What’s in a Name?

The Adventure Book by Jennifer M Zeiger

Last week I reminisced about the color of The Adventure’s cover and the balance between loving the cover as it is and trying to use it for marketing. In other words, trying to make it visible on a book shelf or a screen.

This week, please bear with me while I share the learning curve on names.

One, in the book’s title and two, in my author name.

Book Titles

Like book covers, in traditional publishing, the publisher tends to have more control over the title than the author. For instance, Twilight started out as simply Forks (named after the town the story is placed in).

However, that wasn’t interesting or unique enough, so it was changed to Twilight. A publisher, without a doubt, would have changed The Adventure to something else. And in hind sight, I should have too.

Here’s why…

Let’s have a little field trip. Go to Amazon and pick books. Then type in The Adventure.

Can you find the book?

I’d be seriously impressed if you could. It’s lost in pages and pages of other books, and maps, and piano book lessons, and Pathfinder game guides, and… I could go on for 100 pages worth of titles. (literally).

I liked the simplicity of The Adventure. I still do. But for marketing purposes, I should have picked something not only simple, but more unique.

Author Name

An author’s name is an author’s name. A traditional publisher doesn’t get to control that. However, they might suggest something different if it’s hard to find or your name matches someone else’s.

Let’s try another field trip. Go to Amazon and type in Jennifer Zeiger.

What do you get?

You get Jennifer Zeiger, but it’s not me until the second page. Now, if you type in my full author name with the middle M, you will find me, but this is such a subtle difference that it’s often overlooked.

On a side note, the other Jennifer is related to me by marriage. She writes for Scholastic and has often answered my random questions when she can.

Now, I knew there was another Jennifer out there who wrote books. When I decided to use my name for writing, I figured I’d have my full length novels published traditionally if anything, and they’re in the fantasy genre (YA and Epic). I figured these were different enough from what the other Jennifer wrote that it wouldn’t be a problem.

However, add that to the fact that The Adventure itself is difficult to find and everyone gets confused. (Including family. I’ve had aunts contacting me thinking I’m the other Jennifer.)

The takeaway from all of this:

Find a distinct title. And be choosy about the name you write under. These are the two gateways people will use to find your writing online. It’s worth taking the time to pick well.

What catches your eye in a title? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time, Blessings,

Jennifer

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The Adventure Cover Revealed!

The Adventure Front Cover

As I said in my last post, I couldn’t be happier with how this cover turned out! Thank you to Joseph Apolinar for all his hard work.

This image is from Moonrise Mountain, the first adventure story in the book. You’ll just have to read it to find out who the old man is =)

Blessings,

Jennifer

The Adventure Full Cover

(As I said in my first cover post, the cover, front, back and spine, are all created as one image. Here’s the full image for The Adventure)

The Adventure Cover Part 1

Creating a Cover…Yikes!The Adventure Cover Part 1

It sounds so straightforward. Make a picture to put on the cover of a book.

Except you have to choose font, color, back cover text, image, size of image…oh wait, that image has to fit inside the ‘live’ areas of the book without getting cut off in printing.

A cover isn’t just the 5×8 image you see as a thumbnail on Amazon.

When designing a cover, you design the front, spine, and back covers as one image, taking into account the fold of the spine so that you don’t cross the fold when the book’s printed. (there is a give and take too to where that fold happens). You also have to keep in mind the fact that the book is cut around the edges at the printer.

Then you have to make sure the image quality is good as well. If it’s not, you end up with a blurry image on paper instead of the beautiful picture you designed on the computer.

But with all of this, the end product it amazingly satisfying.

Joseph Apolinar did a great job on The Adventure’s cover. It’s cleared the review process on CreateSpace and the proof copy is in the mail. I’ll let you know if it all turns out in print as beautiful as it looks on the screen.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like seeing all that hard work pay off. I’m beyond excited to see it.

Maybe because I’m arbitrary, maybe because it’s fun, maybe because it’s exciting, here’s a piece of the cover… More to follow in the next posts =)

Can you guess which Adventure story this is from?

Blessings,

Jennifer M Zeiger