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Book Title Help Required

About An English author living in exile

Previous Entry Book Title Help Required Jun. 9th, 2010 @ 10:16 am Next Entry

With the publication of Nous Sommes Anglais less than a month a way, doubt has arisen over the title. Will people see the title, assume the book's written in French and ignore it?

I'm beginning to think quite a few people will. What do you think? 

One solution is to emulate other expat memoirs and add a subtitle. Another is to change the title altogether. I've been bouncing ideas around the BVC collective and here are the front runners. Do they work for you? All comments and suggestions welcome.

French Fried: One Man's Move to France With His Wife, Too Many Animals and An Identity Thief 
Nous Sommes Anglais: Mystery and Mayhem in the Pyrenees
Nous Sommes Anglais: Mystery, Mishaps, and Animals
Nous Sommes Anglais: One Man's Move to France With His Wife, Too Many Animals and An Identity Thief   

The full title would only appear in listings. The book cover would have French Fried or Nous Sommes Anglais as the title, with the subtitle as a much smaller tag line.


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Date:June 9th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
I think the last option would be the best: "Nous Sommes Anglais: One Man's Move to France With His Wife, Too Many Animals and An Identity Thief"...
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Date:June 9th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
I know French and the title left me confused. IMO most people would pass it by - there'so much competition for their attention. I'm in the USA though, so maybe that isn't pertinent.
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Date:June 9th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I would get it, but I don't think I'm typical. I think the last option would be good.
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Date:June 9th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
If you must have a subtitle, the shorter the better. "Mystery and Mayhem in the Pyrenees" would be my choice.


P.S., How's the medium mystery coming?
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Date:June 9th, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)

Medium Dead

The medium mystery is stalled - three agents have had the full manuscript for over a year now. I haven't followed up yet as I've been working on my DCI Shand mystery series - which is also out with an agent at the moment, though thankfully a good few months less than a year.
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Date:June 10th, 2010 02:18 am (UTC)
I like the last one.
Date:June 10th, 2010 03:41 am (UTC)

2nd or 3rd

"French Fried" is a bit too corny for me, so I like keeping "Nous Sommes Anglais"--though I admit part of that is ALSO that I've heard the title from you in your blog for so long. ;-)

I agree with the other person who said shorter is better for subtitles; so #2 or #3. I prefer #3, but they're both good. (Though I think mentioning the animal fun is good, so I prefer #3 slightly.)

Also the longer subtitle sounds like you moved to France with an identity theft, which wasn't the sequence of events, methinks. ;-)
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Date:June 10th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
If the choice is one of the four, I'd go for the first if you're trying to sell more books. Americans are *notoriously* monolingual and the French would put them off.

IMO shorter is better and I'd use Mystery, Mishaps, and Animals. People love stories about animals.
Date:June 10th, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)


Perhaps Franglish might save the day, as:
Yes Nous Sommes English
Or another variation. The point being to convey the culture shock and humor of your wonderful tale, and still keep it short enough to please the public.
Dum Luks (http://dumluks.blogspot.com)
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Date:June 12th, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
Shorter is better; either 2 or 3.
Date:June 16th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
Why not use the sub-tag/quote on your site: "A Year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell"
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Date:June 16th, 2010 06:50 am (UTC)
That was one of my first thoughts and was in the original batch of title possibilities. It didn't get as many votes as the ones here when I circulated that list around the BVC membership.

What this process has shown is that there are many excellent titles but not one that stands out from the rest. Sadly, I think I'm going to have to drop my original title - Nous Sommes Anglais - as too many people have said they would not look at a book with a foreign title.

People who have read the book prefer the original title - it feels right and it's referenced within the text - but there's no point in having a title that puts people off.

Date:August 17th, 2010 11:42 am (UTC)

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People love stories about animals...even me, eventhough im old enough to read this kind of stories but i still do..hope more books to come.
Date:September 2nd, 2010 11:30 am (UTC)

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shorter is better...
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