Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Final title, we think

It started as Places We Have Peed: Navigating Service Dogs Across North America.

Too clever by half, said the folks at the University of Illinois Press. The keywords in a book title needs to be searchable, and "Peed" would attract mostly people with urinary problems. Be literal, not ironic. This is not a literary novel but a travel guide.

So we tried Journeys with Service Dogs: Navigating Assistance Animals Across North America.

"Journeys" sounds like an episodic narrative, not a travel guide, said the committee with the final OK for a proposed manuscript. What about "Traveling"? That would work.

And how about "Support Animals"? said the sales department. That would broaden the audience.

Absolutely not, Chris (my co-author) and I said. Our book carefully separates genuine trained service dogs (and miniature horses) from emotional support and therapy animals. The presence of emotional support dogs, often fraudulently represented as real service animals, has been a thorn in the side of the service dog industry. We do not want to encourage the fakes to travel, we said.

Okay, said the press. How about Traveling with Service Animals: By Air, Road, Rail and Ship Across North America?  That subtitle, they said, works better and is snappier than "Navigating . . ."

All right, we said. Let's go with it.

Now that the book has gone into production at the press, we think that'll be the final title.

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