Picking a book title

I’m close to being finished with my book on the history of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project (i.e. waiting for the copy-edit, finalizing image permissions, indexing soon). I’ve been using the following as a working title (in fact, the main part of the title was what I had used for my doctoral dissertation): To the Heart of the Continent: Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.

However, the press informed me that they think I should change it: “to the heart of the continent” will make people think of Africa. Plus the subtitle doesn’t make U.S. involvement clear, which doesn’t help with marketing there, and the title and subtitle were just plain long (another suggestion was to get ride of “power project” – which would be pithier, but not as accurate).

Fair enough. So it’s time to brainstorm some new ideas. I don’t really want to call it an “environmental” or “transnational” or “environmental diplomacy” history right in the title, since I don’t feel like that would be an accurate reflection of the range of different fields that I’m trying to address.

Here is some of what I came up with (and feedback is more than welcome!). I could go with the TITLE: SUBTITLE format, as this allows one to convey a lot of information; or just a title with no subtitle, which has a simple elegance.

 

Possible Single Titles:

“The Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway [and Power Project]”

“Canada, the United States, and the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.”

“The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project”

 

Possible Title-Subtitle combinations

“Watershed Decisions: SUBTITLE”

“Watershed Moments: SUBTITLE”

“Ripple Effects: SUBTITLE”

“Rapid Changes: SUBTITLE”

“Modern River: SUBTITLE”

“Engineered River: SUBTITLE”

“Fluid Border: SUBTITLE”

“Fluid Relations: SUBTITLE”

 

Possible Subtitles:

TITLE: The Canada-U.S. Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway [and Power Project]

TITLE: A Canada-U.S. Megaproject

TITLE: Canada, the United States, and the St. Lawrence Seaway [and Power Project]

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1 Comment

  1. I know it’s nice to have a short poetic title followed by a more descriptive title, but I’m guessing the publisher will like “Canada, the United States, and the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project: An environmental history” because it gets lots of keywords in there for librarians who make the purchasing decision and teachers setting books for courses… yes, you should definitely keep United States in the title (I had a friend who wrote a book about Australian rainforests and the publisher said there wasn’t enough about the US).

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