Evolution of a Book Title


My second book will be published by Timber Press and is set to be released in the fall of 2010. The truth is the book has been in my brain since the release of Designing the New Kitchen Garden. The topics of design, kitchen gardens, flowers, and things to eat are never far from my mind. So for the last year some portion of my days have been spent planting, harvesting, cooking, painting, photographing and eating some concoction from my garden.

The concept for the book was clear from the beginning- to inspire a lifestyle connected to the garden. It’s a design book, a cookbook and a how-to garden book set up by seasons so it’s clear what to plant and harvest spring, summer, fall and winter. My goal is to demonstrate how plants can be used to create space, attract beneficial insects, provide food and something to cut for the vase throughout the year. It stems from my belief that simplicity is often the most beautiful.

The working title for the book was Seasonal Harvest which does sum up the topic well. The title has been through a number of iterations since then. The goal of every publisher and author is to sell books and the title selection is part of that business. It’s been a surprising lesson for me to think that important people have been sitting in a room hashing out my book title. Let me share some of their brain storms. The first was The Home Gardener’s Four-Season Table: Harvesting, Cooking, and Decorating from a Well-Designed Garden. Way too wordy. Two other similar titles evolved- The Homegrown Table: Gardening, Harvesting and Cooking with the Seasons and The Gardener’s Bounty: Growing, Cooking and Decorating with the Seasons. The current title has morphed into, The Kitchen Garden Companion: Growing, Harvesting, Cooking and Decorating Year-Round. Have I confused you? Keep it simple and call it, The Kitchen Garden Companion. This is all subject to change. We’ll know when it hits the shelves.


6 Responses to “Evolution of a Book Title”
  1. Hey, there, fellow Timber author! Intriguing to read of your journey through the process of title selection. You might be interested in my photo essay along the same lines: “Evolution of a Cover” at http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?p=10420
    Looking forward to your book’s release!

  2. Debra,
    Great photo essay. Thank you for sharing that. Writing a book is like any design project an evolving process. I have no idea what my cover will look like. Much of that is surprisingly out of the author’s control.

  3. Ughhh, Jen. It sounds painful and frustrating, with the ‘not having a say’ part in the naming of the book your words were obviously good enough to write.
    I hope it makes big waves when finally it gets born.

  4. Thank you David, I hope it makes big waves too… a work of art!

  5. Ilona says:

    I am really looking forward to whatever you publish – I *loved* your Kitchen Garden book. One of the best garden books I have read in my long gardening “career”.

  6. Llona, thank you! I am very excited about the book… it’s a continuation of the theme of beautiful garden producing beautiful things to eat with flowers for the table.