1. Senko
    Offline

    Senko Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3

    Who really assigns the Title to a published novel?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Senko, May 31, 2013.

    I wonder this: is the author himself/herself usually allowed to have that right?

    My guess is, like the movie productions, that some other people decide.

    Have you people some comments on that?
    Or, if you have been published, for example a novel, have you decided on the
    title and it has ended without change?
     
  2. Edward M. Grant
    Offline

    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Canada
    The publisher.

    They may well choose to use the author's title, but unless you're Stephen King or Dan Brown or some other mega-bestseller, they get the final say.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    What Edward said: for your first couple of novels the publishing company decides, as they know best about marketing and selling (usually). However, once and if you are published a little more than once or twice, then publishers may begin to listen to your input, including book title. Sometimes your first novel's title will remain the same, but it almost always changes, even if only slightly.
     
  4. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Those who can do, those who can't teach...
     
  5. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    ^What's that supposed to mean, Erebh?^
     
  6. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Sacramento
    Ha, it means, in my head, the name I have for my book is just great - when you said the publisher 'might' listen to me, I had an imaginary argument with my imaginary publisher over the name. Like I said, all in my head...
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    Haha, that's quite amusing actually. Did it end with the head publisher being fired? :p
     
  8. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    From what I've gleaned from published authors, there's no hard and fast rule. A friend of mine has had one title changed; the other five titles remained as she had them. Others have said basically the same thing - unless the title is horrendous or bland, publishers don't tend to mess with them, and author input is included. This is also something that can be included in the contract. Authors - even new ones - are not totally powerless.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i have to think that's somewhat of an exaggeration... do you have stats to back up that claim?
     
  10. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Sacramento
    We took the argument to my office, talked it over for two hours and then decided I was right all along. He's ok really, he just needs to remember who's boss.
     
  11. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    To be honest, I was only presuming. But I would have thought that the majority of first-time/unpublished writers wouldn't know how to create a good title (including myself), and that publishers would have to guide you before you could manage to create a marketable title of your own. Then again, it may just be me that can't create a good title. :p
     
  12. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I was under the impression that the publishers might, or usually, suggests changes to the title, or suggest potential titles, but that it needs to be approved by the author. Of course, this sort of "approval" is relative - I mean, you're not gonna let a business relationship suffer because the publisher didn't want your title. I can see the author would probably just go with whatever the publisher suggests, assuming it's not horrendous, but I am under the impression that, at least technically, publishers only suggest titles.

    To be fair, if an author really genuinely hates a title so much, I don't think a publisher who's signed with you and put all the money and effort into publishing you would break the contract over it. Likely the publisher would just suggest something else. I assume in the end, it's probably a matter of compromise, with some power struggle in play.
     
  13. Nee
    Offline

    Nee Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    23
    This is correct. If you have a great title then you have a great title. A great title means something that lends itself to a good marketing plan--something that in some way is pertinent to the times or in of itself is intriguing and invites the reader to take a closer look.
     
  14. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Ordinarily, the author chooses the title, but the publisher has the final saym because the title is a key element of the marketing.

    Submission editors frequently ask the author to change the title. However, I have no idea how often they take the bull by the horns and decide unilaterally on a different title. I'm pretty sure it's a last resort.
     
  15. Senko
    Offline

    Senko Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thanks for all your comments.
    I really appreciate that.

    I guess it´s mostly about marketing and sales for the publisher.

    I have never gone through that. In fact, had never written a novel
    or anything close, yet.

    But, having read myself many novels I have the impression that choosing
    the title is in fact someting very important to an author.

    Sometimes, I´d bet that it´s really a decision an author wouldn´t let other
    people to make. Unless, of course, there´s a risk of not being published or..

    Maybe the sacred writing piece of an author, when it comes to publishing, and
    everything related, is not so sacred.
     
  16. shadowwalker
    Offline

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,299
    Likes Received:
    851
    If the author thinks their work is sacred, they aren't ready to publish - most likely, the book isn't either.
     

Share This Page