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Thread: Book titles, if they were written today

  1. #1
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
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    Nov 2007

    Wink Book titles, if they were written today

    Book Titles, If They Were Written Today

    Then: The Wealth of Nations
    Now: Invisible Hands: The Mysterious Market Forces That Control Our Lives and How to Profit from Them

    Then: Walden
    Now: Camping with Myself: Two Years in American Tuscany

    : The Theory of the Leisure Class
    Now: Buying Out Loud: The Unbelievable Truth About What We Consume and What It Says About Us

    : The Gospel of Matthew
    Now: 40 Days and a Mule: How One Man Quit His Job and Became the Boss

    : The Prince
    Now: The Prince (Foreword by Oprah Winfrey)
    your monkey called

    Then: The Art of War
    Now: 13 Chapters of Highly Effective Warfare Techniques (Illustrated)

    Then: Beyond Good and Evil
    Now: Religion: How Christianity Changed the World... and Morality

    Then: Confessions by St. Augustine
    Now: Overcoming Paganism: 10 Lessons To Develop a Stronger Spiritual Identity (foreword by Timothy LaHaye)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Your Pocket


    So true. I've recently been wondering why every bloody book now needs a sub-title.
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

  3. #3
    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Jun 2006


    Quote Originally Posted by Tati View Post
    So true. I've recently been wondering why every bloody book now needs a sub-title.
    People are getting stupider? It's just a theory.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

    "The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance." -Benjamin Franklin

  4. #4
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    fellow traveller


    i think you might be onto something.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  5. #5
    Elite Member Shinola's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Smokin' with your baby


    The history of book titles--that's something I'd like to know more about. Long book titles are nothing new. In bibliographies I often see historical titles that are too long to fully record. This is a really famous one from the mid-1850s:

    "The history of the wars of New-England with the Eastern Indians; or, a narrative of their continued perfidy and cruelty, from the 10th of August, 1703, to the peace renewed 13th of July, 1713. And from the 25th of July, 1722, to their submission 15th December, 1725, which was ratified August 5th, 1726"

    Jeez--sounds fascinating.

    The titles are shaped by marketing considerations now. One thing about the current subtitling approach is that since so many books are being published annually, it's safer to make sure you have a subtitle to distinguish your book from any others that might be produced with the same title. Also, nonfiction books don't often sell in large numbers. Since with nonfiction you're often trying to reach a niche readership, the subtitle helps to telegraph to that specialized audience that the book is relevant to them. You also want to make it very clear to distributors and vendors what the book is about so they know where to shelve it, etc.

    The current formula is usually "Something Catchy: Followed by a Much More Specific Description of the Book's Contents." It seems to work pretty well, even if it's aesthetically less appealing than the iconic titles of some of those older canonical works.
    Posted from my fucking iPhone

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Oct 2009


    The "forewords by" are worth the price of admission!

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