Monday, May 24, 2010

The Power of a Good Title

Dale and I visited the NC Museum of Art this weekend. They just finished building a new "wing" - really a whole new building - and so we visited, looking at some familiar art in a new setting, as well as new acquisitions. One thing in particular I noticed were the titles of the artworks. As an author, I struggle with titles. I rarely can think of a truly interesting or attention getting title. I think I've come up with a pretty good title for my short story collection, although it's not as representational of the work as I might like. But I just have difficulty thinking of titles for my stories.
Artists, I've noticed, have it easy by comparison. There were several works of art that were simply "Untitled". Sometimes they were untitled with numbers attached. There was one work of art titled "Pigeon." It was an elaborate 3-D work that looked like a woman, and the history of the piece described how the artist arrived at the end result. It also mentioned, casually, that the work was titled "Pigeon" because a pigeon roosted in the artist's loft during the work. Wait a minute, really? Does that mean I can title my short story "Squirrels Eating my House" because that's what I hear while in my office, writing? Because wow, my titles just got a lot more interesting! And what about the Untitled's? Can I just go with that? "Untitled," a collection of un-named short stories by Elaine.
I'm not criticizing artists. Their medium is visual - the title is not integral to the work the way it is for a written piece of art. Still, I must admit I'm a little jealous, especially given my lack of ability in this area...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Disclaimers and other Legalese

So my POD publisher, Booklocker, has given me a standard fiction disclaimer to put in my book. The only problem is that one of my stories is not completely fiction. It's about 93% fiction, but it does involve a real incident at a church in Concord NC. (Kinetic Church and their billboard campaign). So I've gotten in touch with the church to get their approval on the story, but I still will have to modify the disclaimer. I've written my contact at Booklocker, hoping she will have a standard disclaimer for stories which are only 93% fiction.
But in the future, I think I'll be modifying events enough to make them 100% fiction. Less sticky...

Monday, May 10, 2010

the fluff

I have to pick an author photo for my book. I also have to make a title. Titles are hard for me - not a strength. So far my leading contender is "Birds, Bees, and Church Trailer Thieves." Opinions?
And an even more fluffy request for opinions: which photo is the best "author" photo for the back of the book?

Friday, May 7, 2010

I did it!

I signed a contract with Booklocker to self-publish a book of short stories. This is a big step for me in terms of confidence. I'm still planning to go through traditional channels once my full length book is finished, but I think my short stories have a better chance of circulation as a POD or eBook than in traditional magazines. I'm also going to explore what it would take to get my book in the public library as a local author. Guess I'd better start making friends with librarians!
I'll keep everyone updated on my progress. And of course, as soon as the book is out, there will be a link here to buy it!