Friday, 6 November 2009

Emperor Ming and the Mystical Muff Hunt

So, Publisher Lady reckons that as a title, Bête de Jour might not be the best option going into paperback. As far as I can tell, she is of the opinion that the book-buying British public might not recognise the allusion. Or indeed the language. I know, I know, how dare she? How dare she imply that the same people who lap up Dan Brown and Katie Price and Jeffrey Archer and Martine McCutcheon in their hundreds of millions might be a bit thick? If it weren’t for the fact that I absolutely agree with her, I would be furious.

So she asked me to come up with a different title. Essentially something more commercial. And in this I wholeheartedly support her. l want some money. And I want an iPhone. And some new boots.

So I came up with a few alternatives, none of which really bit my balls off.

Therefore, I thought I’d ask you, my unremittingly wonderful and imaginative readers. They say everyone has a book in them. Unfortunately, Katie Price has repeatedly shown this to be nonsense. However, I’m pretty sure everyone has at least a title in them. Maybe a subtitle too.

So if you fancy having a crack, please leave your ideas in the comments. Remember: nothing too clever, nothing pretentious or foreign, preferably something slightly titillating, but obviously pertaining to the thrust of the content of the book, i.e. a beastly bloke trying to track down true love. Or whatever.

As well as having the life-long pleasure of having your very own title on the cover of the best-selling book of 2010, you will also receive a signed copy of the soon-to-be-eminently-collectible hardback, and Publisher Lady might throw in something from Harper Collin if I threaten to publicly shame her if she doesn’t.

So there you go.

I’m hoping that with your help, one day I can reach these kind of dizzy heights:

Now. Have an excellent weekend. I’m stopping smoking tomorrow. I met a wonderful woman today who works for the NHS. She was really lovely. I kind of loved her a bit. She prescribed some patches and pills. I start tomorrow. Which is to say, I stop tomorrow. And which, by extension, means that tonight I drink binge and smoke like a pregnant teen. What are you up to? Anything as nice as that?

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Jimbobthomas said...

'Like it or Lump It?;
An Ugly Mans Adventures in Love, Life and Lurid Detail'

And I don't think you are ugly at all but you wanted catchy...

Anonymous said...

What about "Bag full of elbows"?

Or does that cross over too much into the serial killer market? (And is that a bad thing?)

clumpf said...

Pregnant teen *snort*.

Well, since you asked Stan I'm going on a knitting workshop. Yep, me, a couple of grannies and a pile of hobnobs. No, actually knitting is the new black apparently. Do you want to come?

As for a title for the book, I'll give it deeper thought once I've cooked my sausages.

clumpf said...

'Bag of Elbows'. That's what it should be called.

Innocent Loverboy said...

Pffft. Stick with Bête de Jour. People who are intelligent enough to "get" the title are the sort of people who will be intelligent enough to appreciate your writing.

shimacat said...

To be honest, I was surprised when Publisher Lady published your book in hardback. I know Amazon's been selling it cheap, like, but at bottom, the publishers are expecting people to blow £12.99 on a brand-new new author. Worse; a brand-new, untested author who has published a book which promises love, laughter, true life events - and was first published as a blog.

There's no criticism of your writing achievements there - I think your writing is accomplished and getting a book deal from a blog is fantastic - but I suspect that any weakness on the sales front has a lot more to do with publishing in hardback.

£12.99 is a lot to spend on what is essentially light reading - again, no insult there. But while I will buy hardbacks, I save my hardback spend for 'heavy' reading - books on black holes, or books by John Updike (RIP), or Adam Thorpe - you get my drift. There's lots like me. And we're in a recession.

Anyway, I found the hardback decision surprising. I think your sales would have been far higher if your book had been first published as a well-produced trade paperback at round about the £9 mark. Below that crucial £10 threshold, see?

Anyway, I think in your last entry, you may have inadvertantly summed up the essence of your story when you wrote "true love. Or whatever." There's your title. Has a certain balance of optimism and despair that might appeal to potential readers crushed by poverty, ekeing out their last few pennies until they can afford something, anything which may lighten their mood even if only for an evening - yes! It's Stan's book in paperback, which they can afford at last!

Valerie said...

"if you fancy having a crack..."

It's extremely hard not to say, "I do have a crack. It's right here on my bottom."

Oops, I seem to have said it.

I'm not sure you would go far wrong using the subtitle as the title...

Anonymous said...

