What’s In A Name?: WARNING! Becomes NO LOVE ALLOWED
A book’s title can either be a door or an obstacle. It’s the very first thing you see (or hear) about the book, so if anything about it is off-putting, it can make you put the book down and walk away.
Of course in many ways this is a very personal reaction, but for me, with (too) many years of publishing experience under my belt, it’s become a professional thing as well. At this point, I have developed an instinct and intuition about titles, one that has served me well. For example, I did change the title of the first American Harry Potter book to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from (the U.K.’s edition) Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.
Many people might say that this is just me being too picky, but I felt that the word “philosopher” would sound too fussy and maybe too scholarly (Heaven Forbid!) to American kids. Katherine Applegate’s original title for Animorphs was The Changelings (that one was decided by a group discussion) and The Magic School Bus was acquired under the title Mrs. Chips Class Trips.
Warning! You Might Fall in Love with Me is a title that all my instincts said needed to be changed. While it caught our attention, it did it by conjuring visions of yellow caution tape and “Do Not Advance.” Warning! as a word is inherently negative and says “Stay Away! Don’t Come Here!” And that’s not at all the message you want to send for a book that is as much fun as this one.
So, after a long discussion with Kate Evangelista, we decided to change the title to No Love Allowed. It’s intriguing and alluring. No Love Allowed feels like the kind of rule you can’t help but break and it invites you in to do so.