Big news everyone! We’ve got the exclusive story on how the team working on Bruce Meyer’s newest book chose a title. Keep an eye out for this latest work in Spring 2017.
The title that has been chosen for Bruce Meyer’s newest book of poetry is 1967: Centennial Year.
Choosing this title was not an easy process. Our editing team started thinking about titles when we wrote to Bruce about the manuscript in mid-September. We had only read the manuscript once or twice by this time and had little knowledge about marketing, so we were unsure how to approach the question of the title. When we started discussing it a few weeks later, there were many conflicting opinions. Some of us liked the original title Bruce proposed, Centennial Year. Others thought that this title wasn’t informative enough—several of our group members were unfamiliar with the Centennial year celebrations and were afraid that the significance would be lost on potential readers. We had to consider not only how relevant the title was in relation to the poetry content, but also how the book’s title would affect marketing. We want as wide and varied of an audience as possible, and we worried that a title too boring or too obscure would limit our sales.
In attempting to solve this problem, a few alternative titles were suggested. For a more accessible title, some suggested 1967 on its own or as a subtitle. For a more creative title, we tried The Unofficial History of Miracles; Lost in 1967; and One Hundred by Ten. We played around a lot with subtitles, tacking “1967” or “Centennial Year” onto the end of almost every title we tried out. When we were unable to compromise, we reached out to Marty for input. There was a misunderstanding about the title Marty suggested, and our group was unhappy with what we thought was his decision. At this point, we were so frustrated by the process that we hated every title, and there was a lot of tension in our meeting room.
Eventually, with Marty’s help, we agreed on a title: 1967: Centennial Year. Using 1967 as the main title clears up any confusion about what Centennial year is, and the short title is eye-catching and intriguing. We kept Centennial Year as a subtitle to clarify what aspect of 1967 the book’s content is dealing with. When we ran the title by Bruce, he was enthusiastic about our choice. Having a date as the title reminds him of George Orwell’s 1984, a famous dystopia novel. He finds it fitting since 1967 felt like a dystopia to those who experienced it: so much was changing so fast, and the mystery of what the future would bring was as frightening as it was exhilarating.
We believe this title suits not only the historical background of the book, but all the complex themes Bruce encounters in his poetry as he explores identities both national and personal. We hope you are all as excited about this reveal as we are!
Keep your eyes open in the coming days for more news about another 2017 title!