I've moved to JennetteFulda.com

My baby needs a name

Remember how my weight loss memoir to be published next year was going to be called Breaking Up with Lane Bryant? You don’t? Oh good, I don’t have to come zap you with the memory eraser. We are no longer using that title. Why? Because of The Law, that’s why. As in “I fought the law and the law won,” only it was more like we saw we might have to fight the law and decided to cross to the other side of the street instead.

So, my book needs a title. My publisher and I have been going back and forth on this and I thought I’d ask your opinion. The title is a big selling tool. It needs to make people want to pick my book off the shelf at the bookstore. This is hard to do since most people only spend literally 2-4 seconds reading titles as they are browsing. The title needs to meet the following requirements:

1) It needs to be funny.

My book is funny and we want people to realize that as soon as they read the title. I think the book, like the blog, will appeal not only to people who need to lose a lot of weight but to people who might be fascinated by the process or just like a funny read. They need to know that it’s humorous, kind of edgy, but quarky all at the same time.

2) It needs to express the theme of the book

Basically, people need to know that this is a weight loss memoir.

3) It needs to be brief.

Something like 3-4 words would be preferable, but longer than 7-8 is really pushing it. It can’t be like the title of that Fiona Apple album that went on for 90 words.

4) It needs to pop

The easiest way to make the book pop would be to bind it in bubble wrap. But what I’m referring to here is that the title needs to be punchy. It needs to stick out. It needs to be different than all the hundred other book titles surrounding it.

Taking all that into consideration, I’m asking you two things. First, what do you think of the following title?

Dear Donuts, We’re Through: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Would you buy that book? Please tell me “Yes” or “No” and why.

Secondly, can you think of a better title? If so, please post it in the comments below. If my publisher and I both like it and agree to use it, I will thank you in the acknowledgments of my book. Please keep in mind though that ultimately my publisher and I get the final say. And it’s quite possible you might come up with a brilliant title, but it might not be the title for my book. If I don’t choose your title, it’s nothing personal. The book will have a subtitle, so phrase all your suggestions in the title:subtitle format. Right now we’ve been using “A Weight-Loss Memoir” as the subtitle, but you don’t have to use that if you have something better.

Time is of the essence here since this needs to be decided in the next week. I literally have 4 pages of a notebook filled with horrible, awful, no-good, titles. If you saw them you’d never read another book again in protest. So let me know what you think and thanks in advance!

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174 Comments

sarah • May 29, 2007 at 1:44 pm

I’m not a fan of the donut title…because it feels too “easy”…like those cheap humor cards next to the Hallmark Section. It doesn’t have the clever wit of your writing. Sorry!

Is using something on PastaQueen out? That sounds more unique to me. And, also plays on the chick-lit theme as well. Maybe Adventures of Former a Pasta Queen – A Weight Loss Memoir?

By the way, I really like “weight loss memoir”. I think one thing many of us have found so thrilling/helpful/addictive in your journey is that we can see how it is done and that it ain’t perfect or pretty. And memoir really is the right word “a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them…”

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Sarah • May 29, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Another title “Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir” which I think would also have great impact. I know I’d pick it up. (in a world where I haven’t already planned on purchasing five copies, that is)

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blest • May 29, 2007 at 1:47 pm

I’m with Sarah. Color me stupid – but I never did understand why you weren’t using Half Of Me as your book title. It’s catchy, it’s intriguing…it promotes fractions…

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bitchwhoblogs • May 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Nope, wouldn’t buy it and I am a big reader of weight loss tales… I don’t like the inference that donuts and fat people go together- in some cases, yes, but in many not at all… I feel like it reinforces some bad old stereotypes when in fact – you are busting them open… I feel like you give a fresh face to the weight loss wars and that title feels more old schoolie….

I loved your old title… but I hear that you cannot use it… I am with commenter above – I wonder if you can play with being the former queen of pasta… because basically you have gone from pounding pasta to pounding pavement…. I did love breaking up with LB — mainly because it reminded me of one of my all time favorite posts — the one about the LB bejeweler child care program… it was like you were starting afresh without the mandated quota of sequins, beads and other dazzlers…

Sorry, its easier to be a critic than a creator…

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PastaQueen • May 29, 2007 at 2:01 pm

The reason we’re not using “Half of Me” is because it doesn’t meet requirement #1, it’s not funny.

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Rachel • May 29, 2007 at 2:11 pm

I chuckled at “Dear Donuts…”

Maybe instead of “A Weight-loss Memoire” as a subtitle, you could do something like, “My struggle to put down the fork and pick up the pace.” That sucks, but you get the idea.

I love the idea of “Half of Me” with a punchy subtitle. I LOVE the design of your blog, and I think it would be a really good idea to keep that half picture of yourself on the cover.

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Florafloraflora • May 29, 2007 at 2:17 pm

I agree with the first commenter: the “Dear Donuts” title feels a little too Cathy. Your blog is a lot funnier than that. Not that I’m not already going to buy your book anyway.

How about “Hello Jicama”? Or will that not work because people can’t pronounce “jicama”? Or you could always say something like “Out With the Fat Pants”.

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Erin • May 29, 2007 at 2:18 pm

How about

“Too much ass, and not enough pants”.

That’s one of my favorite sayings for referring to my big ass. When I started gaining weight, and my jeans were getting too small, but I didn’t realize I was gaing weight (go figure) I’d just think to myself that I had too much ass and not enough pants.

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Country Chicken • May 29, 2007 at 2:33 pm

I’d buy any weight loss memoir written by you, regardless of the title. However, the Dear Donuts title doesn’t seem to capture all the humor, essence, and vision that you show in your writing. Yes, keep Weight-Loss Memoir as part of the title. How about “Breaking Up with Half of Me”?

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Joni • May 29, 2007 at 2:52 pm

OK, I’ll finally stop lurking and post a comment on your blog, which I love, and I agree with the others – I’d buy your book no matter what the title! I did like the Dear Donuts title, because I thought it was funny. I also like Cathy, so I don’t have a problem with you sounding like her. However, to go more along with the Pasta Queen idea, maybe something like:

Dethroning the Pasta Queen: A Weight-Loss Memoir

or

The Pasta Queen Surrenders Her Crown: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Just some suggestions! Whatever you choose, I’m sure it’ll be great!

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Casey • May 29, 2007 at 2:54 pm

I like the subtitle from Bitchwhoblogs up there – going from pounding pasta to pounding pavement!

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Lesley • May 29, 2007 at 3:37 pm

I am also de-lurking and also piecing together previous suggestions

From Pounding the Pasta to Pounding the Pavement: A Weight Loss Memoir

Or

From Pounding the Pasta to Pounding the Pavement: How I Lost Half of Me

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tammy • May 29, 2007 at 3:38 pm

Love “Half of Me-A Weight Loss Memoir” I don’t think it has to be funny. I would (well I am) going to purchase your book and I agree with Rachel and putting half of your old self on the cover. You are awesome and have been a great help in my own weightloss battle.

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Sela • May 29, 2007 at 3:40 pm

I don’t like the food ones because, as someone else pointed out above, it buys into the “fat people eat a lot” thing in a way that I don’t think that you do.

If not Half of Me, maybe “Finding My Better Half” or some other better half joke?

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MeeShee • May 29, 2007 at 4:13 pm

I like Joni’s ideas, or something similar. Or, in the Breaking up with LB vein… Breaking up with my Designer Fat Pants… hmmm.

As for the cover picture, maybe the old half on the front and the opposite new half on the back? Or, do something where the old/new you are super-imposed… i.e. new you with an outline of the old you… if it’s hard-cover, have a transparent paper book cover with the old you, with the new you underneath… (last thought) keep the website pic for the cover, but on the inside of the cover have a full pic of the old you on the left and a full pic of the new you on the right.

