E-mail from INTERN's book's editor this morning:
"I ran the [last 99,000 prospective] titles you came up with by our marketing people and sadly they can't work with any of them. We want something gritty and 'from the street'. Can you think of anything slangy that young people would pick up? If not, Stacy in marketing will come up with a title and you're going to hate it."
INTERN, for purposes of anonymity, probably shouldn't disclose what her book is about, but suffice to say INTERN is not, herself, particularly gritty or from the street (if you discount that anarchist hitchhiking phase a few years back). But let's just say the book is a guide to urban gardening (which it's not). Are the marketing people seriously wanting something like:
1. Yo Peeps, Let's Plant Some Shit: A Guide to Urban Gardening
2. The Smack-Down on Nasturtiums: Freaky Ho's Guide to Gardening
3. Pimp My Planter/Rock My (Window)Box: Gardening for the MTV Generation
4. String Beans and Skinny Jeans: Hipster's Guide to Hella Sick Veggies You Can Grow In Your Expensive Shitty Apartment
5. Shootin' up to Shootin' up (get it? plant shoots?): How I Went From A Gritty, Urban Street-Dweller to a Pleasant Urban Gardener Using the Power of Basil and Other Plants You Can Grow Yourself
INTERN has seen some scary titles emerge from the maws of Marketing People (and some good titles...but, weak as she is, INTERN's heart is constricted by fear of the former). INTERN is talking swarmy keywords, value-added subtitles, the whole works. If it sells it sells...
Advice to writers going through same: be afraid. Very afraid. Or you could just be trusting, which is perhaps a healthier option.
In other news, INTERN is putting together a list of her favorite small presses (especially poetry presses). Coming soon!