Friday, June 10, 2005

JC:K Hits Charts

Apparently, according to this month's 'Bookseller' Magazine, Jimmy Coates: Killer was in the top twenty children's fiction titles for May this year. I'm quite pleased. I'm also looking forward to seeing it storm up the chart over the next few months.
Meanwhile, I had an interesting chat with a mother who was thinking of buying my book at WHSmiths yesterday.
"Killer?" she said, drawing her son away. "And you think that's a suitable title for a ten year-old, do you?"
You should have seen the look of horror she gave me. I reassured her - it's not about killing, murder, guts or gore. It's a thriller about a kid with all the skills of an assassin, fighting NOT to use them, and struggling with the associated moral dilemmas.
She bought the book. Not because of my persuasion. Her son insisted.


Anonymous said...

It does beg to ask the question why Killer in the UK and Assassin in the US.

I thought the same thing, appropriateness.

What was the publishers reason and which was your original title?

Joe said...

Thanks for the questions.

The original title of my very first draft was something completely different, which I might never reveal. By the time HarperCollins UK saw the book, the title had become 'Jimmy Coates: Killer'.

HarperCollins US asked if I would mind changing the title because the respective markets of the UK and US are very different. Words have different connotations for readers.

It's important to make sure the genre of the book is clear - it's not an 'issues' book, it's an adventure thriller, with lots of fun and action. Having 'Killer' in the title would have been misleading in the US, but less so here in the UK.

Wait until you see what the French, Spanish, Italian and Croatian titles are...

Anonymous said...

Well, since I speak a bit of Swedish, let me hear that one.

It would be interesting to know what the publishers thought the different conotations were of the word killer