Title Tag, or What Happens in Publishing on a Slow Friday

When is a book title more than the name of something to read? Late last week, a lively email thread started after Artisan publisher Ann Bramson sent out a plea for her missing scarf—and used the title of a recent Artisan bestseller for reference:


I miss my winter scarf which disappeared earlier this week. It’s the color of the cover of Design*Sponge at Home. Have you seen it??

It began slowly. James, later that evening:

I think I saw it In The Sweet Kitchen.

Andrea gets it:

Really? I thought I saw it Beyond The Great Wall. But maybe I was Under Pressure.

Ann replied the following morning:

So you’re saying I have to Man Up! about this? Even though it was The Right Color?

Then gates seemed to open. Randy:

Whoever took it should be thinking What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? because when Ann finds out, you’ll just have minutes to live.

(sorry, couldn’t help myself)

Danielle, a minute later:

No Randall, it’s more like whoever stole it… your a$$ is ON THE LINE; 9781579653699 (James, I know how much you hate it when people send title emails w/out ISBN’s) ….

Shani, a moment after that:

Then they’ll wind up in The Obits

Insiders will note that up until this reply, all references were to Artisan titles. Then James, the consummate insider, doubles-down with a cheeky reference to a Workman book Ann wrote that’s no longer in print:

If someone stole it, they should be more concerned with going to jail. They might wind up dropping The Soap: Making it, Enjoying it.

Elisabeth, with her imprint ignored so far, piles on from left field with Algonquin references:

My umbrella, I figured, by now is somewhere West of Here, Mudbound, or maybe being enjoyed by the Last Child in the Woods.

Mmm, ok. A second after that Jean returned us to relevant Artisan territory:

Along with the box of cereal that some Mad Hungry person took from my desk.

Rachel sagely added:

That’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting too much from people.

Natalya summed it up succinctly:

Well, ladies and gentlemen Sh*t Happens.  All we have to do is Work Hard, Be Nice.

But wait! There’s more! An hour or so later Greg got in the act:

You know, things like this just shouldn’t happen On American Soil, but I guess they do once in a Blue Moo……

So many things lost around here, maybe it’s not just, Arlo Needs Glasses?

Or should we stop focusing on The Wine Bible and try Drinks Without Alcohol…. Again.

Eileen, steered us back with a consoling reference to an OP Boynton title:

Sorry Ann, Hope you find it – Don’t Let the Turkeys Get You Down.

Nope, one last word, from Rachel:

Now just Hold Your Horses, Eileen!

Which no longer has anything to do with Ann, scarves, Artisan….but no matter. It’s good advice.

Thanks everyone!


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