Thursday, March 17, 2011

Self Promotion...and a Treatise on Book Titles

So, the paperback version of my latest book, WAR BENEATH THE WAVES, is due to ship to bookstores in early April.  I got my copies yesterday, and the publisher has done a nice job.

I also note that my next book--publication date of November 11--is now being listed on, and they have the title as UNDERSEA WARRIOR: THE WORLD WAR II STORY OF MUSH MORTON AND THE USS WAHOO.  That was one of the titles we were kicking around, so I suppose it is settled.

Titles are funny things.  I'm not especially good at them and often defer to the publishers, whose job it is to create interest and sell copies.  They do it every day, so I figure they must know what title ideas might help sell them.

My favorite two titles of my books are THE FOREVER SEASON and WIZARD OF THE WIND, both of which I came up with.  I don't dislike any of the others, though.  But there is more that goes into titling a book than you might think.

My title idea for WAR BENEATH THE WAVES was SOMEWHERE SOUTH OF HELL.  I thought it described very well a hellish undersea incident involving depth charges, and was based on a description by a submariner that I had seen somewhere of just such an incident.  But my editor informed me that WalMart--who sells more books than just about anybody nowadays--will not put a book on their racks with "damn," "hell," or other words they deem inappropriate.

OK.  Those are their stores and they are perfectly within their rights to refuse to stock any item for any reason they want.  And, by the way, I am perfectly willing to forego my wonderful title idea if it helps them help me to tell Charlie Rush's amazing story.

One more bit of shameless promotion: the book I co-wrote with radio personalities Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey (who is also ham radio op KJ4JJ) is in stores next week.  WE BE BIG is a very interesting book, and I am proud to have been a part of it.  If it follows most of their previous titles--with which I had no association whatsoever--it will be a New York Times bestseller.

That means I can then add that descriptor to my name!  "New York Times best-selling author Don Keith!"

I like the sound of that!

Don Keith N4KC


Anonymous said...

Don, I've always thought of you as "NYT best-selling author" caliber.

You certainly know your way around this business and have impressed me with your gift for knowing what your readership wants.

And speaking of shameless self-prommtion, let me do just that.

I am pleased to announce that I have just published my first ebook, titled:

"Stories from the Edges--A LongShortStories Collection."

It is available for immediate download and offers 20% sampling of its contents for free at Smashwords:

It is also available at in the Kindle store at: .

A review from Don Keith could do wonders for this Little Engine that Could!

Thanks, my friend, and all the best!

Wayne C. Long, K9YNF

Anonymous said...

Superb, Wayne! Good luck with the ebook. I will check it out...when I come up for air.

Now when you going to go somewhere interesting and operate again. I missed you every way I turned last time!

Don N4KC