What's in a Name?


Goodgodbird_publication The epic journey of J.C. Whaley continues! This week, he's reacting to his first round of notes from his editor, which include a possible title change. If you're just arriving, go here to learn more about Corey's amazing story.

Just this last week, I received and began working on my first round of edits from my editor at Simon & Schuster. I was overwhelmed at first, but have since realized that the editorial process can be just as fun as writing the novel itself. I’m enjoying revisiting my characters’ lives and also coming up with better ways to say some of the things I stumbled over a bit on the first try. 

One issue that arose before my edits ever began concerned the title of my novel. Let me first say this: I knew there was a strong possibility that I would need to consider a title change for the book. This is due in part to two things: it is being published under a Young Adult imprint, and its current title is similar to an already-published work of fiction. And so, with much hesitation at first, I began to consider new titles for the novel that has consumed my life for going on five years. 

I will not pretend that letting go of my original title isn’t difficult. That being said, I realize that I have begun a process that serves to take my previously unknown and unnoticed work and make it accessible and appealing to a world audience. One important thing that the “title talks” have taught me is that I am now part of a team of people rooting for my novel. A few months ago, I was writing query letters and trying to get any attention I could for my book. And now, I have a team in New York figuring out the best way to get my book into the world’s hands. As I’m sure most writers can attest: this can be a lonely, often alienating career. It’s incredibly comforting (and, still, unbelievable) to know that I’m no longer alone in this effort.

So, sure the title might change (most likely, actually), but what’s it matter? The book will be the same—better even, after some cleaning up and a few added scenes—and this change could mean that so many more people stop and notice it in a bookstore or read about it online (or both!).

PS: You WEbookers will be the first to know the official title. 

You Might Also Like


  1. I deffinitly understand you there. I'm still worried the title of my novel isn't really "the one". While as "good god bird" (to me) is catchy, or atleast eye catching. "The preacher's girl" says....you really didn't think about that title did you? lol. I hope you find something you love, and I also hope editing doesn't drive you insane. It can be a real pain. Best wishes.

  2. Thanks, Danielle. I'm actually having fun with the edits so far....hope it lasts...haha.

  3. Changing the title of a work you've had for five years has got to be hard, but luckily you do have all those people fighting for you and your book. I'm glad you're having fun with the edits; that has always sounded like a very daunting task and I've been nervous about that part. Hopefully it will be as fun as you say it is. Goodluck.

  4. Alyssa,
    It is hard, but I've definitely come to terms with it. I am having so much fun with the edits simply because I missed my characters so much. It's nice (and surprising) to be able to revisit their lives, personalities, manners of speaking, etc.
    I appreciate the kind words.

  5. Hi corey, congratulation on you book dea! I am excited for you and can only imagine how much fun it must be to have your book in the works for publishing. Please keep us posted as I am living vicariously thru your experience until I can have the same experience with my novel titled Small Wonders. I wish you all the best with your book and know that you will come up with a great new title for your novel. Looking forward to your next post.

  6. Thank you so much, Liz. It is unbelievably exciting-every bit of it! I will be continuing the blog throughout the publishing process and I've got some good titles brewing...haha.
    Corey Whaley


Popular Posts

The WEbook Store