With the feedback from the beta readers, I got the suggestion to change the title of Becoming a Man. I asked online, at my writing group, and a co-worker who beta reads for me. It was close between a couple of them, but it looks like I have a new title: Sand and Blood.
I went with a slight modified version of tallying votes. If someone said they liked a given title, I gave that line a +1. If they said they hated it, it got a -1. Some people just listed the one they liked, they got a +2. The reason I did this is because I knew I would get a limited number of opinions (ten in this case) and wanted a broad range.
- Becoming a Man: 3
- Sand and Blood: 5
- Shimusògo Run: 3
- Rites of Passage: 1
- Chasing Spirit: -1
- Chasing the Spirit: 4
- Becoming Shimusògo: -1
I apparently was confusing though, since the emails and writing group got the titles for the entire series (all three books are planned) and I apparently worded it wrong. But, I think I got most of confusion resolved.
Why I asked
I ask questions a lot when it comes to writing. Opinions of covers, series names, and titles of books. It seems like most authors don't have the same problems I have and rarely do I see any other author requesting feedback for these things.
When I look at movie trailers and book covers, I realize they don't appeal to me. I was ten when I realized I didn't like pictures of people on book covers. But covers that had striking silhouettes or simple logos always drew my attention. I like illustrated covers over painted ones over photographs. Composition of images… ug, the color balance, brightness, and cropping always sticks out and ruins the moment for me.
I used to visit the art museums in Chicago quite a lot, but when someone would say "this is a beautiful work of art", I only saw colors and paint, flat images that didn't "move" like the guy standing next to me said they did. Same with most photographs.
So, I ask. With Casting Call, the cover I thought would be awesome was pretty much disliked by everyone I asked. Go figure, I thought it was cool, but I'm pretty happy with the results.
I have a doubt
I worry that my cover ideas won't work. I love ink and watercolor illustrations and I think the three images I have planned would be pretty cool. Plus, I think that when I get the entire series done, it will tie in nicely. (Side note, I actually have to finish the series first.)
I do have a contingency plan, though, in case everyone says it sucks. I'm proud, but there is a point when I have to make a choice of personal view and ego. We'll find out, I have a lot of work in the next six months.
The runner up
"Chasing the Spirit" was a very close runner up. The reason I didn't pick it was because of the two other books I'm planning on writing. They just didn't seem to work out for me as well as the "Sand and Blood" (which will have "Sand and…" as the prefix of the name).
For the people who responded, thank you. I know I can be a neurotic mess when it comes to certain decisions, but I appreciate the help and encouragement.
In other news
I have a schedule with a recommended editor to look at "Sand and Blood" in May. And I have the money already saved up for it, so I getting excited about.