I am looking for input from readers of my book regarding its title because it has been suggested (by my husband) that my lackluster sales may be because few people “get it.” After all, although Russia, Russia, Russia is all we seem to have been hearing about this past year or so, not many Americans may be as familiar with the meaning of do svidanya as they are of au revoir or adios. At book fairs, few people stop by my table. Is it because the title does not grab them because it is confusing or could it be that the cover is not attractive enough?
The alternative explanation is that people know precisely what do svidanya means and are simply not interested in reading about anything Russia-related during their leisure time. So to those who have already read my book or this blog, what are your thoughts? Would changing the title to Trapped in the USSR would attract more prospective readers?
Since the book was about my father, and so many chapters began “Dear Dad,” I was drawn to “Do Svidanya Dad.” When I found several translations claiming it meant not just “goodbye” but rather “until we meet again,” I felt confident that I had found my title.
Not only is it my hope that Dad and I will meet again, I thought it was an appropriate farewell to his parents when he set out on his journey back to New Jersey. Now I am having second thoughts.
Nearly two years ago, I wrote about my struggles in finding a title, so as I have been writing today’s posting, I looked to my thoughts back then. Among those that I rejected were:
- They Never Gave Up
- They Never Stopped Trying
- So Long New Jersey, Do Svidanya My Family
- So Long, Do Svidanya
- If Only They Had the Money
- My Hero, My Dad
- Deceived, Abandoned but Not Forgotten
I found instructions on how to change the title without losing my reviews as well as how to inform potential readers that it is the same book in order to avoid confusion.
How about some input, please?