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Subtitles: It’s Self-Explanatory

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Recently published (and possibly available from the London Review Bookshop):

Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gave Us Life

The Meerkats of Summer Farm: The True Story of Two Orphaned Meerkats and the Family Who Saved Them

Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine

Trawlerman: My Life at the Helm of the Most Dangerous Job in Britain

Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat

The Wolf Within: How I Learned to Talk Dog

I Remember, Daddy: The Harrowing True Story of a Daughter Haunted by Memories Too Terrible to Forget

My Natural History: The Animal Kingdom and How it Shaped Me

Schizophrenia: Who Cares?

Comments on “Subtitles: It’s Self-Explanatory”

  1. Phil says:

    By contrast, my own book has the unuusal combination of a self-explanatory subtitle with a main title which is eyecatching but makes no sense at all, or not until after you’ve read the book. (Ditto the cover (scroll down).) I don’t know what I was thinking – I should at least have used it in one of the chapter titles, so readers would have somewhere to start. (LRB readers should start here.)

    • Martin says:

      More Exposure! How to maximise access to potential readers of your book by using blog comments

      (I hasten to add, Phil, that this is just a gentle poke.)

      What intrigues/amuses me more is quote in the blurb from Paul Anderson’s review: “This is a serious piece of work that deserves a much wider readership”. One has to ask ‘wider than what?’. Who would have guessed the answer is ‘than it is likely to get retailing at £60’?

      • Phil says:

        What amused me was that the publisher reprinted Paul’s Yippie parting shot – “Steal this book!” Particularly ironic given that, unless you were to break into my office and blag one of my author copies, the only place you could do this is the publisher’s warehouse. I guess “should sell more … than a £60 hardback” is a bit bathetic, but I think it’s fair enough – I’m under no illusions about the book having airport appeal. I do think there are, say, 5-10,000 people in the world who would be interested enough to buy an affordable paperback – if only I could sell out the hardback edition! Hence all the virtual sleeve-tugging.

        (And I do genuinely wish I’d thought twice about the title.)

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