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G.G. • May 29, 2007 at 4:50 pm

I don’t know–I think I’d stay away a title with “Pound” in it just because of Wendy McClure’s “Pound” blog . . . . Not that she’s cornered the market on that particular word or that she’d challenge you to some sort of quasi-Thunderdome death match, but you’re establishing a brand of your own, so to speak.

A Pasta Queen divided against herself stands, runs and kick-boxes! No more cleaning plates, she’s cleaning clocks? Now she’s splitting sides instead of pants? “Less” really is “More”?(Lousy attempts at a title or a sub-title but it’s my best attempt at humor–sad, sad, sad).

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Mary Jean • May 29, 2007 at 4:53 pm

There’s a lot of de-lurking going on today! I’m doing it myself! I really like the “Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir”. Does the title really have to be funny? I also like all the ideas about the half pictures. And, everyone is right, I’m going to buy it no matter what!!

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anji • May 29, 2007 at 4:54 pm

I know Half of Me isn’t funny but I kinda think it is neat, which is just as good as funny. It gets to the point quickly and let’s you have fun with the subtitle, which can be the quirky part. Regardless, I’m sure you’re going to come up with the perfect title!

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PastaQueen • May 29, 2007 at 4:55 pm

LOL! Now I am imagining taking on Wendy McClure in a Thunderdome death match at the BlogHer conference in July. Maybe we could fight with those giant ear swabs like they did on American Gladiators.

The other thing about the word “pound” is that one of my obese friends said she would be hesitant to pick up a book that had the word “pound” or “fat” or similar in the title. I don’t know if that’s just her or if that’s how other overweight woman also feel.

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booktitle request • May 29, 2007 at 4:56 pm

The Hot Dog Hand Job

(I rather not put that in my mouth)

a weight loss memoir

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G.G. • May 29, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Or something even more pathetic:

The Square Root of Pie=PQ/2? or The Square Root of Pie=Half of Me?

Surely someone out there knows how to make math fun.

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Sarah • May 29, 2007 at 5:09 pm

I don’t like the Donut title and I probably wouldn’t buy that book if I were just browsing and didn’t know it was written by you. Like some of the previous posters said it just is too stereotypical.

I’m home after a long hellacious day so all I can come up with for now is:

Bye Bye Booty: A Weight Loss Memior

I’ll think more and try to help you out. Usually I’m pretty ok at this sort of thing.

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E • May 29, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Half of Me: Revenge of the PastaQueen

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Nienuh • May 29, 2007 at 5:34 pm

I really like Half of Me.. -insert funny subtitle here-. Not memoirs of … but can’t think of anything right now.

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Ann • May 29, 2007 at 5:37 pm

How about, See Ya, LB*!

* Lbs – half my weight lost

* Lard Butt

* Lane Bryant

* (etc. you get the idea)

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Autumn • May 29, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Well, I spent all (long) weekend reading through your entire blog!! I went through it so quickly, I would forget that this was written over years…imagine my despair when I got on the scale this morning and I didn’t lose 53 lbs overnight! I mean, YOU did, at least in all the entries I read!! :)

Thank you for sharing all of this, you are incredible, both as a writer and as a weight loss guru! I’m so glas I found such great inspiration!

I was thinking about your title today after I read your entry, and I really do like both the “Half of Me”, but I loved the breaking up with Lane Bryant too…I understand your want for the title to reflect the comedic tone your book (and blog) will have. I was thinking maybe something like “Breakin’ Up With The XX’s: A Weight Loss Memoir.” You know, the XL, XXL, XXXL…

Just a thought! I’ll be watching/reading!

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Peter • May 29, 2007 at 5:57 pm

I’ve been through this same process (those four pages of titles sound familiar!) and I would suggest that you may be overthinking and overworking the problem.

The “Dear Doughnuts” title is an attempt to keep what you liked about “Lane Bryant” rather than a strong title in its own right. And there is no three-word sequence that can do all the things you are hoping your title can do! Sadly.

I would stick with “Half of Me,” which is a strong, intriguing title and builds on your existing community. Failing that, I would read through your own old postings and search for turns of phrase you used then, ones that could bear a broader construction.

I think of the posts from the months around the time that you moved into your new apartment as some of the ones that show you in your strongest, most self-confident and appealing writer’s voice, so that’s where I would start looking.

(The most recent post, which I would guess–and I could be totally wrong about this–represents an attempt at kicking things up a notch, stylistically, for book publication, may come across, by contrast, as overwritten or even manic, like the verbal equivalent of typing all in capital letters. I’d stay with the voice you found through trial and error on this blog–and if your editor is actively steering you away from that, he or she may need to take a deep breath, then have lunch with someone who has more experience cultivating talent, and not rolling over it.)

As soon as someone picks up this book and flips through it, they will get how amusing it is. Though my Platonic idea of your book is that it should be at least as much a thoughtful and inherently interesting one–not many people lose so much weight, so simply, or learn so much about themselves in the process–as a Laff Riot.

Won’t word of mouth and store placement be the main things that drive sales at first anyway? Trying to build a joke into the title seems more likely to backfire than to help.

The title “Half of Me” suggests songs (like “All of Me”), is close to all sorts of sayings (“my better half”), and it’s blessedly short, memorable, and intriguing (which half? How do you divide someone in two? It suggests sawing a woman in half, the old stage magic trick).

The cover graphics could easily do the work of announcing “Funny Book Here,” preferably not too heavy-handedly. Most of the commenters are suggesting that you already have your title, if you can get your editor to trust it and go with it.

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spacedcowgirl • May 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

You could use “Breaking up with the fat shop” or some other euphemism for Lane Bryant–or just choose a fat store for the title that is less likely to sue you, though it wouldn’t have as nice a ring. Or if you used to shop in those girls’ clothing sections called “Extra Special” and “Pretty Plus” at Sears or Penney’s, maybe you could riff on that somehow. I always thought those names were absurd.

How about “Half of Me: How I lost 200 pounds (and found myself) in fat blog land”? Or you could even just call it “Jennetti Spaghetti, the Queen of Pasta” per your About page.

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Christine • May 29, 2007 at 6:14 pm

If you can’t use “Breaking up with that bitch Lane Bryant” How about “Breaking up with Half of Me? Or does that sound too much like a mental health precautionary tale gone wrong??

Whatever the title, we will all buyt it and spread the word about it!!

Good luck!!

-Christine in AZ

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spacedcowgirl • May 29, 2007 at 6:14 pm

P.S. I don’t like the “donut” title either. It sounds kind of trite and even has a bit of a low-budget or self-published vibe. This is just my impression.

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Rah • May 29, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Meeting Myself Halfway: A Weight Loss Memoir [not funny-funny but a play on words]

Do You Have this in a 55″ Hip? A Weight Loss Memoir

Half-A**ed and Grateful: A Weight Loss Memoir

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barbara • May 29, 2007 at 6:20 pm

I gotta join the “Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir” fan club. First of all, it IS kinda funny. And it’s attention getting, which is REALLY the point. I can definitely see it jumping off the shelves at potential book buyers.

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Lisa • May 29, 2007 at 6:39 pm

I am new here but my 2 cents are I don’t like the donut thing either. What about “Hey where did the other HALF of me go???

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Lola • May 29, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I am going to have to delurk to agree with everyone else that I don’t like the “Dear Donuts” title and I DO like “Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir” very very much.

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jen • May 29, 2007 at 6:47 pm

I like Half of Me too. Instead of a funny title, go for the drama of a major weight loss. You could also call it Half of Me: Confessions of a Former Pasta Queen to give a nod to South Beach.

