Pinball Wizard, Or How The Name of My Book Got Changed.
On Friday, October 30, 2009, I met Bob Miller, the then publisher of the now defunct Harper Studio - along with Debbie Stier, SVP, Director of Digital Marketing and Editor-at-Large for HarperCollins, to talk about 'the book.' I refer to it as 'the book' because when I met Debbie the week before, she simply asked - as I took a bite of my sandwich - "So, do you have a book?"
"A book??" I asked myself in a moment of panic having been ill-prepared for the unfathomable idea that Debbie was actually interested in publishing a book by little ol' me. By the way - I'm not sure what I was thinking considering Debbie had invited me to meet her. And offered me sandwiches. Sandwiches are always a sure sign they like you. 🙂
The question knocked around the inside of my head like a pinball looking for any sort of hole to sink into. "A book?" I thought as I stalled for seconds, swallowing my bite.
"Well, yes." I said assuredly (never let anyone see you sweat!). "I have three ideas for books," and went on to describe them. The final idea became the book we've been working on since October 30th. It would be a guide for aunts on how to be Savvy Aunties. And it was Bob who named it as if obvious: The Savvy Auntie Guide to Life.
We added a subtitle: The Savvy Auntie Guide to Life: The Ultimate Source for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids. And off we went with contracts and formalities and actually writing the book.
Now I have to admit the day I met Bob I felt like the new girl on her first day of work ever, hoping that my acquiescence would please the boss (acquiescence and compromise are things I work on daily), so I agreed. After all, Bob was the publisher and Bob knew best.
And so for 10 months I had that title in my head. We worked on several iterations of the book jacket cover with the title in place. And as time went by and my confidence in being an author grew (steered by Debbie Stier's enthusiasm for the manuscript), I hinted that if it wasn't too late I'd be 'open' to the possibility of changing the name. After all, I thought, the name feels arrogant and it really isn't what the book is....
But I soon dropped it when the subject wasn't really debated and I went on my **Mary way.
Until that fateful afternoon when Kathryn (Marketing Assistant) said that the copy editor asked if the title was really the right title for the book.
Yippee!! (Lights blinking, bells ringing!!) Now I was the Pinball Wizard thinking quickly about new possible titles! The Savvy Auntie Guide? The Savvy Auntie Handbook? And then I realized that when you visit SavvyAuntie.com, it doesn't say: The Savvy Auntie Website, so why call the book The Savvy Auntie anything? Why not just Savvy Auntie.
So there you have it. My book is now called:
Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids.
And I couldn't be happier.
**Mary Schuck is the incredibly talented Creative Director working on my book jacket cover.