Tuesday, June 16, 2009


There was an interesting story about book titles in the Arts section of the New York Times today, called: Titlenomics, or Creating Bestsellers: Titlenomics. It's all about catchy book titles - especially, copycat titles, adapted from successful books - like the new release, Womenomics, borrowing from the bestseller, Freakonomics. Among other books mentioned, six had titles that hijacked the phrase, "the end of the beginning" - including three novels, two histories and a children's book, The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant): The End. It was a treat to come across this book by Newbery Award winner, Avi. Published in 2004, it's whimsical and funny, in the most absurd and timeless way. It's about adventure, friendship, beginnings, endings, and a song that can be sung from the middle. And its title capitalizes on the clever phrase - the end of the beginning.
As for adapting successful book titles, more on that to come. Of course, that's what I was trying to do when I knocked off On Beyond Zebra in naming this blog. Pretty transparent. Maybe some day it will gather momentum. For now, it will just have to languish in obscurity.

1 comment:

Greg Pincus said...

That's pretty interesting, though probably not a new trend. I've also noticed in a few instances that children's book series have used the fonts and design items of other series. There's one, whose name escapes me, that at first glance looks so much like the Series of Unfortunate Events that I picked it up a few times thinking it was, in fact, new Snickety!

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...and a way to book sales, apparently.