BTW, did any of you read The Other Schulman? He does some funny things with the idea that by the time he’s lost and gained weight so many times, he could have another Schulman walking around out there, causing trouble. It’s a good read.

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Zanitta • May 29, 2007 at 6:55 pm

how about: Pasta Queen (Hold the Cheese): A Weight Loss Memoir

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Fig • May 29, 2007 at 7:00 pm

My Search for Fat Pants is Over! A Weight-Loss Memoir

My Cup(s) Are Half-Full! A Weight-Loss Memoir

Smaller Portions = Smaller Ass. A Weight-Loss Memoir

Just What are YOU Looking at? Oh, yeah, ME! A Weight-Loss Memoir

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K • May 29, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I don’t like the doughnuts title greatly, I have to say – it doesn’t really sound like you. Would I buy the book going on the title alone? No, but then I have bought books with titles I hated. Do you get to write the blurb?

I fear I have no wonderful inspirations, or not ones that are funny.

(Btw, Square One is not totally retired. It still drags itself in to work from time to time -today, for example…)

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cari • May 29, 2007 at 7:13 pm

I love your blog…normally I am just a lurker.

I did not read all the posts so if this is a repeat forgive me.

Diaries of a Pasta Queen, how I lost the pasta and found myself…

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susan • May 29, 2007 at 7:24 pm

how about “My Better Half…..Losing Half of Me and Finding a New Me”

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Natalie • May 29, 2007 at 7:40 pm

I’m not crazy about the Dear Donuts title, either. It sounds like too cheesy of a fat person association (fat people-donuts… meh!) It’s ok to make fun of fat people, but in a way we would feel more connected to.

Dang it, I can’t think of anything. So I guess I’m not going to be credited in your book. But I also put my vote with Half of Me. You spent some thought titling your blog, I’m sure, so why reinvent the wheel?

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afn • May 29, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Another lurker . . .

I don’t like the donuts title either. The Lane Bryant title was brillant. How about “Breaking Up With My Fat Pants” ?

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Karen • May 29, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Sorry have to agree the Donut titke isn’t working for me.

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Barb • May 29, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Ok, I’ll join in the de-lurking – I’m with spacedcowgirl, something like…

Breaking Up with The Fat Girls Store: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Which Way to the Petites?: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Good luck – I’m sure you’ll come up with something great!

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Sue • May 29, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Maybe you can look for inspiration from your Archives, putting together a title from the titles of your blog posts.

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Jules • May 29, 2007 at 8:01 pm

I’ll echo first comments. I like your blog title and I like the weight loss memoir tag. The Half of Me aspect is what’s so intriguing,especially because it’s true. And PQ is also a great moniker.

good luck.

cheers

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Helen • May 29, 2007 at 8:01 pm

I love the old title because I think the title DOES need to be funny — this is a humor book as well as a “this is my weight loss journey” book and the humor is what I think you want to emphasize to set it apart from the tons of other weight-loss books out there. We get so heavy (pardon the pun) with our “journeys” and we need some laughter too! Soooo…while I don’t love the donuts title, I’d love it if you could stick with the “Breaking Up With…” idea or something similar. Since I can’t come up with anything better, my vote goes for Breaking Up With the XXs. That grabs my attention and sounds funny. :-) (And, of course, I’ll buy the book!)

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Sheila • May 29, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Delurking to say I don’t like the donuts title at all, but I do like Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir (or the alternate subtitle Confessions of Former Pasta Queen as was already mentioned). Additional info on the back could make it clear that there is lots of humor. I do wish the Lane Bryant title would have worked though – it’s great.

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yo • May 29, 2007 at 8:25 pm

“‘I’d rather not put that in my mouth’: A Weight Loss Memoir”

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Cindy • May 29, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Hi PQ,

I don’t like the donut title—too easy a target. The Half of Me, idea is good, and it IS who you are, so if you can convince the publishers, go with it. It can be a fairly “straight” title, if the cover is done right, selling the idea of humor that way.

Half of Me: Memoirs of a Pasta Queen… then add a “runner” along the bottom that describes the subject of the book more specifically…something like “One woman’s journey from blah, blah blah to blah blah blah”—only you’ll make that last part hilarious. I can’t wait for the book. I have a list of friends who will be getting a copy!

Best of luck with your title search!

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denwanai • May 29, 2007 at 8:49 pm

a delurker here – don’t like the donuts and dont like the XXX or similiar titles that may be construed as adult only.

Stick with the winner *Half of Me: PastaQueen blogs her way to fame and fitness* See story inside…

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yo • May 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm

I would never buy “Dear Donuts, We’re Through: A Weight-Loss Memoir” — it sounds kind of lame and like a Cathy cartoon from 1988. You’re way way way more hilarious to read than that title suggests.

Sadly, I’m not funny enough to think of anything else funny. But what about some kind of reverse play on “Supersize Me” or is that dated?

Like “Unsupersize Me: A Weight Loss Memoir.” Or “Alone and Unsupersized” or “Unsupersized At Play” or something.

I think also that you HAVE to have the cover somehow have an old, really bad pic of you and an “after” pic. The before-after pic grabs the eye like NO other.

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sandie • May 29, 2007 at 8:55 pm

I have only recently discovered your blog and am finding it really inspirational.

Here is my idea for a title…

“Coming out from behind the fat rolls”

A Weight-Loss Memoir

On the bright side of not being able to use your original title is, that when your book goes international you won’t have to change the title… I am from New Zealand and had to google Lane Bryant.

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zelda • May 29, 2007 at 8:55 pm

My hubby suggested

“Losing My Butter Half – A Weight Loss Memoir”

Or

“Everything Must Go!: How I Took 50% Off And Saved Myself” [Picture the Everything Must Go on a big Red Sale tag].

Some ideas …

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Rachael • May 29, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Half of Me: A story of a shrinking body and inner growth

Half of Me: Losing fat and gaining self worth

Half of Me: How I blogged my way out of the plus size section

Half of Me: A former fat girl’s tale

Half of Me: How I lost 200 pounds

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kim • May 29, 2007 at 9:29 pm

Ok, stealing some ideas: Breaking up with my fat pants: How I lost half of me.

I would buy the book no matter what the title. Anything about someone losing a lot of weight will get me to look at it – then just browsing your writing I would buy–even with the donut title. (Which I don’t mind – if YOU love donuts) Maybe Breaking up with pasta: How I lost half of me (was this said already? Perhaps)

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Lynette • May 29, 2007 at 9:30 pm

“Half of Me”! I don’t care what the publisher says! What are they thinking? I would read it without even knowing your blog!

You’re funny as all get out – but if the title is too cutesy funny then it does get that “Cathy” feel to it which I would dismiss outta hand. Wouldn’t read it: “Who needs jokes about fat and fluffy diet tips?” would be going through my head if I saw a cutesy title.

There is so much MORE than funny to your story. There is wisdom and insight and all that good stuff. I would read your blog if it wasn’t funny. You’re a wonderful writer and have a lot to share.’

“Half of Me” shows the incredible-ness of your journey. It’s absolutely compelling. Then the subtitle could be something else that’s a little cuter like the very good “PastaQueen . . . ” or “Out of the Plus section” suggestions above.

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betsy • May 29, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Titles? how about:

Waisting Away.

Halftime.

Lost & Found.

or… just spell Lane Brryant wrong ;-D

thanks for the inspiration! You rock!

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Julia • May 29, 2007 at 10:38 pm

I vote for the “Half of me” title, it give and immediate visual. Also the front cover with your website graphic (the half profile) would work good.

I don’t necessarily associate donuts with being fat, that’s why I don’t like the other title.

