As irrefutable proof of my ingrained belief that the problem must be mine, I retained the title, description, and target audience given to me by a former agent whom an editor said was not marketing my novel correctly. That period is over.
Old Title: Trouble at Big Daddy’s Chicken Palace Emporium
New title: Don Chickote: Or the Strange Adventures of Lucinda Mae Watkins on the Train
Old Description: a Southern “train trip” novel
New description: The daughter of a fast food chicken magnate hits the rails in a wild ride across America to restore her dead daddy’s rightful place in fried chicken lore.
Old Audience: Fannie Flagg lovers
New audience: Those who mourn the demise of “The Flight of the Conchords.” Who think Darnell was the funniest character on “My Name is Earl.” Who follow Bubbles on “Trailer Park Boys,” who sing along to Beck’s “I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me?” Anyone who thinks the funniest movie ever made was the one where Johnny Depp wore the fake arm. Readers whose favorite hardback is, “All My Friends are Dead,” who can quote Douglas Adams by heart. Those who don’t understand when you call it “quirky”—it’s just funny.
New secondary audience: devotees of all things chicken
OK. I”m still working on it. The point is, it will be mine this time. Rise or fall, sink or swim, give or take—it will be my sensibilities. Such as they are.
here’s to creative synthesis . . .