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triceretops
11-27-2006, 04:36 PM
It's not often that I get rejected before a rejection. It was funny at first until I really stopped and thought about it. Comment from an editor about my query letter.

"I have to tell you that this title just doesn't fly. It's cheesy, and I'm sorry, I just can't B.S. you or any author. It's no reflection on your writing, but we'd have to change that title if we publish this."

Title: Planet Janitor--Custodian of the Stars.

Well, Gak. I guess it does conjur up images of a spaceman with a mop and bucket. As Joe Dirt would say, "dang." Maybe I'll cut off the first two words and leave it at that.

Ever get the feeling you're hamstrung before you even get out of the starting gate?

No biggie, though. I'm not as obsessed about this as he is. Publishers alway pull a title switch anyway.

Thought it was funny. I imagined him coming through my computer screen with a red face, clutching a prefered title list. "You vill sign zee papers!"

Tri

Julie Worth
11-27-2006, 05:12 PM
I think he has a point--if you dropped the first two words and then tweaked it a little to avoid confusion with Hollywood stars, it might be better. Maybe something like Keeper of the Stars, or Star Warden.

Birol
11-27-2006, 05:13 PM
:roll:

(I'd lose the sub-title, Tri, not the "Planet Janitor" part.)

PattiTheWicked
11-27-2006, 05:29 PM
I kinda like Planet Janitor myself. I mean, if it's supposed to be funny, and all. It makes me think of Aspirin's Phule's Company books.

I'd just drop "Custodian of the Stars" if it were me.

Siddow
11-27-2006, 07:58 PM
I think the whole title is hilarious! I mean, if you're going for cheesy, and we all know there's a place for cheesy, just not with that editor.

jbal
11-27-2006, 10:35 PM
Let me just say this: I LOVE THAT TITLE! I love it so much that if it weren't taken I would write a book just to use it.

Julie Worth
11-27-2006, 10:46 PM
Let me just say this: I LOVE THAT TITLE! I love it so much that if it weren't taken I would write a book just to use it.

That's the thing about titles. There's no way to own one.

RainbowDragon
11-27-2006, 10:58 PM
I think it's funny as is. . .everyone has their own opinion, of course.

maddythemad
11-27-2006, 11:05 PM
Yeah, don't change the title.

JeanneTGC
11-27-2006, 11:07 PM
Not only do I find the title hilarious, that title would ensure that I would at least pick up the book and read the jacket and see if it seemed as funny as the title. And then, if it did seem that funny, I would buy it.

So I'm in the "keep the title and find somewhere else to publish" group!

Cathy C
11-27-2006, 11:18 PM
I LOVE strange titled books, so I'm in the "keep it" group too. Some of my favorites:

Bimbos of the Death Sun (Sharyn McCrumb)
So long, and thanks for all the fish (Douglas Adams)
Then, of course, there's the WHOLE Donna Andrews mystery series:

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon
Owls Well that Ends Well
No Nest for the Wicket
We'll Always Have Parrots
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos

:roll:

Planet Janitor is nothing strange at all.

aadams73
11-28-2006, 12:10 AM
Throw me into the "loves weird titles" pile too! I get tired of the same old one-word titles. Give me something new and interesting.

triceretops
11-28-2006, 05:47 AM
Thanks guys. You make me feel better. Though it is a Crusoe survival story, there is a lot of humor in it. The players are somewhat stumble bumb environmentalists who have to learn how to survive and cope with each other. Idiots transform into galactic heroes.

Tri:Hug2:

David McAfee
11-28-2006, 07:04 AM
Tri - Well, I am not you, but if an editor at a decent sized pub house asked me to change the title of my book as a requirement of publication, I think I'd do it. I know, I know, selling out, etc. To me the name is not as important as whether or not the book makes it to the shelves to be read. later you can change the title back on a rerelease (Eaters of the Dead=The Thirteenth Warrior).