"Beauty, and The Beast's Tail"
(I'm on my 3rd glass of wine - this could get worse as the evening progresses - sorry, in advance!)

Anonymous said...

I've got it!

Whinge, minge and things that make you cringe

Minge is such a funny word.

A Twitter friend.

Mike Booth said...

I know it might be painful and probably not something you'd want to see on the cover of your book, but I can't help thinking that "A Bag of Elbows" would make a good title. Plus you'd be turning that dickhead's abuse into money, which would perhaps be some form of revenge.

caroline said...

Coincidentally, I'll be drinking and smoking myself silly this week-end, because I plan to stop smoking on Monday.Patches give me nightmares, so I'm opting for the white plastic pretend ciggie instead.Not in public though, obviously, one has one's dignity to think of.

Good luck Stan.I wish I could think of a witty title for your paperback, but I'm a bit short on brain cells just now.

Unknown said...

I don't think I know you and your blog well enough to make a suggestion but good luck

misspiggy said...

'Buy this book and win a fortune'
Should sell lots of copies?

X said...

My two rubbish suggestions are:

The Beauty of The Beast

The Beast With Two Paperbacks (for your second book)

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Beastly Beauty
The beauty of beastliness
How the beast found beauty
Beauty and Beastly Me
I was the Beast Until Beauty Found Me

Oh God, please shoot me.

Mskittenclaws said...

I don't understand. Belle de Jour sold so well that it was turned into a TV series. Nothing to do with language. Is your publishing lady desperately hanging on to her job?

Coastal Aussie said...

I don't think your looks would be beastly, but for a play on the title "Beauty and the Beast" .... "Love and the Beast" or "Love Beast" might be even better.

Good luck with the ciggies.

Rose said...

I thought these up under the assumption of trying to grab a bookstore customer's eye:
"Ugly Love in a Beautiful World"
"The Doomed Romantic: in Search of Love"
"In the Life of an Ugly Man"
"I'm Not Ugly, I'm Just Romantic"
"My Heart is Not Ugly"

I hate to stick on the 'ugly' bandwagon, but I was trying to keep the titles among the same vein of your previous title.

Nick Tann said...

"Having a crack"

Good morning...

justrestingmyeyes said...

Let's acronyminise! I'd say Ungainly Gentleman's Lustful Yearnings, but a) you'd run into all sorts of missing indefinite article hysteria and b) it sounds like a Victorian jazz mag. Or maybe Uggos Get Laid? Yes!


I agree with Valerie - they'll just lop off the Bete bit and leave the "Intimate adventures...", surely. Sex sells, innit?

Good luck with the paperback edition, and the quitting. Are you on those pills that make your dreams psychologically terrifying? Blog 'em!

Antipo Déesse said...

'Pertaining to the Thrust'

redsaid said...

Long time lurker, lured out of silence by promise of free books.

"Ugly Bête" (with your old subtitle). I can already see it being turned into a top notch TV series, can't you?

Swineshead said...

It's not out in paperback yet? Nobody buys hardbacks apart from posh people and perverts!

I can't believe you've been moaning about it not selling whilst scrimping on the minor detail about it so far being available in hardback only...

Order a golden toilet and meet Mr Coin!

blackadaberry said...

You should call the book 'Don't call me elbows', 'Elbows need love too' or even 'I'm Stan, They call me elbows' - I'm rather obsessed with elbows.....elbows are a great selling point...i would buy a book with elbows in the title for the sheer fact that you got elbows into the title without it being a boring medical book... USP...thats what they call it....unique selling point...yep defintely need to use elbows.....

Nettos said...

Lessons in Futility

Anonymous said...

Batty Betty? Beastly Brightness? What rot to have to change your name. Really.



Anonymous said...

Bonjour La Bête,

Bag of Elbows
Paper Bag Love
Love on the Beast
The Girl, the Bag and the Ugly

I still prefer 'Bête de jour'.

Uncle Did

Queen of Cuts said...

"It's in the bag"

Wisewebwoman said...

Love Under The Elbows

Wisewebwoman said...

With Elbows to Spare

Anonymous said...

True love, or whatever!

Good luck on the quitting smoking. I've done it several times. Gets harder the older I get. I've reached the point that I think I'd have to have a hospital-induced coma and detox in order to do it!

Maria in Oregon

redsaid said...

Hey, you said your new title during your GMTV interview: "Ugly is only skin deep."

Or something like: "My personality is devastatingly handsome, I swear!"

I still like Bête de Jour the best.

By the way, you have a really sexy voice.