Saturday, October 13, 2007

Memoir: Changing Text, Changing Title

I received the final requested revisions for my memoir, which is tentatively scheduled for publication by the University of Iowa Press to be included in their Fall 2008 Catalog.

The editor said, "I can't tell you how much I admire your ms. This last round of suggestions should result in a final draft that we can then move right into copyediting. Your previous revisions created a ms that is much tighter and much more focused. Unless my red ink drives you totally crazy, if you can make time for it, I don't think this last round will take you very long (easy to say, I admit). I would love to move to the next stage before the end of the year, even early in December if you can make it."

Oh, I'll make it. In fact, I intend to have it shipped off again with two or three (unhappy day, if it's four) weeks. I'm about 40% done with the initial run-through, devoting a significant amount of time to reordering Chapters 13 and 14, which required tossing all the paragraphs into a basket and then reassembling them in different order.

Easy work, at least otherwise.

But then there's this:

"Let's see, other major and irritating suggestions? Might as well get them out of the way. I think we need a new title. My group has not met formally about your ms and will not meet until they can read your final draft. But I know the marketing folks in particular are wary of RIDING LESSONS. You do refer to riding lessons throughout but not in a way that would need to be altered if we go with a new title. Let's keep thinking about this. With search engines becoming a bigger part of long-term publicity for books, we need to find a title that is informative and appealing and searchable."

The key word the marketing people want in the title is polio, perhaps because it is such a rarity in the developed world. I'm taking votes on ...

  • LIVING ON BORROWED AIR

  • SPINNING MY WHEELS: POLIO, POST-POLIO, & BEYOND

  • SPINNING MY WHEELS: A Life After Polio

  • LIVING ON BORROWED AIR: Polio as a Pastime

  • THE PREDICAMENT OF POLIO

  • POLIO PARALLAX: A View from Below the Line of Sight

  • WALK NO MORE: A Life After Polio

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