editorial decisions

Titles…To Collaborate or Not…

I think choosing book or story titles for all authors is a different process. And, some authors are far more clever than others.

When it comes to titles, I’m either hit or miss, clever or lost. And I’m never actually certain when it’s going to be hit or miss either. With A REGULAR BUD, I guess I hit it right on the nose. And this surprised me. I thought the title was mundane (if not a little trite) and never expected the sales of the story to be very good. I was wrong. It’s been on a few bestseller lists for over a year now. And sales have been great. Why? I couldn’t even begin to explain it.

With STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM AT THE PLAZA, I thought I’d nailed the title. But I was wrong again. I missed that one by a long shot. Even though this story had been published years ago in a small book by a large LGBT publisher, someone else released an e-book with a title similar right around the same time I released my story, and my story disappeared into cyberspace. Bad timing; wrong title. Had I known ahead of time, I would have changed my title immediately. Oddly, this story has received probably the best reviews of anything I’ve ever written. But it never sold as well as I’d hoped it would. And I think a lot had to do with the title.

And this is why I’ve come to really depend on a collaboration with my publishers and editors when it comes to titles. With every single Ravenous Romance book that’s been released, each title has been a collaboration. Most of the RR titles originated with Lori Perkins, one of the publishers at RR. She’s unreal when it comes to titles. She gets them in seconds, where they take me weeks. And a few came from Holly, the other publisher. And right now, this very week, we’re deciding whether or not to title a new release as His Tuscan Embrace, or, Hot Italian Lover. Personally, I like them both. But I’m just too close to make the final decision and I’m letting Holly make it for me. I know that sounds indecisive, but I’ve learned the collaboration between author, editor, and publisher usually works out best in the long run.

Do You Capitalize "Navy?"

I’m not talking about the color, navy blue. I’m talking about the U.S. Navy, as in military.

The reason I’m asking is because this came up in edits for a new book I have coming out that deals with the gays in the military and the unfairness of DADT. And I wanted to be sure to get certain facts right.

When I submitted the book, I had the word capitalized. I did my research at libraryonline and here’s what they said:

Army, Navy and Air Force – Capitalize when referring to these organizations by name or with other widely accepted references to them. Examples:· the Army · U.S. Army · French Army · Organized Reserves · 1st Regiment · the Navy · U.S. Navy · British Navy · Marine Corps · the Marines · the Air Force · U.S. Air Force · Royal Air Force · Edwards Air Force Base

However, there seem to be different schools of thought on this topic, because when I received the book from the copyeditor this morning the Navy was now the navy.

Evidently, some publishers go with The Chicago Manual of Style, which doesn’t capitalize navy, as in the Navy. So I figured they knew better than I did and let it go.

But, to all the reviewers and persnickety types out there who do believe the Navy should be capitalized. Don’t come after me on this one. Authors do not, in spite of what everyone thinks, get the chance to veto all editorial decisions. So I learned something new today about the Chicago Manual. And if it’s good enough for The Chicago Manual, I suppose I can learn to live with it.

But if anyone feels like commenting, I’d love to hear your thoughts.