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Thursday, May 22, 2008

How Books Get Their Names

We’ve finished up our books for Fall ‘08. Proofs (the last final look at the pages, so we can double-check for errors) are rolling in, and soon we’ll see the first finished copies of our books. But that doesn’t mean we have time to relax and slow down. We’re already moving on to our Spring ‘09 list!

Next week, the entire staff will meet to talk about titles for each book that we'll publish in Spring ‘09. First, the editors meet to talk about the book’s plot and brainstorm initial title ideas. Then we run it by the large group. At Stone Arch, it’s important to us to get feedback from multiple staff members before we decide on a title for a book. We know that titles matter when librarians are ordering books, so we try to get as much information about the book into the title as we can. We also want kids to find the titles appealing, so we try to use kid-friendly words. And finally, we want unique titles, so once we’ve come up with a list of titles for our books, we search for other books with those titles. If we find a match, we start over!

Here’s a fun exercise for your classroom or library: Read the class a new story—try reading one of our Graphic Sparks books, using tape to cover up the title as you’re reading. Then ask them to come up with a title for the story. They can create covers for their newly titled books, too. Try the same exercise with a story they already know (one of our Graphic Revolve books would be perfect for that exercise). The results might be surprising!

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