I have a title!

Blueprints

Book titles arrive different ways. Some crop up at the get-go, even before I start writing a book. Others come when my publisher reads the opening of the book and a word or phrase pops up that is perfect. Others take longer to find.

My preference? I like having a title early on. It helps me focus.

When it came to this new book, which I finished writing this summer, that didn’t happen. My publisher initially liked Feels Like Home. I did not. I liked Home Plans. My publisher did not. One of the problems we had was the dilemma of following up on Sweet Salt Air as a title, which captured smell, taste, and feel, and was a done deal from the start. But this new book, being very different from Sweet Salt Air, needed a very different title. I was adamant about that.

The problem is, a title is a marketing tool. It has to work on many different levels, has to resonate with my publisher’s art, marketing, and sales departments, as well as all of us involved with the book’s contents. To best pick that marketing tool, people in the know have to read it.

I turned the completed manuscript in to my editor in mid-July. She and her assistant read it first, and her assistant generated a list of possible title words. My editor ran through them with me on the phone, reading the list herself for the first time. When she reached one particular word, she stopped, repeated it, and said, “Oh!” I echoed her sentiment exactly.

BLUEPRINTS.

We both liked it. We found it different and fresh, and it resonated with the story. We checked lists of novels either already published or about to be published, and found it free. Playing devil’s advocate, we wondered whether readers would think the book non-fiction with BLUEPRINTS as the title. But with my name on it? With A Novel printed beneath it? With the kind of cover art we envision? I don’t think so.

The marketing and art departments were immediately excited about the possibilities. Quickly, my editor went back and edited the catalog copy to incorporate this title. Here it is:

BLUEPRINTS is the story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on Gut It!, their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn’t come at a worse time.

 For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn’t want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!

For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. When her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there’s Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.

Who am I? both women ask, as the blueprints they’ve built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.

What do you think?  Does BLUEPRINTS work for you?

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39 Comments

  1. Avatar Melissa on September 4, 2014 at 5:08 am

    Yes, yes, YES! Hooray. As a long-time fan, I don’t think a dodgy title would be able to put me off anyway, but pretending I’m new to your work, I think I would be intrigued and grab it with both hands.

    • Avatar Marie Logie on September 17, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      How exciting…..I cannot WAIT for this book to come out. I think the title “BLUEPRINTS” is an amazing fit, AMAZING!
      Barb. I have read all of your books and treasure them. LOVED Sweet Salt Air. My FAVORITE, FAVORITE…..You are SO GIFTED….I know BLUEPRINTS will be another WINNER! Thanks so much. Marie

  2. Avatar Jaime on September 4, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Love it!!

  3. Avatar Nancy Bergmann on September 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    As the basis from which structures/lives are built, I think it’s a winner. I cannot wait, as usual with all your novels, for it to release so I can get my hands/eyes on it. A big YES from me to your new title!

  4. Avatar Denise on September 5, 2014 at 6:20 am

    Absolutely! Excited to read it!

  5. Avatar Colantha W, on September 5, 2014 at 7:16 am

    I love it! I think this will be your best novel of all time! And I love all of your books!

  6. Avatar Karen Mayfield on September 5, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Yes and it sounds like it will be a good read! Can’t wait!

  7. Avatar Andrea R on September 5, 2014 at 9:00 am

    LOVE it! I already can’t wait to read this one!!

  8. Avatar Reba Poulson on September 5, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I think you have done it again, written wonderful book that I can’t wait to read. The title is perfect!

  9. Avatar Margaret-Anne Wojcik on September 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I think Blueprints is the perfect tittle for the new book. I like catchy titles, and Blueprints would definitely catch my eye!!! I love all your books, and can hardly wait to read this one.

  10. Avatar kathy batista on September 5, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Sounds great. Another of your good reads. Very human and interesting stories. Can’t wait to read it.

  11. Avatar Susan Fisher on September 5, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Blueprints works for me also. I have read all of your books and loved every one of them. Your books hold you captive until the very end. I can hardly wait to read it. I can tell you this, it is going to be a long wait. Maybe I will reread Three Wishes.

  12. Avatar Sue on September 5, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Oooh, sounds yummy!! Can’t wait as I love and have collected ALL of your books!!

  13. Avatar Sue Batton Leonard on September 5, 2014 at 9:34 am

    I like it .Each person’s “blueprint” in life is different. Footprint also is a term which is often used in architecture to refer to the foundation size of a total structure. ( it can also be equated with the marks/impressions a person leaves on the world).

