The return of Boobs?

18 Jun

Long-time followers of this blog know that it, and the book, started life under a slightly different title. If you take a look at my very first post from March, 2009, you’ll see that the book/blog project originally went by the more alliterative Bombs, Boobs and Burgers.

The story of the title change is an interesting one. Both of the first two publishers to sign on, Penguin Canada and Allen & Unwin in Australia, liked the book, but the title made them a little nervous. At first, they weren’t really sure why and couldn’t put it into words, but they eventually formulated their thoughts. My editor at Allen & Unwin pinpointed the problem as being the word “boobs” – it was too low-brow and “Benny Hill” for an Australian audience, she said. I liked it, on the other hand, because it is a somewhat silly word, and I try to approach everything in life – including my otherwise serious book – with a sense of humour. If you’ve read it, you know what I mean.

We argued about it for a while, mainly because I was at a loss for an alternative title, until she suggested Sex, Bombs and Burgers. Although I still liked the triple-B, the new proposal wasn’t that different, so we agreed on the compromise. Penguin liked it too and decided, for the sake of consistency, to go with it as well.

(These sorts of title issues aren’t unusual, by the way. The first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was changed to …Sorcerer’s Stone for the United States, evidently because the publisher thought American children were too stupid to appreciate philosophy.)

Anyhow, I’ve been talking a lot lately about releasing Sex, Bombs and Burgers myself as an e-book in territories where it has no publisher, and I’m getting closer to doing so every day. But one thing I hadn’t considered until yesterday was the possibility of returning to the original title.

The idea springs from a comment made by a former colleague on my Facebook page, about how he still prefers the original title. It got me wondering: since the e-book is going to be an experiment anyway, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how it would perform as Bombs, Boobs and Burgers? I certainly am within my rights to call the book whatever I want, so why not?

Truth be told, I’m torn. There is a considerable upside to maintaining a consistent title, mainly in selling the book as a brand, and it would also avoid confusing people. Heck, if the Bombs, Boobs and Burgers e-book were to outsell the physical Sex, Bombs and Burgers, I’d have to go through the trouble of changing this blog’s title again!

I’d really love to hear some outside opinions on this, to help me make up my mind. Please leave your (mature and intelligent) comments below, or on my Facebook page or group, or message me on Twitter. Your input could result in “Boobs” living again. It could also win you a copy of the e-book when it comes out, whatever it’s called.


Posted by on June 18, 2010 in allen unwin, books, penguin


4 responses to “The return of Boobs?

  1. samdavies

    June 18, 2010 at 7:04 am


    I’m not sure what the benefit is in switching the name. If anything, won’t it make things more confusing? Truth be told – I’ve never been a fan of changing a names for different markets. The Harry Potter example makes me cringe.

    Your case is different, as the alt. title you are considering was what you originally had in mind. I’m curious though – Why not “Boobs, Bombs and Burgers?”

    In any case – I’d stick with consistency. With that said, my opinion could shift if there was some creative artwork for the cover that would cleverly incorporate the 3 B’s.

  2. Brian

    June 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I’d have to agree with Sam – while I like your original title better, I think for the sake of consistency it may be better this way. While most people should be able to figure out that it’s the same book, I think it may be more hassle than it’s worth. Either way, I’ll be buying it once it’s available!

  3. slavk_ruski

    June 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I think you should definitely go with your original title because like you said, boobs is a silly word and why not give your potential readers a chuckle?


  4. Csizma

    June 19, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Go with the boobs! You have told us that the current, alternate title was a negotiated concession. Stay true to you! It may be low-brow, but that is the lowest common denominator and hence widest appeal.

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