Naming the baby

A book title either hits me, or it doesn’t.  When it doesn’t, I defer to my publisher.  After all, a title is a marketing tool, and they’re the marketing experts.  Of my last five books, from FAMILY TREE to the present, the only one I came up with myself was ESCAPE, but that was a no-brainer.  ESCAPE was about … escape!  From the first, that was the only title I could see on the cover.

In the case of the book I’ve just begun to write, the title that came to mind when I first got the idea was YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.  But that stinks, and I knew it.  It was cute, but it didn’t fit the book.  Also, I think it’s been used a gazillion times.  Run a search in the books section of Amazon and you’ll see that for yourself.

When I sent in my proposal, I did offer other title thoughts.  As the story opens, my female leads are engrossed in a book called SALT, a love story set on a Maine island.  It plays a role in my book, which is also set on a Maine island, hence surround by salt water.  My female leads are working on a cookbook of island herbs and spices, of which salt is one.  The book’s emotions bring tears – salt there, too.  And then there’s “old salt,” as in an experienced sailor, and there are lots of those in this book.  So using the word SALT in my title seemed like a good idea, but what to put with it?

My editor called this morning and proposed SWEET SALT AIR.


I turned it over.  I said it aloud.  I wrote it down.  It fits the story, and it flows.  I like it!

So that’s the title of my WIP.  It could change if marketing comes up with something better.  But for now, it’s SWEET SALT AIR.  You like?

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  1. Melissa Knott on November 8, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I do like, very much!! I could quite happily lose myself in some Sweet Salt Air right now, though I do realise I’ll have to wait for this book 🙂 I’m so excited, I’ve never been to your part of the world but you’ve brought so many beautiful places to life in your books, and I’ve been longing to be back on a Maine island since The Summer I Dared!

  2. Lynn on November 8, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I also like it very much!!!! I can’t wait to read it!! I LOVE all of your books….The Summer I Dared was the first book I read a few years ago and I’ve since read 26 of your books!!!! Just finished reading Escape. I could SO relate to Emily it was crazy!! I hope you enjoy writing your books as much as I thoroughly enjoy reading them!!!!

  3. Wanda Litsky on November 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Love the name. It reminds me of Summer and Cape Cod… My favorite escape.. I can smell the salt air now.. Love your books. Thank you for all of them..

  4. Carol Drew on November 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I really like “Sweet Salt Air”. I spent 2 yrs in college in Portland Maine, and 10 years in S. California, and after 30 years back in Denver, Colorado I have been yearning lately to be near the ocean. Especially to smell it. The salt water, the fishy smell and even the rotting sea weed. Anyone who hasn’t spent some time near the ocean wouldn’t understand, but I’m trying to see if I can arrange a visit to either coast sometime next year. In the meantime, I have to live through your books and my beautiful New England (although, Denver has the advantage of no humidity!). Can’t wait to read this new one.

  5. janet Toso on November 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I just love the title “Sweet Salt Air”…I am an ocean lover from way back…grew up on the bay (suburbs of Boston) and had fun times at Nantasket Beach and in my adult years Cape Cod was and always will be the place to go….Maine is a beautiful place also w/its rocky coast…I cant wait for you to get that book out there!!! At least I can dream and picture it in my mind as I am now a NJ resident……never get up north anymore…miss it BIGTIME!

  6. Janice on November 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I love the title! I am a “new salt” (sailor in training) and the title describes what I feel when I am out on the water. My two passions are reading and sailing–your WIP sounds like a great way to marry the two!

    Barbara, I always look forward to your delectable writing and spot-on emotional characterizations.

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