Up till now, the book I’ve been laboring over has had this title/subtitle combo:
The Search: Business and Culture in the Age of Google
A week or so ago the marketing team at my publisher came to life and informed me that this subtitle, while not exactly terrible, didn’t really say much – it didn’t *sell* the book, it didn’t declare how big a deal this search thing really is. Not to mention, it didn’t say anything about money, or inside access, or any of the other things which seem to sell books these days.
Now, I’ve been on this planet too long to throw a tantrum and declare that it’s my way or the highway when it comes to subtitles. Long ago, for example, I stopped expecting that the headlines on a magazine’s cover were really about the stories inside – no, they are about selling the stories inside, and that is an important distinction.
OK, so in the book, there’s a lot of stuff that has not been reported anywhere else (so far anyway). This is, in the main, because no one else was insane enough to care as much as I have, nor to interview the hundreds of people I interviewed over the past 18 months. And it’s also true that there is a fair bit of narrative about how big a deal search is in terms of economic impact – from the Google IPO to the entire Search Economy in general.
In any case, from what I can divine, there are a few words or concepts that any normal publisher might want included in the subhead of The Search.
1. Google. Most publishers would probably want the book to be called “Google: Google Google Google Money Sex Google” – but thankfully my Editor is more enlightened than most.
2. Money. As in, lots of it at risk, being made, exchanging hands.
3. Inside Access. As in – this book tells a story no one else has.
But when I saw the marketing team’s first try at a new subhead – “The Quest for Perfect Knowledge and Infinite Wealth in the Age of Google” – I thought to myself – surely we can do better. I mean – Infinite Wealth? (“Big Bucks” was also tossed around….) So I asked if I could turn it over to you guys (understand that when it comes to titles and covers, publishers tend to get pretty territorial). And proving that even New York publishers can swing with the times, they said “Why not?”
So what do you think a good subtitle would be?