Monday, May 9, 2011

Bad Mother's Day

If you’re an author, books are kind of like kids. You spend a lot of time trying to make them good so they’ll go out into the world and be enjoyed by others. When you’re in the middle of forming them, it can be fun and it can be frustrating and sometimes you just want to throw your hands into the air and give up. But the thing is, you (hopefully) love all your books equally for their own reasons. But I don’t.

I have a favorite book of mine. It’s a book that just, for some reason, I really love. Not because it was easy to write or it was my first, but because I love the characters and I love their story. It may not be the book that my readers love the best, but if I was ever asked to name my favorite book that I’ve written I’d say it’s RICH BOYS.

I would also say that it is the worst title of all my books, which is kind of like realizing you named your favorite child Horace after some great uncle in hopes he'd leave your kid that valuable watch collection. The title SO doesn’t do the book or the story justice. And the cover, while I don’t mind looking at it, makes no sense – sure, the story takes place near a beach during the summer but it’s really only about one guy, and he doesn’t surf or boogie board. I wish the book had a different title (unfortunately, I didn’t name it) so people wouldn’t assume that it’s a vapid novel about rich summer people and superficial guys. And it bums me out that readers might look at the cover and pass over the book just because of the title and cover. And I wish I'd come up with a title so I wouldn't have had to look at my publisher and say, "Um, yeah, sure, call it RICH BOYS"... even though I hate it because I have no brain cells left to come up with a decent title!!

So, when it comes to my books, I’m guess I’d be considered a bad mother because I actually have a favorite. And I feel badly that my favorite is dressed in such a terrible cover. Fortunately in real life I still like my kids’ names and still don’t have a favorite. And neither are named Horace.

What about you writers out there? Do you have a favorite book of yours? And why do you like it best?


  1. So you're right. I have seen this book and passed it by because of the title and the cover. But I will go back and check it out because I love a good book. Thanks for letting us know. Don't judge a book by it's cover - for sure!

  2. Oh, StuckInBooks, thank you!!!!

  3. I just bought this book a few weeks ago. I passed on it because if the title and the cover, but something came over me the moment I saw it and decided to give it a chance. After reading this, I'm glad I didn't pass over it once again. I'm sure I will get to it some time this summer!

  4. Damn that title and cover!!!! See, I'm not crazy, it really is terrible (and what makes it worse is that I actually don't mind looking at those two guys on the cover, they're just SO wrong for this story!).

    Thanks Actin' Up - I hope you don't regret giving it a chance.

  5. Yes, now I want to read Rich Boys. :)

    I have a favorite book too. (Mine is I'm Not Her) I like picking faves.

    I also have a favorite child, but I only have one, so that's allowed. :)

  6. I've been lucky so far with my titles and covers, but I understand how frustrated you are. Reviews are important, word of mouth is crucial, but the cover conveys a certain attitude and tone that persuade readers to pick up the book and look it over. Here's hoping RICH BOYS is reprinted in the future with a new cover and title that says what it's really about!

  7. As long as we're on the topic of covers... my book THE BOOK OF LUKE has a boy and girl on the cover and they're laying on a dock - can I just say that the story takes place IN THE WINTER! And there isn't a dock or a lake in sight! Am I the only one who actually expects a cover to give me some hint of what the heck is inside the book?

  8. Wow, what interesting insight into the process of titling a book. I too would probably bypass the book as seeming a bit vacuous--but I won't now!

  9. I do have a favorite book; one that is not published yet. I feel like it's my magnus opus. lol

    I laughed so hard at the 'naming your child Horace' thing! lol

  10. LOLZ! Sorry about that cover/title drama. Yeesh.

    Of all my stories, including novels and short fiction, my favorite one is... wow. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I love all of them like babies. Erm... I'll have to get back to you on this...

  11. Okay, in all honesty, I haven't read this one yet...Now, I HAVE TO. Brilliant post, Jenny!

  12. Oh, Jenny, just to make you feel better, Adiós was originally supposed to have the fetching title of "Light My Fuego."

    No, I'm not making that up. It was the one and only fight I got into with the editor and I stood my ground because it really was that horrible. Of course, I then wound up shuffled off to another editor and subsequently orphaned, so I paid a price for standing my ground, but to this day, I don't regret it one bit.

    As far as a favorite book, it's one that hasn't been published. It's a contemporary adult story I call BREATHE that had was five years from original concept to hitting the final period on the final sentence and absolutely gutted me in the writing. This is the story that has close to thirty absolutely amazing rejections on it because every editor who saw it loved the writing but simply wouldn't take a risk on it because of the subject matter. Still, though, it's my favorite and I hope that one day, it sees the light of publishing day.

  13. Oh my god, Barbara, that is freaking hysterical!! You are right not to regret standing your ground, doesn't it make you wonder what editors are thinking?

    The first cover for LUKE pictured a girl and boy up close and I SWEAR the girl looked like she was 10 years old and the way he was touching her and she was looking at him, it looked like she was about to be molested!! It was TERRIBLE!! So they changed it, to another less offensive but completely irrelevant cover.

    Have you thought about publishing BREATHE as an ebook on Amazon? You might give it a second life!