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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would really appreciate help, as the Big Day (Fathers Day) is approaching fast (even though this is a book of humor that can be read at any time, it starts with a child's imagined response to his father):

Description of "I Will Not Go the F**K To Sleep" (Humorous Essays)

By a widely published author and father of 3 children, 8 books, and 1 kicking and screaming Inner Child that refuses to grow up, this book imagines:
• What if a child, asked to go the f**k to sleep by its father, could respond in adult language?
• A band of 5000 yogis flown in from India specifically to balance India's budget deficit by spilling coffee on their laps at 5,000 McDonald's restaurants . . .
• And a Nuclear Weapons fire sale to help balance America's deficit?
• What would Christ say to the Reagan-Bush economists at The Last Judgment?
• What does it feel like to send your pet cat to a cat home or cat shelter, or to return a long-dead ex-chicken to an American supermarket?
• The story of an Indian men's magazine which ran a special Sex Issue, with condoms glued to the inside of the magazine for readers who might be too provoked to search for a condom.

This 26,000-word book of humorous essays and of political, social, and intercultural satire is the ninth book of Richard Crasta, who fathered three children in Long Island, New York, often as a stay at home Dad, and whose novel "The Revised Kama Sutra" was described as "very funny" by Kurt Vonnegut. It is not a book for children, but for adults who love absurd and satirical humor and wordplay. Among other things, it pokes fun at outsourcing, and of familiar stereotypes about Indians and Americans, and provides a revised post-p.c. version of Genesis. Or rather, as one magazine review of "The Revised Kama Sutra", the author's first novel said, "no sacred cows whatsoever."

[end of description]

Thank you,
Richard
 

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This might be unpopular of me to say, but I think you should change the title. It's incredibly off-putting. It appears to be a very transparent attempt at gaining someone else's audience (and one that doesn't fit). Your book doesn't appear to have anything to do with the one the title "spoofs".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is your opinion, Monique, and you are entitled to it.

But humor books have a certain license--a license to play off titles, and also a license to have titles that are jokes in themselves. And books of essays traditionally choose one essay as a book's title--if the collection is highly varied, the choice of title is usually the one that might get the most attention, or is one of the best essays in the collection. The first essay of the collection is indeed "I Will Not Go the F**k To Sleep."

Also, at this point, I have put in some considerable effort into it, and I am entitled to see if it works. If you get a chance to read it, you will realize that some of those pieces are as good as those of the best humorists (including those earning megabucks), and that I have to be an indie publisher to get these essays attention puts me at a huge disadvantage, and I am entitled to use  a device such as this and see if it works.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interestingly, one other writer's first reaction was: "An inspired title!".

And "The Revised Kama Sutra", which was published in 10 countries and 7 languages, made some traditional Indians angry ("What has the book to do with The Kama Sutra?"--the same argument you are using) while it was Tim O'Brien, the famous American author, who chose the title from a list, and said, "You are an editor--which title will grab your attention first?"

When Harriet Wasserman, my agent, called up an editor with the title, he laughed nonstop for 2 minutes.

Then, in 2009, I tried to get HarperCollins India to change it--I said, it confuses some people, and it's not entirely about sex either. The editor (a woman) said, "No, it is a classic. It's the best title." I finally let her have her way.

So titles can be controversial, and playful, and ultimately, as Tim O'Brien said, a title is merely something that will get an editor's/reader's attention. The book is not going to be purchased or famous merely because of a title, but because of the quality of the writing.

 

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Monique said:
This might be unpopular of me to say, but I think you should change the title. It's incredibly off-putting. It appears to be a very transparent attempt at gaining someone else's audience (and one that doesn't fit). Your book doesn't appear to have anything to do with the one the title "spoofs".
I agree with Monique. This doesn't come across as a 'spoof' to me, it seems more like you're deliberately attempting to confuse readers into thinking this is a different book.
 

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Monique said:
This might be unpopular of me to say, but I think you should change the title. It's incredibly off-putting. It appears to be a very transparent attempt at gaining someone else's audience (and one that doesn't fit). Your book doesn't appear to have anything to do with the one the title "spoofs".
I also agree with Monique.
 

