Book titles I loved but didn’t use
The journey to landing on “The Age of Magical Overthinking” was not easy...
For me, the only book marketing challenge more tortuous than designing the perfect cover is landing on the perfect TITLE. God, how arduous this process always is, at least for me. I find that with nonfiction, the task is especially tricky because while novel titles can lean more abstract, a nonfiction title not only has to represent the tone of the book in a way that jumps off the cover, it must also encapsulate the whole thesis accurately and pair with a crystal-clear subtitle. It is TOUGH. Of course, once the titling process is over, the pain quickly dissipates, as though the final title was always just effortlessly there. But for me, “effortlessness” has never been part of the equation.
I have never once pitched a book with a title that actually stuck. Wordslut was originally pitched to publishers as We Should All Be Linguists (a derivation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists… everyone knew that had to change immediately). Cultish was pitched as Mindfuck (another obvious “no…” plus, the name was already taken). My third book titling process was no less challenging.
Below, a shortlist of titles that my publishers and I toyed with before landing on The Age of Magical Overthinking, a mouthful compared to my first two books but truly the perfect moniker for this project!!