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crankybee • May 29, 2007 at 10:51 pm

Some really good suggestions – I know ‘Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir’ doesn’t sound funny BUT I like it – and if people have ever stumbled accross your blog they will go CHINGCHING! in their head and say “Hey! I know this chick!”

I don’t like the donut one either – it left me cold for some reason.

What about something like breaking up with the plus size…I’m a lame arse, sorry! No creative spirit here today!

Have you considered approaching Lane B and seeing what they say? If you got their permission, it’s still the best title…

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Jenni • May 29, 2007 at 11:05 pm

What about

Dear Fat pants ,We’re through. A weightloss memoir.

I ‘m not any good at this kind of thing.I am in USA right now but am Scottish. The word ‘Pants ‘makes me laugh because we use it differently. I agree with the rest I will buy the book anyway and spread the word but that doesnt help you this week find the title. All the best in your quest though!

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Sara • May 29, 2007 at 11:08 pm

Another nay against the donuts title. You’ve done so much more than laying off donuts! If only it were that easy!

Half of Me is true to yourself and catchy.

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snoopy • May 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm

I vote for the “Half of Me: Confessions of a Pasta Queen” title. It’s memorable, intriguing and catchy.

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Monica • May 29, 2007 at 11:23 pm

I don’t like the Donuts title because it sounds too Ziggy (that’s bad).

Off the top of my head:

Pasta Queen.

Minus the pasta:

A weight loss memoir

or

Pasta Queen goes lean:…

I would use the Pasta Queen thing, some people might recognize it.

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Samantha • May 29, 2007 at 11:28 pm

I realy like this one from Rachel-

Half of Me: How I blogged my way out of the plus size section

or how about-

Half of Me: How I fought my way out of Woman’s World to the land of Juniors! a weight loss odessy…

I think the donuts theme is a little lame, I think women would respond more favorably to the idea that you are wering a much smaller size, we all know what it’s like to have to fight the urges not to eat a donut, thats the problem, you want to show case the outcome! Thats what will sell more books!

:-)

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betsy • May 29, 2007 at 11:31 pm

or, how about:

Fighting Weight

(an allusion to the weight that boxers have to maintain in order to fight)

or,

Light Living

(an allusion to being ‘light’ vs. ‘heavy’ and ‘living’ vs. dying by slow suicide)

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Karen Baum • May 29, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Don’t like the donut title, but I disagree with you (and agree with everyone else) that Half of Me is a great title. Think about it, it is what attracted us to you in the first place. And, in it’s own way, it is funny because it is TRUE. It’s a great play on words. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones staring us straight in the face. Half of you is YOU in the way it is no one else. I’d buy the book.

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Lily • May 29, 2007 at 11:59 pm

I can’t think of one, but I definately don’t like the donut title.

I liked the “Breaking Up With My Designer Fat Pants: A Weight Loss Memior” suggestion.

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A fan in NJ • May 30, 2007 at 12:39 am

Just My Size: How I Lost Half of Me

Breaking up with My Bathroom Scale: A Weight Loss Memoir

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Lori • May 30, 2007 at 12:42 am

Yet another delurker

Finding My Feet : A weightloss memoir

refering to physically, visually, as a weightloss tool and just getting it together

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Milana • May 30, 2007 at 12:43 am

Confessions of a pasta queen: Losing half of me!

From Pasta to petite: A Weight loss queen’s memoirs…

yea, im not too good at these!

Or something along those lines, stick to the names people know you by!

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JustShy • May 30, 2007 at 12:52 am

Ok so I don’t really have any ideas, but I just wanted to say that I really like Zelda’s (or Zelda’s hubby’s technically) of “Losing My Butter Half – A Weight Loss Memoir”

If I think of anything brilliant on my own I’ll definetely pop back in. Good luck!

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Patty • May 30, 2007 at 12:56 am

How about “Breaking up with the fat ladies stores: a weight loss memoir” or “Breaking up with the fat ladies section: a weight loss memoir”. It kinda along the lines of the lane bryant one. Or “fat section boycott”. Maybe cheezy but “From Fat to fabulous”.

Ok, not too good of choices but I thought I’d chime in.

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Lindsey • May 30, 2007 at 1:04 am

Yep, I’m going to have to agree with most folks here. The Donut title is way too cheesy and bordering on low-brow (not that low-brow is always bad, but weightloss journeys are probably not the best combo—I definitely don’t want to give more ammunition to mock fat people in such an obvious, unoriginal way).

I think Half of Me with either the A Weightloss Memoir or Confessions of a Former Pasta Queen as subtitles. Half of Me caught my attention. I found you while looking for Laila Ali’s stats–you mentioned them in one of your entries or someone mentioned them in one of the comments. I saw the Half of Me title and the half picture of you and it intrigued me to investigate further. That’s exactly what you want a title—catch a person’s attention so that they look closer.

Sure, I didn’t think it was going to be necessarily funny, but was pleasantly surprised to find your wit and little gems. I think a Title is supposed to draw people in–get them to look at the book a little closer. Humor is a good way to do that, but it’s not the only way and it’s rarely done well. Most of the time it comes off as corny, cheesy or simply not funny. So I’d just stick with something that draws the eye or catches the attention—and Half of Me (with either subtitle) and the graphics do just that. Then once the fish is on the line, dazzle them with your wit, humor and general eloquence on the dustcover or back side of the book (and more graphics–before and after picks are a must).

A title only needs to attract and humor isn’t the only way to do this, especially with a somewhat sensitive subject. You’ve got the winner already—-now your publisher just needs to understand that as well.

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Gabrielle • May 30, 2007 at 2:39 am

I vote for Half of Me: a weight Loss memoir and the photo of the half of you as you have on the website. It is then quite clear what its about and intriguing. I thinbk titles that try to be funny are off putting. Something a little odd is much more interesting.Thumbs down on anything about donuts

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Greta • May 30, 2007 at 4:08 am

I like:

Half of Me: a weight loss memoir

and don’t like the donut title.

I also like the photo of half of you as graphics on the cover.

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lynn • May 30, 2007 at 6:24 am

I have been a ‘secret’ reader of your journal for ages and ages, and I think you are amazing. Apart from that comment, I felt I had to pop on and mention that I think you should call your book Half of Me: A Weight Loss memoir, as this was the title that had me clicking the link many moons ago, and gripped to your memoirs ever since :o)

Lynn

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Lauren • May 30, 2007 at 6:45 am

I like Half of Me as well. Though I also thought about Breaking Up with my Fat Pants

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G.G. • May 30, 2007 at 7:52 am

I don’t think “Half of Me” would be a bad book title, but I think it could potentially be a little limiting–is “Half of Me” all there is to you? It’s a starting point, but not the whole story, especially if you’d like to write more books in the future.

I’ll buy your book no matter what the title.

It is possible that the funny titles smack too much of self-loathing, which definitely doesn’t describe you.

What about the superhero dynamic? One of my favorite posts from this blog is the one about the Birds of Prey and Black Canary (and there was another one about role models for young girls–like Buffy). And it is sort of like you went from mild-mannered wallflower reporter to comic book heroine through this journey. Black Canary’s meta power is in her voice . . . you found your voice through this blog . . . . is this an idea you could play with?

Cookies Were My Kryptonite: How the Queen of Pasta cut the crap, got moving, and lost half her body weight

Or:

I Had to Fit in the Phone Booth Before I Could Fly: A Weight Loss Memoir

Anyway . . . .

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Lose Weight With Me • May 30, 2007 at 8:05 am

Like so many of the others, I don’t particularly care for the Donut title; it’s stereotypical and wouldn’t be enough to motivate me to pick up the book and thumb through it.

I, too, like the “Half of Me” suggestions. I wish I had something clever to suggest for you!

