Renaming a Book Isn’t Fun

Renaming a Book

I didn’t know this until recently, but renaming a book is a pain in the ass!  I’m still rubbing my butt-cheeks because it’s so sore.

But here’s the thing.  I wrote a book called Interpretation.  I think it’s a good book.  Reviewers seem to like it.  But not many people want to buy it.  I have tried a few different covers, different blurbs — and I have promoted them all — but with very little success.

So, I started thinking that maybe the title wasn’t in line with the genre.  Plus it sounds a little academic and perhaps boring.  So, I decided that is was time to rename the book.  I went with How to Enslave a Human.  There is more immediacy to it, a bigger ‘hmmmm’ factor, and it is more in line with the genre, which is dystopian science fiction.

Now, the reasons why it is a pain in the ass:

  1.  On Amazon, I didn’t want to lose the reviews so I just changed the title and kept the same ASIN.  Perhaps I could have changed the title and maybe Amazon would have moved the reviews over, but after emailing them about this, it wasn’t clear that they would do it.  It wasn’t very hard to do. But it had to be done.  I would have rather had a new entry, but what can you do?
  2. The audiobook was finished at the same time that I decided to change the title.  On ACX, you have to request a title change, you can’t just go in and do it yourself.  It has been a week, and the title still hasn’t changed.  This is delaying the release of the audiobook.  I don’t want to submit the final product until the name change is complete.
  3. I cheated a little bit here.  I know that I’m not supposed to do this and I shouldn’t admit to it, but I just changed the name of the title on Draft 2 Digital, using the same ISBN.  If I changed the ISBN, I figured that would lead to new releases of the book on their outlets.  Please don’t tell them.
  4. I figured that Ingram Spark wouldn’t let me get away with doing this.  So, I had to create new books for Ingram Spark (both hard cover and paperback).  This meant obtaining new ISBNs from Library and Archives Canada first.  So, I did that first.  Then, I had to change both interior files to match the new title.  Then, I had to get new templates from Ingram, recreate both covers, and then upload them.  At the time of writing this article, I am still waiting for their approval.
  5. Once this is done, I will probably have to delist the old book, Interpretation.  But only if I have to.  I will, however, need Amazon to re-link with the new version of the book.

I’m still a week or two away from being totally done with the process but wow, what a lot of work.  And I won’t know for a couple of months if renaming a book is even worth it.  I suspect that it will be.  I know that I would be more likely to pick up a book called How to Enslave a Human over Interpretation.  And the new cover is pretty snazzy.  Thank to Barry Williams for the art!

Check out How to Enslave a Human on Amazon!

Dylan Callens

About the Author...

Dylan Callens is a writer and educator living in Sudbury, Ontario. 

His debut novel, Operation Cosmic Teapot, was a resounding success. Since then, Dylan has written a number of other books, including the upcoming series, The Haber Effect