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Monique said:
This might be unpopular of me to say, but I think you should change the title. It's incredibly off-putting. It appears to be a very transparent attempt at gaining someone else's audience (and one that doesn't fit). Your book doesn't appear to have anything to do with the one the title "spoofs".
It doesn't seem to be that unpopular of an opinion. I feel the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
HarryTurner said:
Misleading people into buying your book won't get you anywhere in the long run. Thank goodness I didn't buy yours. And I'll be honest, I wouldn't buy anything from you in the future. And I hate to sound cranky, but I would really be concerned that I could just be reading someone else's words. Sorry, but that's my take.
I have never heard of anyone buying a book on Kindle without reading a sample, or of not refunding a title they bought by mistake--which Amazon allows. This is completely the wrong response. Nor do I hope to sell to fellow writers. I don't think you got it at all--my 2 posts about a humor writer having a license of playing off a famous title, and of this being an actual essay in the book. It is not the SAME title, get it? If all the titles that riffed on Shakespeare and famous books were lost to humanity, there would be some outstanding books among them. I have had around 70 reviews for "The Revised Kama Sutra", mostly rave reviews, and none of them were deterred by the title being similar to the "Kama Sutra".

This was just meant to be a request for blurb help from fellow writers, not a question about the title.
 

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I also feel the title is off-putting, fwiw, but on to the blurb:

This 26,000-word book of humorous essays and of political, social, and intercultural satire is the ninth book of by Richard Crasta, who has fathered three children in Long Island, New York, often as a stay at home Dad. , and whose novel "The Revised Kama Sutra" was described as "very funny" by Kurt Vonnegut. Kurt Vonnegut called his first novel The Revised Kama Sutra "very funny." It is It's not a book for children, but for adults who love absurd and satirical humor and wordplay. Among other things, it pokes fun at outsourcing, and of familiar stereotypes about Indians and Americans, and provides a revised post-p.c.P.C. version of Genesis. Or rather, as one magazine review of "The Revised Kama Sutra", the author's first novel said, "no sacred cows whatsoever." As one magazine's review of The Revised Kama Sutra said, "No sacred cows whatsoever."
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the help, my blurbs are always far worse than my books.  I write my blurbs in a hurry, and with some reluctance, and am really blind to them until someone else sees them.

But I can't always come upon a title that pleases everybody--my books certainly don't please everybody. Impressing the Whites is hugely controversial--has some strong admirers, and others who have banned me.

But I really doubt that a person buys a book by mistake:

1. when the title is different
2. when the author's name is different
3. when the blurb is distinctively different
4. when the sample is hugely different
5. when Amazon has a 7-day policy of book returns.

From what I have observed here, people consider very carefully how they are going to spend their money, weighing every cent.

My writing, mostly, is for politically liberal, well-informed, very catholic and cosmopolitan tastes--and ultimately, they won't care about a title if they have heard a book is good.
 

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The book sounds interesting, though I think it would do better with another title. You could probably come up with a hundred others that are equally hilarious but wouldn't get you confused with Mansbach's book. I'm new, but here's my shot:

A 26,000-word book of humorous essays with political, social, and intercultural satire, I Will Not Go the F*ck to Sleep is the ninth book by Richard Crasta, the father of three children and a resident of Long Island, New York. A book for adults who love absurd and satirical humor, I Will Not Go the F*ck to Sleep pokes fun at outsourcing, familiar stereotypes of Indians and Americans, and provides a revised version of Genesis. Crasta's first novel, The Revised Karma Sutra, was described by Kurt Vonnegut as "very funny." "No sacred cows whatsoever," said one magazine review.
 

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Personally, I don't have an issue with the title. There is a history of spinning off popular work for humorous books.

E.g. "Who Moved my Cheese?" and "I Moved Your Cheese"

Having said that, if you are getting a lot of negative reaction to your title (for whatever reason) then I would weigh that up. I changed the title of one of my short stories. I loved my old title (and still do), but the reaction was so universally negative that I felt it could hurt sales.

Just something to think about.
 

