My writing life seemed to be going extremely well about a month ago. I was notified that Homegrown and Handmade was a finalist in the Book of the Year competition held by Foreword, which is a publishing industry magazine. Then I received word that the book was going back to the presses for a second printing because the first 5,000 copies had almost sold out! And I heard that my second book would receive an endorsement from Mother Earth News! I felt like jumping up and down almost all day for a couple weeks.
Then the rug got yanked out from under me when I received a letter from someone claiming to have a trademark on the word that was to be the title of that book -- yes, the book that Mother Earth News had just endorsed, the book that was almost through the editing process, the book whose cover was already complete, the book that was already in my publisher's fall catalog, the book that was already on Amazon and other online sites for pre-order.
I won't bore you with all of the legal details, but in our increasingly global economy, this type of things should not come as a huge surprise. The man with the trademark on that word is from France, and although he only uses his trademark on a website that is in French, he decided to trademark the word in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. It never really crossed our minds that anyone would trademark a word that is being used on no less than 16,000 websites, according to Google.
The last two days have been a whirlwind of emails between myself and multiple people at the publishing house, trying to figure out what we should use for the new title. I voted for Ecothrifty, but there were some other possibilities on the table, and I even tossed out the question on Facebook to see what my friends thought, and Ecothrifty seemed to be the favorite there also, although there were a lot more possibilities suggested than I had ever dreamed of! Maybe I should ask people on Facebook to help me name my next book?
So, this afternoon the decision was cemented to use Ecothrifty as the new title. The editor has done a find/replace in the manuscript, and ecothrifty works perfectly in place of the old word. Ecothrifty has replaced the former word in the book's cover. Being about the same length as the previous title, it was easy to just replace the old word without needing to redesign the cover. If you don't look at the cover closely (on the right), you might not realize the title has changed.
Today I also sent the final copy of the manuscript back to the editor, and it will now be sent to the page designer who will turn it into a book. I should be kicking back with a glass of wine to celebrate, but instead, I'm scrambling to create a new Facebook page for the book with the new title, and I just replaced all of the old title info on this website. I suppose I should be relieved that this unpleasant chapter of my life seems to have ended, and I am, but I also have a dreadful headache, so maybe I'll just go to bed early tonight.