Brian

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Hunna • May 30, 2007 at 8:46 am

i really like the losing my butter half title, other ideas, continuing from those above…

“Breaking Up With My Butter Half: A 200lb Weight Loss Memoir”

“200lb Off My Chest: My Weight Loss Memoir”

“Fat Pants, Let’s Dance” not enough of a meaningful connection to you I suppose but you do like dancing with the stars???

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Niall • May 30, 2007 at 9:30 am

Don’t like the word memoir – sounds like something serious – i.e., far too much hard work.

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Jennifer • May 30, 2007 at 9:42 am

I too wouldn’t buy the donuts book. I know your publisher wants funny, but I swear that Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir would grab me instantly. Your blog is very funny, but it’s also very moving and quite serious at times…I think that as soon as someone began leafing through the book, they’d understand the importance of humor to your journey. I am an author and a book-addict. I think the most important thing about the title is that it rolls off the tongue (no pun intended!)–as in “Have you read Half of Me? You’ve gotta go buy it!”–I think that Half of Me is better than any effort at silliness…

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BrightAngel • May 30, 2007 at 9:52 am

Sorry, the Donut title doesn’t work. It seems trite, silly, not funny and although buying & reading diet-books is one of my hobbies, I probably wouldn’t pick it up to look closer.

Also I felt resistent to the title (& thus the book) My first thought was that I feel like the title is telling me what I can’t eat. Even after my 80 lb loss down to my 115 lb goal, I still have an occasional dount, and have maintained my loss for 16 months now.

I think your “Half of me” Title is amusing and catching. Like the song “all of me”…”Half of me, why not take half of me….” etc.

I was amused by the Lane Bryant title.”Breaking up with Plus sizes” is the same thing (but doesn’t have the same comedic punch…to a fat person), but comfort yourself with the loss of the use of Lane Bryant by thinking about this:….Although fat people are familiar with Lane Bryant. and what it is…most of the thin population isn’t.

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dg • May 30, 2007 at 9:56 am

I love Half Of Me because it’s HALF OF YOU! It does what it says on the tin. It’s dramatic, it’s succinct, it’s personal…I think sometimes publishers go for elaborate titles trying to funny but it ends up cheesy. Just think of book buyers in january, desperately looking for inspiration after Xmas indulgences… I know if I saw HALF OF ME i’d go, OOOH gimme THAT! :)

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MB • May 30, 2007 at 9:58 am

I’m a loyal long-time Pasta Queen fan and although I’ve never commented on any blog I had to put in my $.02 for the title to the book I will be buying.

“How Losing Half of Me Made Me Whole”

I agree you need the before and after pics on the cover too.

You are such an inspiration to so many people. I can’t wait to read the book.

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dg • May 30, 2007 at 10:08 am

I meant to add above, if you got them with the killer punch (Half Of Me) could you inject the humour with the subtitle? Or in the blurb? Something about riotous adventures, ups and downs, etc etc. HOM is just such a fab title, I know I first arrived here by seeing Half Of Me on someone’s sidebar and thinking, OOOH I have to check that out…

(okay back in my box :)

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Peter • May 30, 2007 at 10:20 am

There are some neat suggestions coming in (though I, personally, would still plump for “Half of Me”). I especially liked “Finding My Feet,” and “I’d Rather Not Put That in My Mouth.” “Finding My Feet” might fulfill all the requirements you laid out in your post.

Considered as dispassionately as possible, though, it’s still probably not so much an improvement on “Half of Me” as a change for change’s sake.

Anyway, what a clever way to choose a title–open-source it!

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Jenna • May 30, 2007 at 10:27 am

What about Breaking up with Lane Giant? Is that too close to the real name? Several of us like to call Lane Bryant, Lane Giant.

I, too, like the Half of Me title.

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Brigitte • May 30, 2007 at 10:29 am

I agree that Half of me and PastaQueen should be in the title. And I disagree with your obese friend, as an obese person always trying to lose weight I will buy any book on a success story whatever the title. Plus I really like From Pounding the Pasta to Pounding the Pavement: How I Lost Half of Me. The funny requirement will be met in the book I am sure, and that would be reflected in the positive critics you would get on your book. Can’t wait to read your book.

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Florafloraflora • May 30, 2007 at 10:31 am

Checking back in to say I like these titles best:

*Bye Bye Booty: it’s funny, although maybe a tad generic.

*Half of Me: Confessions of a Former Pasta Queen: Like everybody else, I don’t think you can really improve on the title and the half-of-me image you’ve already got on the blog. I think your particular angle, aside from a sensible attitude and a funny, intelligent voice, is the whole cutting-yourself-in-half bit. I know that the story of you, as someone who had so much weight to lose, inspires me a lot more than some chick’s whining because she had to trade in her size 4 bikini for a size 8 suit.

*I Had to Fit Into the Phone Booth Before I Could Fly: this is cool, and inspirational if that’s the tone you want the book to convey

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deanna • May 30, 2007 at 10:39 am

nope, don’t like the title, would not buy it – but like another commenter I would buy any book you wrote. I think you are a lot smarter and funnier than the donut title… it will come to you or one of us in no time!

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Mark • May 30, 2007 at 11:11 am

Wow, they’re really ganging up on the doughnuts. It seems fine to me.

As for length, book subtitles are getting really long these days, mini mission statements. Check out our diet book reviews page. There are even sub-subtitles now. My favorite is the ever popular “Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty!” by that Iranian health crank. I think these long subtitles started in the Amazon age, when so many books are sold online.

I think you’d be better off spinning the book as a how-to, I-did-it-so-can-you book rather than a “memoir.” Diet memoirs as a genre seem to be mostly from vanity presses. I’m having trouble thinking of a book in that category from a major publishing house.

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Jen • May 30, 2007 at 11:11 am

Have to say, I’m with the majority here and really dislike the donuts title. I’d be far more apt to pick up a book with the “Half of Me” title in it, because that implies you lost a substantial amount of weight. And who isn’t interested in learning how someone did that?!

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Tammy • May 30, 2007 at 11:12 am

Crossing My Legs and Baring My Clavicle: A Weight Loss Memoir

Trading Ding Dongs for Dumbells: A Weight Loss Memoir

Owning it in Onederland: A Weight Loss Memoir

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Laura • May 30, 2007 at 11:42 am

I’ll add my NAY to the donuts title. But I love the idea of wrapping the book in bubble wrap! ;)

I like “Half of Me” and the myriad of variations on the subtitle. The back of the book is just as important to me in buying a book, so put some funny quips from the book there. And the picture/artwork, as you know, is just as important to selling a book.

Your book will rock the bookshelves, girl, because it’s REAL and you are talented and you ARE funny. And, you’re a true success on so many levels. Good luck on picking the title!

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lme • May 30, 2007 at 11:46 am

PQ,

Could you not print the comments here out for your editor and the marketing team?

When things try to be funny, they usually don’t work, which I think is what the reaction to the donuts is also about.

Half of Me is subtly funny, and almost all of the over 90 comments here agree that it should be part of the title.

I browse bookstore tables a lot, and if I saw something even like the donut title, I probably wouldn’t even pick it up. Half of Me, with the appropriate graphic, would, though.

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JEM • May 30, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Just another fan of you and your blog that HATES HATES HATES the Donut title…it will not do your book justice.

I asked a couple of my co-workers and friends and they hate it too.

Sorry I do not have a better suggestion. I will keep thinking.

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Lily • May 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm

I know Pasta Queen is your handle, but if I saw a title that said “Former Pasta Queen” I wouldn’t pick it up. I would think it would preach about Atkins. But I’m familiar with you and I know you’re not a preacher.

