Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon

Name That Book

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How do you name a book? Does the ideal name come in a flash of insight? If it doesn't, you can always poll your potential readers. That's what I did, with this survey:

NAME THAT BOOK   EEEE 

 .

HELP! Our publishing team is in a quandary about what to title our upcoming book about a young woman who goes to Alaska to be a teacher, can't find a teaching job, and ends up as an arctic geological explorer.

 

Your thoughts regarding a title would be most welcome. Could you rate these titles? Do ANY appeal?

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hate     ok        love                     

1    2    3   4     5      No Rock Too Far

1    2    3   4     5      Song of the Hills    

1    2    3   4     5      Touching the Dream

1    2    3   4     5      Walking the Dream

1    2    3   4     5      Mapping My Dreams

1    2    3   4     5      Lady Mapper of the North

1    2    3   4     5      Rocks and Heart Places

1    2    3   4     5      Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon

1    2    3   4     5      Tent and Gun for Hire

1    2    3   4     5      Packing It Out

hate    ok     love

1    2    3   4     5          Rock Days, Arctic Nights

1    2    3   4     5          Mapping the Edge

1    2    3   4     5          Hear the North Rocks

1    2    3   4     5          What the Rocks Say

1    2    3   4     5          On the Rocks

1    2    3   4     5          A Song of the North

1    2    3   4     5          Traversing the Tundra

1    2    3   4     5          Ledge of Dreams

1    2    3   4     5          Map to My Heart

1    2    3   4     5          North Sweet Home


           


Do you have any title suggestions? _______________________________________

Are you  _____ male?     ______ female?

Might you be tempted to read a book about this subject: __yes    __no  __maybe

If you would like to be on the mailing list regarding the book's release, we would welcome your e-mail :                                                                        

Thank you!!


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Anatomy of a Title

This was the survey I made up to figure out what names worked. The original title of the book was CRADLE OF THE NORTH. That was my initial vision and the working title for a very long time. I still like that title, but it was considered not "grabby" enough. So the publication team and I went through a VERY long process to find a title that we all agreed upon. You would not believe the many titles we kicked around. I had pages of titles, probably hundreds, that didn't even make it to the stage of running by the publishers. Everywhere I went, I prodded people with title ideas and suggestions, and harassed all my friends and family and associates with endless title questions (you may have figured out by now that once I get on a mission, I don't give up easily.)
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Anyway, on September 5th, 2011 my botanical artist group (The Botanical Artists of the North Downs, England) was putting on our first annual art show at a local town hall, and someone told me there were going to be 200 people showing up for the opening night. That is a pretty good crowd, and so I figured that I could use the art show as double duty -- not only to display my art works with my very talented group of artist pals, but also hit up the crowd for survey responses to title ideas. After all, it seemd to me that people that appreciated botanical art and would take time out of their busy lives to go see the grand opening of an art show might also be the type of people that liked to read interesting books, too. So I created my survey and took it with me to the grand opening.
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I really didn't know what people would say. I had thrown a few titles on the list that I didn't think would get any votes (but they did get a few) and a couple of choices that I favored. I didn'dt bother to include titles that I liked but made everyone else groan ("Igneous Dreams"). The idea was to try to find a title that might appeal to all types of people who might read the book. Just before I printed off the survey, I tossed on some ideas at the last minute  to give the people a bigger choice. It was a real surprise when one of those last-minute add-ons ran away from the pack and scored well in all groups -- males, females, British, and American responders. There were also some teen and pre-teen girls at the show who were quite pleased to be asked their opinions, and I got a good idea of their preferences, too. The great thing was that MIDNIGHT SUN, ARCTIC MOON did well with ALL groups (coming in first or second with each population category). Even better, it was not HATED by anyone. Not a single responder scored it lower than a 5. That was pretty telling, so I knew we had a clear winner in the naming sweepstakes.
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And then came the subtitle, another long and winding story. What a journey a book travels. From concept to completion of the manuscript is just the first part of the process. From completion to acceptance is the second battle, and what a hard-fought war that is. I thought it would get easier after acceptance, but actually, it got hard again as it went from acceptance through the title and editing process. Good grief. Why do we do it? Who knows? I suppose it is like motherhood -- one of the hardest jobs in the world. But still, there are so many takers!