Crowdsourcing My Book Title

My publisher thinks my proposed book title is juvenile and/or terrible. I think their proposed book title is juvenile and/or terrible. This is horribly self-indulgent and sounds self-promotional, but since I live in a bubble I am genuinely interested in what people would think would be a good title. The less you know about the content, the more I value your input (really).

EXCITING UPDATES: It seems that some people aren’t actually sure which title is mine and which one the publisher proposed. I actually think it’s perhaps better left ambiguous! Also, we now have two write-in candidates (I will leave the guilty parties unnamed for proposing these): “Dumpster Dynasty” and “Going Down On America’s Junk: Freeganism and Food Waste in 21st Century America.”

3 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing My Book Title

  1. Don’t want to bias the poll or anything, but wanted to leave some additional feedback. Your title is super “you,” and I’m sure as you labored on the book for god knows how many hours, that’s what you were calling it in your head. Allowing the change probably feels like selling your soul, which I totally get. However, assuming this book is only marketable to an academic audience (correct me if that’s not the case), the publisher’s title is SO. GOOD. Just fantastic. And I suspect also captures very well what your book is about.

    The compromise titles are worse than either, as compromises often are, but I can think of a different compromise that I’ve seen in other academic monographs. I’m assuming the manuscript itself makes reference to your original title at some point. If you still have the option of making small edits to the manuscript, you can add a line or a footnote that says something like, “In fact, the working title of this book was … .” You can also point this out at all your book talks. I guess what I’m saying is, changing the title doesn’t mean losing your original title. You (and your friends) can still call it whatever you want in your head or in public.


    1. Thanks for the comment, Textor… but which one do you think is the publisher’s title? Did I specify that somewhere?

  2. Hey, Alex. As a publishing person, I want to emphasize something for you: publishing a book is ALL about self-promotion (so get used to it). Most small presses, especially university presses, do not have the resources to promote books like the next JK Rowling extravaganza. Authors need to be ready to self-promote the heck out of their books. Textor mentions that your publisher may intend your book for a mainly academic audience. Even if you’re not appealing to the public at large, you need to drum up interest for your title nearly any way you can (although I’m sure academics are slightly more subtle than genre self-pub authors). If it feels gross to talk about yourself/your book or to promote something for your own financial gain, think about making your research and knowledge available to more people. Can’t wait to see your finished book!

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