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Nov 14

BEST ENDEAVOURS BEST IDEAS: Jane Cable on what happens once that digital publishing deal is in the bag

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rembranbrancesundayIsn’t it funny how the most important emails just seem to slide into your inbox at the most inopportune times? Late on Monday afternoon my edit notes and first proof came back from Endeavour – just as I was wolfing down an early supper ready to go to Chindi Authors’ monthly meeting. I scanned the email – heart in mouth – only to find myself reeling from the last sentence.
But I had no time to consider the contents – the Chindi meeting was an important one, mainly devoted to planning the final details of our #LovetoRead fundraising evening for Dyslexia Action on Friday. Raffle prizes to co-ordinate, running order to finalise, budget for canapés to be agreed… All whirling around my head in an unusually disorganized fashion while I tried to digest the email bombshell.
To be honest, now I’m used to the idea, it doesn’t seem so bad. Endeavour want me to change the title of the book, that’s all. And to put things in context, the edit notes extended to only three points, the last one prefaced with the phrase ‘this probably isn’t important’. They’re useful and fair and acting on them will certainly improve the book.

Jane Cable, publishing, writing
The problem with changing the title was that I didn’t have a clue where to begin. You become wedded to the name of your book over the years of development and when agent Felicity loved it too I felt sure I’d be able to keep it. Changing my mindset is something akin to turning an oil tanker but I’m determined to do it and come up with something better.
First some guidance was required from Amy, Endeavour’s publishing director and her answer came back clear and strong: look in the Kindle charts for books of a similar genre – and a tip that short phrases from films or songs often do well. Now my knowledge of films is limited to say the least (having not been to the cinema since the third… or maybe fourth… Harry Potter movie came out) but at least I have a neighbour with a first class degree in the subject so his enormous brain was brought to bear on the challenge.
I quickly realised it’s impossible to instil all the nuances of a book into just a few words and that made me try to set out what it’s really about. It isn’t about seahorses (although they feature fairly strongly) and it isn’t about summer (although the action all takes place between April and August). It’s about being damaged, and healing, and moving on with your life. Or not – as the case may be. It looks back at the past – D-Day specifically – or perhaps the past looks forwards at us. No one title is ever going to cover it all.
So now there is a page in my notebook with an increasing number of titles on it. The most obvious ones have inevitably been taken but I have a few which might just do the trick. And I’m still canvassing opinion, so if you have any bright ideas then please, please let me know.

Jane Cable is the author of two independently published romantic suspense novels, The Cheesemaker’s House and The Faerie Tree, and a sporadic contributor to Frost. Jane will be reading from The Faerie Tree at Chindi Author’s #LovetoRead party in Chichester on 18th November. More details here: http://www.chindi-authors.co.uk/news/
The Seahorse Summer (or whatever it ends up being called) tells the tale of how two American soldiers born sixty years apart help forty-something Marie Johnson to rebuild her shattered confidence and find new love. Discover more at www.janecable.com.