When Your Novel Is Retitled

Sometime ago, I ran a blog post about needing a title for the first book in my new Hode’s Hill series of novels. I submitted the manuscript to my publisher with the title of The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill.

I liked it, but it is long, and probably not the best for marketing. No surprise that the publisher asked for a new title. Many authors have their book titles changed, but this was a first for me. I’ve written six other traditionally published books all without title changes. The hardest part was, I had already written the entire book and was waiting on content edits when the request for a title change came through. My head was already wrapped around The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill. I’d even been blogging about the book using that title. Worse—and I don’t know why this was so hard for me—all of my computer files had that title attached to them.

Title Ideas message on a white background against view of an old typewriter and paper

The good news is that my editor asked me for new titles, rather than the publisher assigning one. I was asked to submit multiple title choices from which the head editor would select. Over the course of four days, I submitted nineteen choices. Titles are not easy for me, so coming up with nineteen was not a simple feat. From those, my editor sent a handful to the head editor. Naturally, the very last title was the one he chose. 😊 Now that I’ve had time to unwrap my head from Blue Lady, I’ve grown fond of it.

So, what did we end up with?

*drum roll*

Cusp of Night

I hope it inspires thoughts of mystery and something lurking in the dark.

I’ve received the official blurb and am just waiting on a cover. The release is scheduled for June 12, 2018. If you like mysteries with dual story lines (one set in the late 1800s, the other in the present), whispers of a mysterious creature from folklore, old spiritualist practices, and ghostly occurrences, I think you’ll enjoy Cusp of Night. I can’t wait to share the cover and blurb with you. Be on the lookout.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before I can unveil both!

64 thoughts on “When Your Novel Is Retitled

  1. It amazes me you came up with 19 titles. Took me forever to come up with Sarah, and that was two minutes before sending it to the publisher. Really like this new title and excited for the book – sounds fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m bad at titles, too. I know why you were attached to your first title. I even know why you cringed about all your computer files having the original name. But I have to say, that new title is quite compelling. It stinks when you’re told your book has to be retitled, but it’s worse when you have no say. Consider yourself lucky—you got to submit ideas and a really good one was chosen!

    Best wishes on the release. Six months seems like so long… I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was really glad they allowed me to submit title choices and didn’t just force something on me. It’s weird how things get ingrained in our head, making it hard to adapt to the change. I do like the new title though, and I understand the reasoning. Another experience on my author journey, LOL.

      Glad you’re looking forward to release day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice title–can’t wait to see the cover! I’m mixed about changing titles, especially when I’ve worked on something so long that the title fits the project in my mind. My agent asked me to change the title of my book (I think so when she shopped it no one would recognize it, even though I hadn’t queried that one much), but now I’d like to change it back, because the previous title just “worked” for me. Sometimes just creating a title to start with is challenging, but it can be fun to pick out a new name 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Titles are most always challenging for me. I’ve lucked out twice with having titles appear at the start of a project, but usually I’m scrambling after them.

      Are you going to change the title back to the original? It sounds like that one really resonated with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’d sure like to. I haven’t heard back from my editor yet; I should hear back by the end of the year. Once both my editor (concept editor) and the publisher (line editor–yeah, I know, that’s different) have gone through the manuscript (hence their feedback by the end of the year), they’ll both have a good idea of the story. Then I’ll suggest changing the title. Everyone (my writing sisters, beta readers) like the old title better 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for popping in Teagan and commenting. It took me a while to adjust to the new title, but I’ve embraced it now and look forward to seeing my artwork/cover. As for the process, I look at it as another step on my journey as an author. Something new I hadn’t experienced before, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the new title–evocative. It creates a great mood for the story. And I love the premise. Can’t wait to read the blurb and see the cover! I’ve had to change a lot of titles for my editor. I’ve gotten used to it. He likes half a dozen to choose from. For my mystery series, though, he kept what I sent–The Body in the Attic. And he likes the idea of every book being The Body in….The Bog, The Garden…whatever. I might be able to handle that:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that’s interesting about your editor and titles, Judi. I do love “The Body in the Attic.” What a great premises to continue with the books that follow. I’M looking forward to your new release and series as well.

      And thanks for the compliments on Cusp of Night. It was sad saying goodbye to Point Pleasant, but I found I love writing about Hode’s Hill and the people who populate it 🙂


  5. It certainly has an intriguing allure, which is what you want when competing for eyeball attention – whatever sort of shelf you’re on! 😀
    Good that ‘they’ let you put forward substitutes as well! 😉 Wishing you all the best with the new series 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thanks, Jan. That’s so sweet of you. 🙂
      I do think I’m lucky that I had input on the change. I know many publishers don’t do that.
      BTW, love the phrase “eyeball attention” 😀


  6. Mae, I love the title!! Intriguing, edging into the dark zone. Well done and fantastic that you could come up with so many alternative ones!! I too struggle with titles (and had to smile at the comment here about titles nearly being as hard as blurbs!). It must have been even tougher when you were so previously used to the earlier title. Best of luck with this latest novel…although we have to be patient! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Annika! It’s really been helpful having others (here on my blog) weigh in on the title. I did really like The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill, but I like the fact that Cusp of Night is edgier and more mysterious.

      I laughed about the blurb reference too and thought of your recent post 🙂

      Thanks for the well wishes and the visit!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love the new title, Mae! Cusp of Night really works. It sounds so mysterious. In my Grafton County Series I struggle with titles (my other series is easy). My WIP usually has several titles during the writing process, so I feel your pain with documents that have your original title. And then, I write one sentence where the title pops out at me. Until that point, it’s so frustrating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear you, Sue. Wouldn’t it be great if those lines popped out at the beginning? I never did go back and change my document names, but I created a new Cusp of Night folder for them, so it was a compromise on the computer files, LOL.
      Glad you liked the title and good luck with your own titles. They are pesky things! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I liked the first title, but loved what you came up with. Sounds mysterious.i have changed a title after writimg the book..i found i had gotten attached to the original title, yet the new title worked better in the long run. Looking forward to reading this:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s easy to become attached to our title. Especially when they hang around for a long time during the writing process. It must have been a hard call for you to change the title you liked, but it sounds like you made the right decision.
      Thanks for dropping by, and I’m glad Cusp of Night has caught your interest 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

I love comments, so please scribble a thought or two!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.