    Some people live life very largely through their personality, fame, needs and wants and some people live smaller, quieter lives. But, in either case each person’s “Blueprint and Footprint” is unique to themselves and their relationships to others.

  14. Avatar Sigrun on September 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Finally a new book to look forward too. Blueprint is a good title.

  15. Avatar Linda Kellner on September 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I am intrigued! When I saw the title Blueprints, I am immediately thought of Tribute which is what of my very favorites! This gives another dimension entirely, however. It makes me think of the blueprint of my life… is there a blueprint? Do I follow it ? Do I make “architectural changes?” Thank you for your talent and your genius! You are loved!

    • Avatar Linda Kellner on September 5, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Oops…Tribute but another author… But still…
      I do love your novels, and look forward to them when announced.
      That is with the exception of Three Wishes! I actually met you once in Meredith, New Hampshire, and told you exactly that! Lol

  16. Avatar Pat Denzinger on September 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Can’t wait to read “Blueprints”. Love all your books!

  17. Avatar Paula Ramirez on September 5, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I cannot wait to read your new book. I love the title. It truly resonates with the rebuilding of female characters. I love all of your books, including the eye-catching titles. Thank you so much for the wonderful reads.

  18. Avatar Gerri Lauzon on September 5, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Oh yes, for sure! Of course, anything you write I read, but love the title Blueprints!

  19. Avatar Carol J. Garvin on September 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

    It sounds perfect! I’ve just finished (and loved!) ‘Sweet Salt Air’ so am eagerly looking forward to this next release.

  20. Avatar Susie Klein on September 5, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Love it! The title, the premise, it sounds very intriguing! As a Delinsky fan I would read it if the title was simply “New Book” though, so maybe my opinion will not count. Haha!

    • Avatar Sue Stevenson on September 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      Susie, I could not have said that better! LOL

  21. Avatar Diane Blaser on September 5, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I love the title because it fits the storyline and I think one word titles are my favorite kind. I am so looking forward to reading this book and meeting the characters! I love your books Barbara and I’ve read every one!

  22. Avatar mary branham on September 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I love the name BLUEPRINTS but it would not matter too much the title . With your name on it I would pick it up anyway. Love your books . Cannot wait for BLUEPRINTS

  23. Avatar Ellen Simon on September 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Love the title! I just finished reading Sweet Salt Air on my Nook and can’t wait to read another BD book.

  24. Avatar Barb McLane Schutte on September 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Will definitely buy it! Started reading your books in 1992. We had just moved from our home in PA to upstate NY and at 44 years of age and never having lived anywhere else it was a big shock. I found a book with 3 of your books combined and after that I was hooked!!!!!

  25. Avatar Beth Treier on September 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    As a long time fan of your work, I’m just excited to put you on my 2015 list of books to get! I like the title. It is different, and to me it congers up a life legacy. I love the description of the book already an can’t wait to see it on the shelves.

  26. Avatar Brittany on September 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    That assistant is my sister, and I really like the title. I’m sure I’ll be reading it as soon as it comes out!

    • Avatar Sue Stevenson on September 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      If that assistant was my sister, I would already have read it! 🙂

  27. Avatar Kay on September 5, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Sounds like a great, innovative title and a great character story! Looking fwd to reading it!

  28. Avatar Sue Stevenson on September 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    The title works for me, especially with the art work you show above. You could always put a silhouette of Caroline and Jamie inside of the house, at opposite sides or different floors. I am sure we will all love it…it is from you!

  29. Avatar Denise Sellers on September 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I love it! Can’t wait to read the finish product!

  30. Avatar Karen Malin on September 7, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Looking forward to a great story line, and the name of the book is excellent. You won’t forget the name of the book after you have finished reading it, as I sometimes do. Love your books.

  31. Avatar Rebecca Jackson on September 7, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Love the title!! I cannot wait for your new book!! I have read ALL your books and have enjoyed each and every one of them!!! Sooooo…excited!!

  32. Avatar Donna on September 9, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Oh, yeah!!!! Can’t wait.

  33. Avatar Kathryn in Montreal on September 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Yes! I really like the title and am looking forward to its release!

  34. Avatar Lori on September 13, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Perfect….like all your titles! So looking forward to Blueprints…but while I wait., I can reread old books with a different mind’s eye. Just finished Suddenly (1993) once again….as timely as its original read, and reread!

  35. Avatar June on September 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Are you kidding me?!? This is a brilliant title! The Blueprint of one’s life laid out before you from the foundation up.

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