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A Whale of a Story

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

As I begin searching for a literary agent, I wonder to myself about the title of my book, “Wizards Don’t Fly.” Is this the correct title? The novel's title can make the difference between a flop and success. The last thing I need is to repeat a mistake made by an author in the mid-nineteenth century.

You’ve heard the story, haven’t you?

The author named his book “The Whale,” and it sold just 1,500 copies before they took it out of publication. Bitterly disappointed, the author never penned another novel. Then, seventy years later and thirty years after the author’s passing, new editors found the dusty book and republished it. All they did was change the novel’s title. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Without that name change, few of us would have heard of Herman Melville or read one of the greatest opening lines to a novel. "Call me Ishmael."

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