Monday, June 30, 2008

Help me find a new title!

I finished my book, formerly called "Twenty-First-Century Dad: How Stay-at-Home Fathers (and Breadwinning Moms) are Transforming the American Family." I turned it in to my editor at Beacon. He gave it to the other editors and business people at Beacon. They laughed at the title.

OK, maybe they didn't laugh. I wasn't there. But they do want to change it to something that is either more catchy or more specific, preferably both. I'm having a bit of trouble picking a new one, and so I turn to you, blog readers, for feedback and suggestions. Consider yourselves a kind of focus group.

The new subtitle will be something along these lines: "How Stay-at-Home Dads, Breadwinning Moms, and Shared Parenting are Transforming the Twenty-First-Century Family"--with certain words changed depending on what the title ultimately becomes.

As for the main title, here's what I've come up with so far (in order of my current preference). Imagine yourself browsing in the parenting section of a bookstore. Which one would you pick up?

Father Nurture

The Daddy Dialectic

Beyond Breadwinning

When Dads Stay Home

Full-Time Father

A Father’s Work (as in, "is never done...")

The Birth of Stay-at-Home Fatherhood

Dad Redefined

Half the Work

Dad’s Turn

At-Home Dad

Dads at Home

But if you like "Twenty-First-Century Dad" best, say so. I can take your comments to Beacon as evidence that someone out there likes that title.

You can learn more about the book here. I'd love to hear other suggestions. In fact, I'll give a free copy to whomever thinks of a winning title.

Incidentally, the Beacon business people are not the first to criticize the title. At the Mesa Writers' Refuge, I had the following conversation with a Very Famous Writer (VFW):

VFW: Twenty-First-Century Dad is a terrible title. I wouldn't read that.

Me: Do you have any suggestions?

(Thinks for a minute, chin resting on knuckles.)

VFW: I got it! You should call the book Mr. Mom!

(He's smiling broadly; he believes that he has just saved my book from obscurity.)

Me: Um, a lot of stay-at-home dads don't like the term Mr. Mom.

VFW: Fine. You can call it, Don't Call Me Mr. Mom! I would read that!


Dawn said...

(Ok, this is my third time trying to comment. I hope it works.) I only just found your blog, which is weird because you've edited me twice now (I think?) and I shoulda google stalked you earlier. Secondly, my husband is the stay-at-home parent and we will totally buy your book. Third, I like DAddy Dialectic because you've already branded it and built a following through the blog AND it's a great title!

Earth Muffin said...

Personally, I like "Father Nurture" or "Dad Redefined". But I thought your original title was fine too.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeremy,

In marketing, we have an acronym, KISS, which stands for "keep it simple, stupid," or "keep it short, simple." I like The Daddy Dialectic, When Dads Stay Home, and a modified verison of your suggestion, Birth of Stay-at-Home Dad. Personally, I like My Life as a Stay-at-Home Dad, too, but it may not capture the essence of your book.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeremy,

I showed the titles to Mike, and he liked the one's that I suggested, but he also liked Dad's Turn. Since you are in a data-gathering mode, I figured this feedback might be important to you. Personally, I think it is okay, but it would not appeal to me as a SAHD who has a partner who is male. Nevertheless, I would not be your target audience...

Surfer Jay said...

From your list I like: The Daddy Dialectic, Full-Time Father, A Father’s Work

I came up with a few: Redefining Fatherhood, A New Era, A New Era Of Parenting, Against The Grain

Happy name hunting and I look forward to reading your new book.

Anonymous said...

How about:

Dads Do It Better

OK -- that prob sounds too confrontational and anti-Mom, and we don't want that either.

Diaper Dad: It's All Good

Too silly?

Playdough, Dolls and Diapers: The Modern Dad

Oh well.

I gave it a shot. Good luck with your book project.

I spent two years as a stay at home dad as I working towards certification as a teacher and I don't regret a single moment of it, although some of the things you write about on your blog certainly ring true for me. Thanks for exploring the terrain.



PS -- I am not too fond Father Nurture -- doesn't sound fun to read (sorry) -- and Daddy Dialect sounds too scientific (sorry). When Dads Stay Home is OK. You are right - this is tricky.

KWG said...

I like titles that are literal and/or humorous:

When Dad Stays at Home
When Mister Mom Stays at Home
The Ever-evolving Mister Mom
No, Daddy's Not a Bum
Daddy's Apron Is Pretty, Isn't It?
Dad Says Don't Play Ball in the House

Your subtitle is great! I look forward to reading the book.

Backpacking Dad said...

Pop Goes the World.

Anonymous said...

i concur with the vote to use your blog title, although it might be clearer if you called it "daddy: a new dialectic" or something like that.

then of course, there's the painfully obvious:

DAD 2.0

unless it's already taken.

Mama bee said...

I like "Dad Redefined" and "Dad's Turn" the best. Though I too like the idea of "Daddy: a new Dialectic". Good luck.

Jeremy Adam Smith said...

Thank you all for these comments and suggestions. I compiled a new list and sent it to my editor. We hope to have a new title by the end of the week.

AMR said...

I'm late to this party, but I must say I lost some beer through my nose when VFW said "Don't Call Me Mr. Mom!"

Congratulations on getting to this stage of the process. Can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

"Evolving Dads - Revolving Roles - Balance in a child's life"

Anonymous said...

How about "When's Mom Coming Home?" or "Father in the House" or "The Only Father in the Room" or "Father in a Sea of Moms" or "Father in Mommyland" or "Nonstop Pop" or "Papa, a Parent" or "Papa Poppins" or "Papa Guy" or "CEO of Play"...

Anonymous said...

You could call it Mr. Dad and get clever w/ the cover art so it looks like it originally said Mr. Mom but Mom is crossed out in crayon and Dad is written in with it.

Anonymous said...

The intelligible message