Lesson time 17:46 min
Writers should understand the power that cover art and titles can have on perception and sales. Judy shares lessons from the trenches, as well as her view on the importance of keeping a clear sense of your own identity within an ever-changing market.
Topics include: Search for the Title • Let Covers Evolve • Understand the Influence of Covers • Ignore Categories • Don’t Write to Trends • Know How to Market Yourself
My experience is that after you go through this wonderful experience, yes, we accept your book and we're working with you and you've done all the revisions and the copy editor is through with your book, before that, your publisher editor is going to want a title because they present to you a book at sales conference and sales conferences way before your book hits the marketplace. I have been caught in the position several times of not having a title. I once had Dick Jackson call me and say, Judy, I'm presenting this book at sales conference tomorrow and I need a title now. That turned out to be Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself. I don't know. I have trouble sometimes with titles. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret-- first line of the book. Then Again, Maybe I Won't-- last line of the book. Would I give something such a long title as, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret. No, I wouldn't. We all just call her Margaret, but there it is. I didn't have a title for Summer Sisters. I had a long list of musicals-- I wanted a musical title. I wanted a song title from the era that these girls were growing up. And I had oh so many titles. And Carole Baron, my wonderful editor, said to me, Judy, you're missing the best one. It's so obvious, Summer Sisters. And I said, but Carole, it is so obvious-- Summer Sisters. And she said, that's what this book should be called. And, of course, once she said that, I went with it. I once had lunch with my beloved agent, Claire Smith, many years ago and I had no title for a book that became, Just As Long As We're Together. And the way it became that was, I had no title and we were singing songs at this lengthy lunch. We were the last people in the restaurant. And we said, we have to find the title. We were singing camp songs to each other. And that's a line from a song. What's the song? Just as long as we're together. (SINGING) We won't have a barrel of money. Da-da-da-da-da-da, along, singing a song. Oh, no, that was side by side. And maybe just as long as we're together is in there in another verse. I take it all back, stop. So anyway, we were singing songs and we came up with one song that had a line in it, just as long as we're together. Something about the weather. We'll be fine. And it that was good, just as long as we're together. Write down everything that you can think of. That's me, the scribbler. I would just take a page and write 25 possible titles on it. Once, I actually did that and sent it to my editor and it became Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, which was one of the 25 titles that I had on there because I couldn't come up with a title. In the Unlikely Event is interesting because, of course, I didn't have a title. And again, I wanted a musical title. There's a lot of music mentioned in the book, popular tunes in the '50...
Judy Blume broke the rules. Her refreshingly honest children’s books were banned by hundreds of libraries and loved by generations of readers, who bought 85 million copies of classics like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Superfudge. In her first online writing class, the award-winning author teaches you how to invent vivid characters, write realistic dialogue, and turn your experiences into stories people will treasure.
This has inspired me more than anything ever has. Judy Blume is the kindest and loving teacher I have ever had. Everyone should watch this, writer or not.
I appreciate Judy Blume. Her devotion to her work, and her audacity to believe in it even if others don't is nothing short of inspiring.
This class gave me a lot of insight on where I should search for ideas for writing as well as how to write the best dialogue and how to make my characters come to life more.
I learned about writing from a new perspective. Judy taught me that stories can come from even the simplest of things. She has paid her dues over the years, and has made an impact on the world through her work. Thank you very much, Judy Blume. May your days be long and all your wishes fulfilled. Andrew