Want to see what some of my readers have been emailing me lately?
“Shame on you!”
“How can you be so deceptive? I’ll never read another of your books!!!”
“I know you did this just to make a buck. Disgusting.”
Honestly, it’s worse than I expected. I have, however, appreciated the kind and thoughtful emails and Facebook messages I’ve received from readers confused over a) the title change for Cypress Point (The Shadow Wife) and b) the three different titles in three different countries for The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and Breaking the Silence. I asked my publisher not to change Cypress Point’s title, knowing that it would cause me problems, both personally, because I’m being attacked (to a degree I never anticipated) and professionally, because I don’t blame a reader for not trusting my next book to be one they haven’t already read.
As I’ve mentioned many times, authors don’t have much clout, if any, when it comes to covers and titles. The argument for keeping Cypress Point as Cypress Point was unwinnable, and I’ve had no say in how publishers in other countries title my books. Book purchasing sites list all the titles as though they are separate books. Devoted readers order them all, only to discover they have three different copies of CeeCee Wilkes. I don’t blame them a bit for being annoyed and feeling duped.
I’m forwarding the emails I recieve to my publisher and they’ve been sympathetic and responsive. I know they did what they thought was best at the time. With The Shadow Wife/Cypress Point they wanted a title more in keeping with my current books, while publishers in other countries choose titles they think will better appeal to their market. I believe my publisher had no idea the havoc the title changes would cause and I’m happy to share that havoc with them so this won’t happen to me–or to their other authors–in the future. I will never again allow a title change on an American book, I can promise you that!
There is a printable booklist in the upper right hand corner of my Books Page on my website that is up to date and that will help you know which book is which. However, if it’s too late for that and you’ve purchased a book you’ve already read under a different title, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to know how many of you are affected. All I ask is that you keep it civil!