Now, having said that, I LOVE the title, myself. I can't think why the editor would want to change an attention-grabbing title like that. That's the kind of title that would make me take the book off the shelf to read the back cover and see what it's about.

CaroGirl
11-28-2006, 07:05 AM
Take heart, Tri, there are plenty of us who are not as stodgy at that old curmudgeon editor. I like it too. We need more originality and whimsy, not less.

Good luck selling your project, as is!!

triceretops
11-28-2006, 07:17 AM
I've seen galactic pirates, detectives, thugs, thieves, exploration teams, miners and all other sundry. I just tried to come up with something different.

Oh, I agree absolutely about letting the marketing folks come up with the best possible title. I would never, ever have any problem with that. Afterall, an unpublished book has only a running title to begin with. They all do.

Tri

clara bow
11-28-2006, 08:50 AM
If I saw that title on a book store shelf, I would giggle, maybe throw in an "oh brother," but then I'd pick it up and start reading the book. Sorry you have to change it!

icerose
11-29-2006, 02:41 AM
I am more of a conservative when it comes to book subjects, prefering the more serious, but I must confess, if I saw that sitting on a bookshelf there is no way I could resist the urge to see what it was about. It would get me to read the back and at least the first few pages.

Greenwolf103
11-30-2006, 02:29 AM
I also love that title, Tri. It sounds FUNNY!

Hope you work things out. :Hug2:

triceretops
11-30-2006, 05:44 AM
Thanks, Greenwolf. There's great purpose and irony in that title. My next one (just started) is called Hang A Left At Aldebaran. If they don't like it, well, they can just make a U-turn at Proxima Centauri.

Tri

Birol
11-30-2006, 05:56 AM
You should submit to Robert Asprin's publisher.

zarch
11-30-2006, 04:58 PM
I picked up Shawn McBride's GREEN GRASS GRACE because of the title. It's not especially wacky, but it struck me as quirky enough to have a look. Then I purchased the book.

Julie Worth
11-30-2006, 06:06 PM
Tom Robbins is the master of wacky titles: Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas, and another one, Wild Ducks Flying Backwards.

aghast
11-30-2006, 08:46 PM
yeah lose the subtitle but title rocks - kinda like hitchikers guide to the galaxy there is this what the heck moment and its catchy

David McAfee
11-30-2006, 11:18 PM
How about Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan? That's an odd one.

JDCrayne
12-01-2006, 10:48 AM
I LOVE strange titled books, so I'm in the "keep it" group too. Some of my favorites:

Bimbos of the Death Sun (Sharyn McCrumb)
So long, and thanks for all the fish (Douglas Adams)
Then, of course, there's the WHOLE Donna Andrews mystery series:

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon
Owls Well that Ends Well
No Nest for the Wicket
We'll Always Have Parrots
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos.

"Island of the Sequined Love Nuns" - Christopher Moore

I love off-beat titles too, but of course it depends a lot on the style of the book. A space custodian with a mop and bucket would be wonderful for a comedy, not so good for a serious hard science novel.

BardSkye
12-07-2006, 08:14 PM
I'd keep the title unless the editor in question was interested in looking deeper. I like odd titles and often will order them based on the title alone.

"Bride of the Slime Monster" by C.S. Gardner, "How Much For Just The Planet" by John M. Ford, "Resenting the Hero" by Moira J. Moore are three books I bought without anything more than the title to go on.

smallthunder
12-07-2006, 09:53 PM
I agree with all those who suggest you keep the title & drop the subtitle -- I would definitely pick up a book with the title "Planet Janitor" -- even if just to make sure that I'd read that correctly.

And then I would skim it, surely, to see if we're talking about a planet completely populated by janitors (a funny image) ... or one hapless chap that has to clean up an entire planet (scrape all the discarded chewing gum off of every sidewalk, mop up all doggie-pee puddles, etc)(another funny image).

The mind reels ...

In other words, it's a winner of a title!