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Nan • May 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm

“Half of Me” may not count as funny, but it is intriguing. I’d be more likely to take the time to pull a book off the shelf and check it out with “Half of Me” in the title than if the title sounded like, as one commentor called it, cheesey, greeting card humor. I should also think that referencing your blog would be a good thing: successful bloggers don’t usually get that way unless their writing is humorous and, uh, “quarky.”

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Lily • May 30, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I know Pasta Queen is your handle, but if I saw a title that said “Former Pasta Queen” I wouldn’t pick it up. I would think it would preach about Atkins. But I’m familiar with you and I know you’re not a preacher.

If you were going to use “Pasta” in your title, I would make sure I get some money from South Beach for advertising their diet.

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Aunt Annette • May 30, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Halfofme:Twicethelaughs

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Kristen • May 30, 2007 at 12:37 pm

I really like “Half of Me: Confessions of a Pasta Queen” for a couple of reasons. The title of this blog was what drew me to read it in the first place; it was clever and intriguing (and adult-sounding, not dumbed-down or silly.) Secondly, the word “confessions” in nearly anything will make people take notice. It’s that nosy part of us, I guess. It also conveys a sense of humor, without sounding like a cheap laugh.

The donuts title and the Lane Bryant title seem too silly and maybe too geared to people who are overweight. (I was unaware that Lane Bryant was a clothing store for larger sizes.) Also anything with “breaking up with…” in the title seems a little too relationship-oriented, self-help at first glance, and wouldn’t catch my eye. You want a title that would generate interest across the board.

I think you’ve acquired such a big fan base with your current title- obviously something works there. Also, if anyone has read your blog even once, they would notice the book and pick it up. Why change what isn’t broken?!

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m • May 30, 2007 at 12:53 pm

I also like “Half of Me”, but I think that is the title of another book. How about “Party in Pasta Queens Fat Pants”. This was the title of one of your old posts.

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spacedcowgirl • May 30, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Considering it further… I really like the “Breaking Up with my Fat Pants” ideas because I think it conveys that sarcastic but slightly goofy humor that you do so well. You could also involve “Party in My Fat Pants,” which I thought was so hilarious in your entry when you reached 199. You could also use that as the first line of the blurb on the back: “199! Party in my fat pants! Don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for everyone.”

But when I picture a book that is just white, titled “Half of Me” with a smaller, funny/sarcastic subtitle (made basically to look just like your blog with the picture of half of you on the side)–assuming it was very clean and stark visually, I think that would be really arresting and I’d pick it up for sure. I’m not sure you can improve much on the great design of your site. I would keep the front of the book clean, simple and striking to hook readers, then lay some of your humor on them on the back for when they pick the book up.

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Meghan • May 30, 2007 at 1:10 pm

How about: “My Break-up with My Size X Butt: A Weight Loss Memoir” (X = the size clothing you used to wear before you lost weight). Or “Breaking up with my Size X Butt”. Or instead of butt, you could use “Size X Wardrobe/Pants/Jeans or just size X. I was trying to stick as closely to your original title as possible but replace Lane Bryant with something you can use without any legal issues.

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Amber • May 30, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Half of Me: How Pasta Queen Gets Mean and Lean!

I love your blog, and will buy your book no matter what the title.

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Marla • May 30, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Just one more vote for what seems to be nearly a consensus:

“donuts” = sucks
“Half of Me” is the catchy title that brought us all here in the first place.
Trying to be too clever with a play on words – I think it’s all been done before. There are so many WL blogs, every combination of cutsie phrase has already been done.

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Peter • May 30, 2007 at 1:13 pm

Okay, so this will make a total of 6 cents I’ve chipped in, 2 cents at a time.

Anyway: I agree with some of the other comments that “Pasta Queen” is not quite The Thing to use in the title, especially since its origin seems to be more a play on your first name than something to do with your weight loss.

Also (picking up on Mark’s comment), here is at least one weight-loss memoir from a major publisher, one that seems to have done well commercially: William Leith, The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict (2005), published in London by Bloomsbury Books and in New York by Gotham Books, both imprints of Penguin.

It’s a pretty good book–but he ‘only’ went from a B.M.I. of about 32.0 to one of about 27.5. Leaving him so much less to talk about than you have. He did it exclusively by following Atkins. And it is pretty vague on all the details that are so much fun for any reader who is actually trying to lose weight–he was more of a wannabe James Frey than the clear-eyed, deeply funny observer of weight loss that you are.

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coraspartan • May 30, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I don’t know that you really need another comment on this, but you asked, so here goes.

The Lane Bryant title would be your best choice. Like another commenter suggested, have you considered approaching them and seeing if they would agree? The worst they can say is no, after all.

My second choice would be Half of Me: Confessions of a Pasta Queen or Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir. For loyal readers of this blog, we would instantly know it’s your book. Plus it is kind of funny and clever.

My third choice would be Bye Bye Booty: A Weight Loss Memoir, suggested by another commenter. Funny.

Choice number four would be Pasta Queen Surrenders Her Crown: A Weight Loss Memoir.

I do not like the donut title. Show your publishers all of these comments and they are bound to agree with the Half of Me title. Good luck and can’t wait to read your book!

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SinistralCerebrations • May 30, 2007 at 1:34 pm

I like some of the takes on catchy puns that have been suggested, especially Zelda’s “Losing My Butter Half.” I think that would make me look twice while browsing for books, as I initially misread it as better half. It took a second for the play on words to sink in and I found it funny. A phrase such as that is humorous and appeals to a wide variety of people.

To further the same pun, you could extend it within the subtitle, something such as:

“Losing My Butter Half: My Divorce with the Couch”

“Losing My Butter Half: How I Divorced Refined Sugar”

“Losing My Butter Half: The Demise of My Waistline”

Something along those lines, perhaps substituting the word couch for a specific type of food.

I liked the title “I Had to Fit in the Phone Booth Before I Could Fly,” because it seems to speak to your intelligence and your “geek” side as a web developer (though it may not catch the eye of everyone). I liked the idea of using something with math as well. The title “Half of Me, Twice the Laughs” is a cute suggestion.

I disliked the donut title. In addition, I agree that the word “memoir” sounds too heavy and serious. In my opinion, a title only needs to be catchy, not descriptive, because I will read the jacket cover or the description of a book if it catches my eye.

Those are my two cents! Congratulations on the book, I hope it is a smashing success.

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Erin • May 30, 2007 at 1:44 pm

I wish I had a suggestion. (I am struggling to come up with a title for my second.)All I have is sympathy, having been where you are.

Sigh.

I cannot wait to get my hands on your book, though!! CANNOT WAIT! :)

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Amy • May 30, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Another de-lurker here:

How about “A Tale of Three Exes: [insert subtitle here]”? Sorry. That’s the best my normally creative mind could conjure up at the moment. Haha.

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Phoenix • May 30, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Personally, I prefer “Half of Me: Confessions of a Pasta Queen.” I loathe the donut title.

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gin • May 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm

i guess i’ll be the solo vote for not going with half of me – it’s way too serious of a title for me. i’ve always loved laurie notaro’s book titles (The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life, We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive, I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl – she has more as well) – i can’t say that i have any title offerings but funny would grab me way quicker that a serious testimonal title. my 2 cents

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jen • May 30, 2007 at 2:03 pm

I also loved Rachel’s “Half of Me: How I blogged my way out of the plus size section” and the “Losing My Butter Half.”

I’m going to BlogHer and hope to get a chance to meet you in person while I’m there. :)

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ap • May 30, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Donuts – no.

Half of me – yes. This intriguing phrase is what drew me to your web site in the first place.