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lily_m_klein said:
A 26,000-word book of humorous essays with political, social, and intercultural satire, I Will Not Go the F*ck to Sleep is the ninth book by Richard Crasta, the father of three children and a resident of Long Island, New York. A book for adults who love absurd and satirical humor, I Will Not Go the F*ck to Sleep pokes fun at outsourcing, familiar stereotypes of Indians and Americans, and provides a revised version of Genesis. Crasta's first novel, The Revised Karma Sutra, was described by Kurt Vonnegut as "very funny." "No sacred cows whatsoever," said one magazine review.
As a reader, while the title doesn't interest me at all (nor does the title it apparently plays off of), this blurb is very good. I like concise, snappy blurbs. With a different title, this might interest me.

Betsy
 

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So, the guy who wrote "Go to @%&$ to Sleep", Adam Mansbach, was on the Today show Friday. His daughter, to whom the title is playfully directed -- and I gather it really strikes a chord with lots of parents as regards getting their young kids to go to bed -- will likely not have to worry about financial aid for college. He originally published with a very small publisher and is now being courted by all the big guys but said he's got no intention of jumping ship. Which I find admirable.

And he probably has a boatload of lawyers now, too, so I'd be wary about such a blatant grab onto his coattails. :-\ And I'd agree that the title doesn't seem to match the description of content over all; it also seems to be meant for a completely different audience than Mansbach's book.

Incidentally, I frequently buy books without sampling if the price is just a buck or two. And I completely understand Harry's reaction: If a person thinks they're buying a particular book and only realize it's not the one they were thinking about after purchase, s/he is going to be annoyed. Feel duped. Be angry at themselves, sure, but, also, at the person who, in their mind, caused the confusion. Sure, the book can be returned and refunded -- but the response to put that author on a 'do not buy' list is not surprising at all. It's no more a "wrong response" than shrugging it off and moving on. Everyone is different.
 

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dgaughran said:
Personally, I don't have an issue with the title. There is a history of spinning off popular work for humorous books.

E.g. "Who Moved my Cheese?" and "I Moved Your Cheese"
That's how I feel about the title, too. And I hadn't heard of the book I Moved Your Cheese, but I laughed when I saw it just now, and I found the original book annoying enough that I liked the idea of a spoof.

Having said that, the title only works for me if the book itself is also a spoof of the original work. If it is, you're fine. If it's just an attempt to grab readers of the other book, well...not so much. Just my opinion.
 

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Monique said:
This might be unpopular of me to say, but I think you should change the title. It's incredibly off-putting. It appears to be a very transparent attempt at gaining someone else's audience (and one that doesn't fit). Your book doesn't appear to have anything to do with the one the title "spoofs".
I agree with Monique...

Richardcrasta said:
I have never heard of anyone buying a book on Kindle without reading a sample, or of not refunding a title they bought by mistake--which Amazon allows.
You couldn't be more wrong. I never sample, and I've never returned a book. I have heard many, many other people state the same things on KB and other forums.
 

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RedAdept said:
You couldn't be more wrong. I never sample, and I've never returned a book. I have heard many, many other people state the same things on KB and other forums.
I'm with Lynn on this. I don't sample and don't return. If a book I made a conscious decision to buy after looking at the title, the cover, the blurb and any reviews made is not to my liking or not as advertised, I don't return it, but I don't buy from that author again, either.

Betsy
 

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Richardcrasta said:
I have never heard of anyone buying a book on Kindle without reading a sample, or of not refunding a title they bought by mistake--which Amazon allows.
RedAdept said:
You couldn't be more wrong. I never sample, and I've never returned a book. I have heard many, many other people state the same things on KB and other forums.
Well, to be fair, it's possible that he had never heard of it when he posted the statement. So, he wasn't wrong. But he was mistaken. :) And now, I would hope, he understands that it does happen.
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
Well, to be fair, it's possible that he had never heard of it when he posted the statement. So, he wasn't wrong. But he was mistaken. :) And now, I would hope, he understands that it does happen.
Definitely more tactful. ;)

Even better would have been for me to say: You may not have heard of it, but it definitely happens.

****
Your response, Ann, reminded me of that old joke: "I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken." :D
 
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