Celebration and title ruminations

I just found out today that my book on the philosophy of cover songs has been accepted for publication! Both referees said that the manuscript could be published as is, but of course went on for pages with comments about how it might be improved.

The publisher is Open Book Publishers, an academic press that releases all of its books under Creative Commons licenses. They were the first publisher I approached about the project, because— although I want the imprimatur of an academic press— what I want more is for the book to be available to people.

The working title of the project has been A Philosophy of Cover Songs.

This title conveys a lot of information. It’s a philosophy book. It’s about covers, in the musical sense. And it’s a philosophy of covers— a monograph, rather than an edited collection on the philosophy of covers.

This title is also boring. Suggestions of flashier titles are welcome.

Boxes of vinyl records

3 thoughts on “Celebration and title ruminations”

  1. This feels to me like the type of topic that might benefit from a motivating-question title, since people may not immediately feel the itch of curiosity based on topic alone. “What counts as a cover song?” would be a bit blunt, but does get the job done (without even needing a subtitle!). And it has a bit of the ring of classic oft-cited works …

  2. Ilya: That is a snappier title, but would be something of a bait-and-switch. The first chapter poses the question of what a cover song is, but I ultimately decline to give a definition. Then there are five other chapters!

  3. Hmm. And the questions / issues addressed in those other chapters couldn’t be said to flow from that motivating question?

    If that’s the case, then it may be even more important to get some explicit motivation into the title. The boundary question is sort of the obvious one about cover songs (at least for philosophers). So if your focus is elsewhere, is there a way to gesture at that?

    Or, coming at it from another angle: pure curiosity might get people to read an article, but for a book potential readers are going to want to have some sense of the expected type of payoff. Is there a way to gesture at the broader classes of phenomena that your theory may illuminate, or the type of insight to be gained, or …?

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