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Exciting News! How a Book's Title and Cover Are Chosen

You'll all have to forgive me for being so very in absentia of late. I've had a lot going on with the upcoming book, but I'm excited to finally be able to unveil some information: the cover, the title, and the publication month.  Since you're all writers too, I thought you might be interested in the process we went through to reach these decisions -- read on!

I turned in my completed and polished manuscript last October to the fab team at Quill Driver Books (hereafter referred to as QD). We took the holidays off and then dove into January with some fine-tuning in anticipation of the book listing going out with Quill Driver's fall catalog.  (Yes, it's just now spring, but remember, publishing almost always operates months in advance.)

First, we changed the title from Nervous Breakdowns and Psychopathic Killers: The Writer's Guide to Psychology to The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior.  

Why?  Well, my original goal was to create a title that grabbed the browser -- NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS AND PSYCHOPATHIC KILLERS! -- and made her want to pause long enough to look at the subtitle and then the book.  However, QD made a really good point: many, many people browse books online, and the subtitle often isn't visible.  So we needed a title that made clear the book's purpose.  We banged around some possible titles and subtitles and finally came up with one that not only clearly explained what the book was about, but was interesting, too.

Next came the book cover.  QD had a design firm come up with three different cover options, all of them quite different.  I  asked some of the people I was closest to what they thought; meanwhile, QD discussed the options internally and also asked the book distributor folks for their input.  In the end, we chose a design that best seemed to convey the concept captured by the new title.  Seeing the book cover is kind of like putting on a wedding veil -- you realize in a way you hadn't before that this is really going to happen!

Most recently, I got a publication month: December 2010 -- just in time for holiday shopping!  The book isn't yet available for pre-order, but it should be soon.  I'll be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, I'm starting to think again about publicity. At the top of my list is the Archetype website.

I first created Archetype several years ago while I was building my initial platform. One of my goals over the next few months is to rebuild the Archetype website.  There's a good chance I'll be starting from scratch and creating something that aligns even better with the book than the current site.  Never fear -- I'll definitely be keeping the Q&A, though I may switch it over to a blog format -- blogs are so easy to update!

If you have thoughts or suggestions on the new site, by all means, now is the time to speak up!

More soon!


  1. Ripley said...
    Suzette Saxton said...
    I LOVE IT! So happy for you, Carolyn. :)
    Lydia Kang said...
    that is fabulous! and what a great idea for a book!
    Stina said...
    Congrats, Carolyn! And perfect timing since I know I'll get bookstore gift cards for my birthday and Christmas.
    Elana Johnson said...
    It's simply gorgeous, girl! Congrats! And yes, this is really going to happen!!!
    Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker said...
    Congrats! Hurray!!! It looks like a fascinating book.
    Michelle McLean said...
    Congrats Carolyn! The cover looks amazing :) Very happy for you :)
    Unknown said...
    Congratulations! I love the cover!
    Unknown said...

    [[Blogger barfed on my last comment, re-sending just in case]]


    I've always tried to remain a lurker, but after reading your post I was in the local B&N & saw something on the featured shelf that caught my eye:

    Thought you'd find that interesting. Yours is way cooler, though!

    Congrats again! I'll be first in line to buy when it comes available. :)
    Private said...
    Hello! I just found Querytracker and found your blog through there - and it couldn't be more interesting! I have a BSc in psychology and I write mysteries, so I use a lot of psychology in my stories. I look forward to reading your book when it gets published!
    Anonymous said...
    Woo-hoo! Looks great! Congrats! :D
    Angela Ackerman said...
    Love the cover. Thanks for giving us a peek at the process. This book is going to be a BIG hit!

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