Here’s something to do instead of working on a Friday afternoon – help me come up with a good subtitle for my book!
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?
100 thoughts on “What Should the Subtitle Be?”
The Search: Googling Wealth From The Inside
If Google is the answer, what is the question? How online searching is changing our quest for knowledge and wealth.
My two cents:
The Google Effect: $earch and Ye $hall Find
The Search: Geeks, Guts, and Glory
The Search: Life After Google
and, of course…
Search: The New Battelle Ground
Here is a title for you:
How Bill Gates lost the search war.
The Search: Intellectual Capitalism in the Age of Google
The Search: Millions of websites. Millions of dollars. Milliseconds to Google it all.
The Search: You want it. Google can find it. In between is a billion dollar industry.
Or maybe just…
The Search: Great Googly Moogly
Search in the Age of Google
The Search: Google Empire before the fall
It’s amazing to me some of the almost supernatural, god-like qualities people here ascribe to Google; it’s as if folks want to find something more in Google than is there.
Whether or not Google had come along, we’d all be searching on search engines, and in my opinion paid search as a business model would be roughly at the same place it is today.
THE SEARCH: Google and the “Wealth” of Knowledge…
Search, Money and Power seems like obvious bad pun to emerge from this all..
The Search: Era of Google-opoly
The Search: New Era of Google-opoly.
The Search: Navigating Google
The Search: The View from Within the Google Zeigeist and its Moneyed Meme
Keep it simple, elegant, and please have a great success. I suggest –
SEARCH: Inside Google by John Battelle
The Search: How Google took their hundred zeros to the bank
The Search: Google’s Gold
Google: Inside the Dataminer’s Rush to Wealth
Search: The Verbing of Google
The Search: How Google became a verb
I have to agree with those who suggest that “the search” might be off as well. It is just slightly off the mark.
I’d move towards something like
The search for gold: inside Google and the birth of a new industry
It does three things:
(1) has a much more appropriate play on “search”
(2) is loaded with key terms (are we search optimizing this??) and ideas
(3) introduces a concept I don’t think you have but that I find most interesting: the birth of a new industry. Search has literally gone from zero to billions in just a few short years. How did that happen? I find this to be the really compelling question/story.
Search: “Money Sex Magic Goodle”
“did you mean google?”
> How Google Found What Everyone Was Looking For
is really poetic. But my suggestion is an homage to Abbie Hoffman:
“Google This Book!”
The Search industry: Front-line dispatches from the War of the Words
The Search Economy: Everything you need to know about doing business in the age of Google.
That might not be “exclusive bleeding edge secrets!” enough. Perhaps, “The Google Economy: Doing business on the front lines of search.”
Alternately, I can’t believe no one is voting for “Google: Google Google Google Money Sex Google.”
GoogleWorld 1.0: billion dollar business of the new economy.
The Search – The Untold Story of What’s Behind Google.
The Search – An insiders account on all things Google
The Search – The inside scoop turned out.
The Search – The story of Google from the inside looking out.
The Search: The Story Of Humanity’s Killer App
Search: Found Money in the Internet Age
I just read your post on the Database of Intentions. If that is a central thesis of the book then I have added some new titles:
The Search: Mining Human Intentions and the Rise of Google
The Search: Googling Humanity
The Search: Googling The Collective Human Mind
The Search: Googling The Global Brain
The Search: Googling the Human Mind
The Search: Googling Human Consciousness
The Search: The Rise Google and the Collective Mind
The Search: The Database of Intentions and Rise of Google
The Search: How Google massaged the web with a backrub worth $37billion.
Depending on your state of mind:-
Google@work: The bottomless pit of useless information
So little time, so much to find
Fuel for the informationsociety / knowledge economy
To finally know what you know you don’t know.
“Search Me: how Google made the web about us”
The Search: Finding your way on the Web produces Google Gold.
The Search: Google’s Web Gold Rush!
The Search: How Google lit your way and won the web.
The Search: How Google lit the web!
The Search: How Google Tamed the Wild Vast Web!
The Search: The Google Engine that could.
The Search: Googles Weapon of Mass Findings. 😉
The Search: It’s not over ’till the Google Engine Sings!
I’ve always liked Joey Anuff’s flippant use of the phrase ‘tall dollars.’
“Tall Dollars: How Google Won the Search Wars”
The Search: The Battle
The Search: and Battelle 🙂
getting old Googling for gold
The Internet Baby: Googling and GawGawing
Gawgaw = The Hype that has been generated from google
The Search: The inside story of how billions were made and lost overnight in the new Google era.
The Search: Billions of searches, billions of dollars.
Googling the Web: the Search for Nirvana
– be linked or die!
– transcending hypertext
– the rise of digital grey matter
– links, Google and the hegemon
I just wanted to say, as a likely purchaser of the book, that your suggested subtitle speaks to me. It doesn’t over sell, which is a plus in my book. I like modest books from authors who don’t boast. Take this as ammunition for your publisher if you like.
Ah, the magnetic title must only hint at the contents, so as to make a prospective reader click through / pick up the tome.
“Search” is a great word to get into the buzzstream as a new part of our lexicon.
Search: Gems, Geegaws and Googling Immortality
Search: Business, Culture and Googling Immortality
Search: Wealth, Culture and Googling Immortality
Thanks! That was fun!
-SEARCH: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GOOGLE
-THE SEARCH: HOW GOOGLE’S FOOT IN THE DOOR IS TRANSFORMING OUR LIVES
Search: How Google Found What It Was Looking For
Also, to have a book on search but be unable to find a title seems a little ironic. Or perhaps it’s a self-commentary on the state of search.
Google, the company that would be king.
Google: gagging on dot-com dollars