Or not. (I’m not such a fan of the whole “let’s crowdsource this book” thing.) But: how’s about the title?
For my last book, I came up with what I thought was a great title: descriptive, indicative of thesis, etc. Got rejected (a fact I did not learn until the publisher sent me a copy of the book jacket. Lo and behold, a new title…)
So this time around, I decided to play it safe: Go with simple, straightforward, to the point. As in: MEAT: AN AMERICAN HISTORY. (Using all caps for titles in a publishing/writing convention.)
And yesterday, after my editor read the Wall Street Journal article in which I was mentioned, she emailed me to say, in effect, “not sure I like that title. We need something that conveys the ‘argument.'” [UPDATE: the link may or may not work. WSJ has a paywall, but I grabbed a link from Google cache. If you google Dizik and kangaroo, you’ll probably be able to find a free version.]
Anyway, new title. Whaddya think, folks?
The title I slapped on the proposal that my agent used to sell the book was: IN BEEF WE TRUST: MEAT AND THE MAKING OF AMERICA. Apparently the editor sort of likes that, although she came up with a slightly different subtitle: AMERICANS, MEAT, AND THE MAKING OF A NATION. (And, yeah, that’s better than my in-thirty-seconds version.)
My second title, after I’d started working on the book, was: CARNIVORE NATION: MEAT IN THE MAKING OF AMERICA. (Crucial difference in the subtitle is using “IN” rather than “AND.” Small but crucial difference.)
I liked it so much that I bought the domain name (carnivorenationDOTcom), which I’ve since let go because thought I wouldn’t be using it. And, frankly, it smacks of coattails (eg, FAST FOOD NATION, OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA), so as far as I’m concerned, it’s a non-starter.Problem with IN BEEF WE TRUST IS that the book isn’t only about beef, so it’s a bit misleading.
Today I thought of: E PLURIBUS CARNIVOROUS: AMERICANS, MEAT, AND THE MAKING OF A NATION. Which I kinda like.
So. Thoughts? Ideas?