A novel, by any other name

Harmony by Keith Brookealt.human by Keith Brooke

Spot the difference?

Same cover, same novel, different titles.

My big novel about aliens, the Fermi paradox and extreme alternate history, alt.human, will be called Harmony for the North American market.

Confused? It’s all about marketing.

Fairly late in the day, just before covers were finalised, my publishers presented the novel to distributors in the UK and US. Everyone loved the cover, and the novel itself. The US distributors, however, were less keen on the title – to the extent that they would make smaller orders than anticipated.

Simple. I can be fairly pragmatic about these things. I’ve had book titles changed before, as a result of a marketing department’s feel for the market or the response from distributors. While titles matter to me, what matters most is that I get my work out to readers. And while I might not agree with the distributors’ judgement on the title, their decision to make smaller orders was very real!

So I proposed a new title, Harmony. I actually like that title, quite a lot, and would have been happy for it to be adopted worldwide for the book. US distributors agreed, and promptly committed to bigger orders.

The UK distributors, however, loved alt.human, and really didn’t want to change it.

And so: same cover, same novel, different titles.

About Keith Brooke and infinity plus

Keith Brooke is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and other strange stuff, and editor and reviewer of same. He is also the publisher at infinity plus, an independent imprint publishing books by leading genre fiction authors. View all posts by Keith Brooke and infinity plus

3 responses to “A novel, by any other name

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