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Nic • May 30, 2007 at 2:28 pm

I also say “Half of me”. No subtitles. No further explanations. It speaks for itself. It is the title that first drew me to your fantastic and inspirational blog and it is that title that similarly would make me pick up the book. And, haveing said that, I can’t wait to read it. You deserve every success. XXX

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bazu • May 30, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Oh my gosh- 118 comments?!?! Your book is going to be a best-seller. I just want to agree with the idea- why shouldn’t your book have the same title as your blog- Half of Me? It’s such a unique idea- you worked off half of yourself, PQ! It would grab attention for sure.

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Kate • May 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Kissing my Granny Panties Goodbye : Pasta Queen’s Weight Loss Journey

Excuse me, does this motivation come in a size 24? : How I lost half of me

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cindy weber • May 30, 2007 at 3:49 pm

Donut title was funny.

Half of Me, Pasta Queen, none of that is funny if you are purely looking for comedy in the title. Everyone is so accustomed to your blog I think they want some of that in the title. But if you are looking to sell this book you need other suggestions from a different source. And even though Half of Me is what may have brought people to your blog, they still had to read it and see if they wanted to continue reading… and if they did, it was for free. Actually picking up a book, opening it, reading a few pages and then deciding if you want to spend $ on it is a different story.

I wish you good luck! Cindy

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jodi • May 30, 2007 at 4:00 pm

i agree with most – half of me would be perfect… interesting, eye-catching, and amazing… :o)

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deanna • May 30, 2007 at 4:09 pm

I love the breaking up title, it’s so witty!! Damn Lane Bryant! Just suggestions, brain storming…some work, some don’t

1) Breaking up with the Fat Girl : A Weight Loss Memoir

2) I can touch my toes! : A Weight Loss Memoir

3) So, that’s what my toes look like : A Weight Loss Memoir

4) From crawling to running : A Weight Loss Memoir

5) Naturally Fat : A Weight Loss Memoir

6) A Portly Girl’s Journey to Physically Fit: A Weight Loss Memoir

7) From the Couch to the Treadmill : A Weight Loss Memoir

8) Desperation to Dedication :A Weight Loss Memoir

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deanna • May 30, 2007 at 4:17 pm

I do agree with the Half of Me title – I love it, and it is what drew me to the blog int he first place, however, marketing and selling a book is quite different than writing a blog – even though that’s where it started. I feel we are all tied to the blog in some way or another (purley because it is fantastic) and there is a connection and the need to keep it the same however, this is about much more than the blog, as PQ said herself.

I am sure you will have some very clever title in no time, I just hope we helped you brain storm in one way or another

breaking bread to breaking molds: a weight loss memoir

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Heather • May 30, 2007 at 4:25 pm

I don’t like the donut title.

As someone who always randomly buys books I’ve never heard of before— I think Half of Me WOULD catch attention — and then you have the back cover (or inside flap, wherever you intend on putting the description) to show how amusing it is!

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Cat • May 30, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Goodbye moo-moo dress, hello mini skirt.

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blest • May 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Okay…this is what just came to me:

Half Of Me

This aint no magic trick

With a cover image of the lady in the box being sawed in half.

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Jenn Kentopp • May 30, 2007 at 4:41 pm

– Going AWOL From the Macaroni Military: PQ’s Weight Loss Memoirs

– From Heavy Sitter to Heavy Hitter: A Weight Loss Memoir (good if you do boxing for exercise!!)

– Fleshy to Flashy: A Weight Loss Memoir

Just a few to suggest! LOL

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Lindsey • May 30, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Okay, so now this is 4 cents. I just wanted to agree with a comment I heard from a person or two about the Lane Bryant thing. I’m glad that that title didn’t work out because I think you would have lost or failed to attract a good set of people. I’ve always considered myself to have weight issues and although they aren’t as significant as yours were, I could still stand to lose 30-40 lbs. However, this never put me in sizes where I could shop at Lane Bryant (I thought it was just another retailer like Ann Taylor) so I didn’t know it was a store that catered to plus sizes. So, unfortunately, I would have totally missed the point and missed your book—and that would have been a true tragedy.

I think Half of Me or any of the variations thereon reaches not only the folks that would have gotten the Lane Bryant allusion, but also those of us who have less weight to lose but can still relate to a lot of what you write about.

Also, without the Lane Bryant title, you will also be able to reach more men. I know men probably aren’t an overwhelming part of your core audience in general, but they probably are still rather significant number-wise. I think many more men would be attracted to the Half of Me title than any of the other suggestions (especially the over the top girly ones).

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the veggie paparazzo • May 30, 2007 at 5:44 pm

I’m with nearly everyone else. The donut joke gets an instantly bad gut reaction from me, whereas Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir–with that picture of half of you on the cover–combined with a book that turned out to be true and touching and funny and inspiring (as your blog is) would sucker me right in. I’d buy it for all my friends, because it talks about weight loss but avoids cliches/fat jokes on the cover.

NYT Bestseller, here you come!

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PJ (RightNow) • May 30, 2007 at 6:02 pm

I like the name of your blog as a title.

Also, I didn’t like the donut name at all. I wouldn’t buy it, because I didn’t get fat through binging on donuts constantly, and actually tend to resent the stereotype many people have that this is the sole cause of overweight (and not metabolic issues, food intolerances, etc. contributing); I’ve gained far more weight not-eating than eating. I see that title and I expect someone to tell me about how they were so psychologically messed up they just couldn’t quit binging on a dozen donuts every morning, and how they kicked that habit. Turns me off totally. I’m far more interested in someone “real” who has grit and humor and makes it seem possible for others. Which you do.

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PJ (RightNow) • May 30, 2007 at 6:11 pm

The Real Me is HOT!

A 200 pound weight-loss memoir

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yo • May 30, 2007 at 6:48 pm

You know, on second thought, I think it’s the AFTER THE COLON part your editor and you need to work on. Assume the front part is “half of me” :

Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir doesn’t catch the eye. Did you lose five lbs? 50? Did you get gastic bypass? Did you come down with bubonic plague? I have no idea why I should read this.

BUT something that really has the “wow” factor is referencing the 200 lbs you lost, your young age (20s, single, “chick lit narrator” style), and the fact you did it without surgery. So:

Half of Me: How I worked off 200 pounds

Half of Me: How I lost 200 lbs without losing my mind

Half of Me: How one girl lost 200 lbs and got on with living.

You get the idea.

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yeah • May 30, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Yeah, and the “donuts” line doesn’t work for most fat people. Did you really eat tons of donuts a day? That’s like a thin person’s idea of how fat people get fat. Most fat chicks are donut-o-phobic cause it’s, like, what Homer Simpson binges on.

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Jessica Burgess • May 30, 2007 at 6:55 pm

I have some thoughts! I’ll shoot you an e-mail.

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s • May 30, 2007 at 6:56 pm

“How To Lose 200 Pounds WITH Really Trying: Memoirs of a Former Fat Girl”

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s • May 30, 2007 at 7:01 pm

“True Confessions of an Ex Fat Chick”

“Shocking Confessions of an Ex Fat Girl”

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starbird • May 30, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Joining some many early comments, I agree that “Half of Me” is a great start, and I don’t mind “Confessions of Pasta Queen” as a phrase after the colon.

One commenter worried that you wouldn’t be able to do any other follow-on books with that title, though, and I beg to disagree. How about “My Other Half: Further confessions of the Pasta Queen,” or recognizing another earlier commenter, “My Butter Half: Pasta Queen Loves to Eat… now;” or “Half a Glass…: When it’s water, you can drink all you want,” and so on.

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e • May 30, 2007 at 8:12 pm

I DON’T think the “Pasta Queen” handle should be involved.

