for me to get back into the story and put into words what I actually want my book to say, what I want readers to think of it. I’m so very excited to get The Hideaway (which may not remain the title) out into the world and into your hands!
I gave lots google images of what I have in mind for cover possibilities, as well as other book titles I like that could be similar to what we want for mine. Also, because I tend to be a little long-winded (my 30-second “elevator pitch” for the book is currently at about three minutes), I gave Karli about thirty title possibilities. They said I could use the space to brainstorm, and boy did I. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be helpful, or if everyone in that titling meeting would look at each other and think, “what have we got ourselves into with this girl?” But Karli said it was a great jumping-off point and that it’d be a big help. Whew.
So, first assignment done. I’m not sure when the meeting is, but she’ll let me know how it goes and what ideas they come up with for title and cover. Hopefully, we’ll be thinking along the same lines.