It may come as a surprise to some that authors are not typically the ones who select the titles for their books. Once an author signs on the dotted line of a publishing contract, creative control is, if not lost, certainly diminished.
I shouldn't have been surprised that my current editor does not want to call my new book The Children Are Tender. I've prayed about this and feel led to stand firm, for now. That the title is an apt one for my book and reflects God's heart for children is not the point; publishers need to assure that a book is given a catchy title that will sell.
Awhile ago my husband, Farmer John, came home in the middle of the day and went to bed, chilling and groaning. This is unprecedented; and I fear a case of influenza. He knows of my title woes, and while I was putting a second cover over his shaking frame he began muttering. I leaned as close as I dared, given that he is probably contagious, and heard him mutter, "A Teacher's Diary."
"What, Honey, what did you say?"
"Title for your book. Teacher's Diary."
I was touched. "Thank you Sweetheart, but you'd better go to sleep now."
A few minutes later he called out, "The Children Are Innocent!" And awhile after that, "Lighting the Way!"
That was a couple of hours ago, and every ten minutes or so since then, like the Old Faithful he is, another prospective title erupts from his lips:
"In the School Yard."
"Turning the Light On."
"Schooldays at Karola."
"Management, Staff, and Children"
"Joys and Tears of Teaching"
I don't know how to tell him that the publishers have wished me a Merry Christmas and have said they won't be in contact again until after the first of the year. Meantime I'd better get out a pad and pencil to record Farmer John's fever-induced thoughts. He just might come up with a title that will please both his wife and the publisher.