I have a title!
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.
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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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.
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
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!
Absolutely! Excited to read it!
I love it! I think this will be your best novel of all time! And I love all of your books!
Yes and it sounds like it will be a good read! Can’t wait!
LOVE it! I already can’t wait to read this one!!
I think you have done it again, written wonderful book that I can’t wait to read. The title is perfect!
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.
Sounds great. Another of your good reads. Very human and interesting stories. Can’t wait to read it.
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.
Oooh, sounds yummy!! Can’t wait as I love and have collected ALL of your books!!
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.
Finally a new book to look forward too. Blueprint is a good title.
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!
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
Can’t wait to read “Blueprints”. Love all your books!
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.
Oh yes, for sure! Of course, anything you write I read, but love the title Blueprints!
It sounds perfect! I’ve just finished (and loved!) ‘Sweet Salt Air’ so am eagerly looking forward to this next release.
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!
Susie, I could not have said that better! LOL
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!
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
Love the title! I just finished reading Sweet Salt Air on my Nook and can’t wait to read another BD book.
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!!!!!
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.
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!
If that assistant was my sister, I would already have read it! 🙂
Sounds like a great, innovative title and a great character story! Looking fwd to reading it!
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!
I love it! Can’t wait to read the finish product!
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.
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!!
Oh, yeah!!!! Can’t wait.
Yes! I really like the title and am looking forward to its release!
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!
Are you kidding me?!? This is a brilliant title! The Blueprint of one’s life laid out before you from the foundation up.