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Posted by Kate, June 22, 2010

A Squash in the Crow’s Nest

Kate doesn’t think we’ve ever had as many people in the Crow’s Nest as we had yesterday, though with Kate Burns arriving in September and one more successful appointment to announce, we’d better get used to it.

From left to right we have Camilla, authors/illustrators Nikalas and Tim, Kate, Elaine McQuade, who will be working with Nosy Crow on PR and Marketing, Imogen, Deb and Kirsty. Adrian took the photo. We are gathered round an iPad, looking at Nikalas and Tim’s app in development, Animal SnApp, which looks even better on the iPad than it did on the iPod Touch/iPhone.

We also went through complete roughs for Nikalas and Tim’s first book in their draw-your-own-novels series, which are coming along a treat.

And what’s more, we decided to change the series and book titles. That very clever John Webb, who was a buyer at Tesco and who you can follow on Twitter (@batjohn3000) said to Kate of the books, “Great idea, but sounds like the pitch became the title.” Ahem. We had to acknowledge this to be exactly what happened, and it is absolutely the case that we bought this series with the kind of speed and excitement that precludes careful title consideration.

So the first book was originally called What if the Romans and Dinosaurs Lived on Mars?, and we were referring to the series as the What if…? series. The series name is now Mega Mash-Up and the first book is called Romans v Dinosaurs on Mars. (The cover currently on the site is a rough – but well done, Nikalas and Tim, for turning it round since yesterday!).

Frankly, it’s all-round annoying to change a title after you’ve announced a book, but it’s much better to do it after announcement if you think it’s the right thing to do than bash on with something that you’ve started to question. Besides, we’ve still got time, as the books don’t publish until February 2011. It’s not the first time Kate’s changed a title – or a cover – and it won’t be the last!

But getting titles right is a key responsibility for a publisher: a poor or misleading title can impact significantly on sales of a book. We think that this series and book title sounds more exciting, contemporary and fiction-y. What do you reckon?

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