‘Oh Crikey! We’ve got a title,’ grinned Eileen to Caroline as they left the meeting they’d just finished with their editor. ‘Yes, but we’ve got a hundred and sixteen notes to consider,’ rejoined Caroline glumly. ‘But,’ cried Eileen, ‘they are minor and we’ll do them in a trice. It was a jolly good meeting, wasn’t it?’ An extract from Two go Wild in Kings Place, by the acclaimed writers Caroline Lodge and Eileen Carnell.
It was a jolly good meeting, despite some apprehension about whether the editor’s suggested changes would be ones we could fully support. See our previous blog post Preparing to Meet our Editor. What we achieved was not just a title, but also the way forward to a nicer read. What we have to do in the next month is
- Bring the reader closer by recasting the case studies and removing the box numbering and some of the boxes
- Add more of our voice
- Fill out the details of the people we quote
- Remove some extraneous words and phrases from some of the sentences – ‘the baggage’.
- Remove the endnotes
We have agreed publication date (July 2014), formats (large trade softback and e-version), prices, and discussed the cover design and dateline.
What helped all that along was:
- Preparation by us all,
- Openness to different opinions,
- Respectful negotiation,
- Humour and warmth, (in comparison with the foursome at the next table who seemed to be locked in the most dour and tedious discussion of their manuscript),
- The editor’s sensitivity, revealing a belief in the book,
- Her expertise in seeing what was needed to make it a nicer read, and proposing and exemplifying this in her text-track comments on the manuscript.
We left the meeting with a sense of trust in the process, in the advice and above all in the relationship.
And the arrival at the title exemplifies all this. We have been struggling relentlessly for three years to find the right title. The editor and publisher had met to draw up some suggestions. They completely understood our ambitions for the book, which their suggestions reflected. And together we came up with this RETIRING WITH ATTITUDE, with the subtitle: Approaching and relishing your retirement.
We think this title captures the purpose and content of our book, and hope you will be interested in it, either for yourself or for a loved one (or a not-loved one at your place of work). Can you wait until the summer?
Caroline and Eileen went home to break open a bottle of ginger pop!
Caroline Lodge and Eileen Carnell
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