It’s too confusing to someone who doesn’t know the backstory. Are you some kind of lady chef? A former compulsive eater of pasta? A wanna-be Martha Stewart? Is this some kind of 2003-era, outdated Atkins reference? Or did you lose all your weight by ONLY eating pasta? People will be confused and put off by the reference. It’s not accessible — it’s too needing of explanation.

The great thing about the Lane Bryant reference was that it conveyed, in pithy fashion, that you are a young, formerly-fat woman, because, for the most part, Lane Bryant is where young fat women at the mall have to go to shop.

So references to “girl” or “chick” might work in the title.

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MM (Beth) • May 30, 2007 at 9:12 pm

What a quandry! I too, like half of me. Plain and simple. I think, then, you’d get more people whom are also interested in the more serious stuff, too. Although am also a BIG fan of the funny… I don’t think “funny” necessarily will sell it. The whole “half of me” part really does, it intrigues the reader – and makes us think, “wait, wow!”

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maureen • May 30, 2007 at 10:09 pm

No on the donut title.

And I hope you will not use the words “diary” or “confessions” in any way in the title. Those are two very boring words.

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Miranda • May 30, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I’m a lurker too….Here are some suggestions I found poking around your blog.

Warning: Contains Food

I No Fear Tank Tops

Willpower is Overrated

I’m a Diet Superhero

Kicked in the Fat Pants

I’m not fat *and* crazy

Carbohydrates are from Saturn

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Kathy • May 30, 2007 at 10:45 pm

I’ve been involved with title/subtitle discussions for 7 books (my own & my husband’s), and I truly think (and have been told by many editors) that an excellent subtitle is all you need to get the “funny” part. “Half Of Me” is just too good not to use as your title. I would buy a book called “Half Of Me” in a heartbeat, even if it weren’t funny. The subtitle should either be funny itself or “explain” that this is a humorous take on weight loss.

Half of Me has it all–it’s obvious it’s about losing a sh*tload of weight, and it’s obvious it’s a first-person account. So you don’t need the word memoir in the subtitle.

I agree that “pastaqueen” is confusing, and just raises a bunch of questions. “Half of Me” is snappy and to the point. And easy to remember!

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Allie • May 30, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of comparing the amount of weight I’ve lost with an actual object (I’ve lost 2 toddlers?! shut up!).. so maybe if you’re going for funny and almost a sort of chick-lit-ish, breezy vibe how about something along the lines of “How to Lose a Man: Or at Least His Equivalent in Pounds”

(after typing that, I realize that it could be offensive, but I don’t mean anything negative by it and would love to lose my own man-pounds. And damn do I love a good run-on sentence!)

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Coco • May 31, 2007 at 2:35 am

Long-time reader and lover of your blog . . . but I HATE the donuts. Don’t have to time (today) to read ALL the comments, but I have to agree with those that were in favor of “Half of Me” + subtitle, either funny or including “memoir.” It’s simply brilliant! (with your signature graphic, of course) Good luck!!!!! ;~)

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jae • May 31, 2007 at 3:08 am

I’ve only read the first few (3)comments and I agree with them: “Half Of Me” is a really big eye catcher and I would read that book. Really, it’s why I even set eyes on your blog, because, come on, for someone to lose 1/2 their weight and still have a sense of humor and keeping it real is awesome. Now I’ll go back and read the other comments. :) ~j

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teebopop • May 31, 2007 at 5:28 am

HATE the Donuts title.

From Big Boned and Bulky to Fit and Fabulous

Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir

From Food Junkie to Fashion Junkie

Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir

Finally Meeting My Better Half … Me!

Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir

My Love Affair With Elastic Is Over!

How I lost Half of Me and Threw Out the Fat Pants!

Well, that’s about all I can come up with. Good luck. I hope that when you have a book signing it will be in MY town.

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Laura • May 31, 2007 at 5:56 am

Half of Me is a great title. It’s what got my attention over your blog for a start.

I think you’ve just been too close to it for too long.. I wouldn’t want to pick up anything with a too zany title – makes me feel like I would be reading an airport book or similar. Make the blurb and cover witty, that is the right balance for me!

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Pam • May 31, 2007 at 7:38 am

Have to agree with everyone else, the Donut thing is trite and way too cutesy.

I like the Half of Me idea, also something with “Another day, another ounce”. I’m afraid I’m not being terribly helpful here, but then I’m not a fancy pants writer with a book deal.

Best of luck and can’t wait for the book!

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Heather • May 31, 2007 at 8:34 am

Zelda’s idea— “”Everything Must Go!: How I Took 50% Off And Saved Myself” [Picture the Everything Must Go on a big Red Sale tag].”

I like that.

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Jen • May 31, 2007 at 9:43 am

How about

“Does This Make Me Look Fat?: How I lost Half of Me”

With the obligatory picture of you now wearing a pair of your old pants?

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mirm • May 31, 2007 at 10:53 am

(alliteration with some-one else’s fat pants idea):

Farewell to Fat Pants

or

Big Girls Don’t Fry

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Ar'Nath • May 31, 2007 at 11:10 am

I am a 24 year old Web & Graphic Designer from Chennai, India. I am a rookie in the battle of the bulge. God, the first note i wrote to remind me to slim down is so ancient that the paper has practically become yellow. I have been reading your blog for quite some time now, and i have only one thing to say, “Jesus H. Christ”. Thank you for being one of my biggest inspirations on my wright loss quest. Okay, i’ll stop now before i go into how i love your writing style and all other such things. Yeah, i know it is repetitive, but it is true.

Allright, here are my two cents for your Book’s title :

1. Drop that NOW! : Really, you should

2. Be a Loser : and be Darn happy about it

3. Darn it, I’m a loser : and it feels great

4. I Lost a Close Friend : and I’m happy she’s gone

There it is, hope you like it.

yours truly,

Ar’Nath

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Sandra • May 31, 2007 at 11:16 am

How I Divorced Half of Me

and

Gained My New Best Friend

Memoirs of Pasta Queen

Facist Regime Ruler of The Macaroni Military

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Jess • May 31, 2007 at 11:20 am

MM (Beth) has a picture of her baby on her blog and the title is Yes, In Fact, You Can Butter the Rolls. I wonder if she’d let you use that for a subtitle…Half of Me: Yes, you could butter my rolls. Or somehow work that phrase onto the cover. I thought that was a brilliant title, for her beautiful baby or the average 372 pounder.

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Mymsie • May 31, 2007 at 2:01 pm

HOLY BALLS – tons o’ comments on this one! I like “Dear Donuts, We’re Through: A Weight-Loss Memoir” but suggest a minor tweak. Instead of donuts, I’d use a food you truly binged on, unless you actually did eat lots of donuts, although they’re a bit cliche. For example, I’m overweight but don’t ever eat ’em – they just don’t appeal to me. Anyway I’d say the stranger the food the better – I think it will come across as authentic and intriguing and relatable.

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Mymsie • May 31, 2007 at 2:07 pm

P.S. Just skimmed the comments. Totes agree that “Half of Me” is strong, compelling, and marketable.

P.P.S. “Pasta Queen” is endearing too, especially since you follow a lo-carb diet. That might deter some readers though, if they think your book is preaching a particular diet.

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almond panda • May 31, 2007 at 3:53 pm

I *really* don’t like the donuts title and wouldn’t pick it up in a store, but I like a quick tweak of one of the suggestions: Breaking up with my XXL: A Weight-Loss Memoir

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digsite • May 31, 2007 at 6:15 pm

I think the fact that your blog is already called “Half of Me” is a major influence in my mind. You already have a huge following and I think it’d be important to keep the name.

Here’s my brainstorm.

How I broke up with my other half.

Breaking up with half of me.

How I dumped my other half.

Good riddance to half of me.

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Christine • May 31, 2007 at 8:24 pm

No to “donuts.”

“Half of Me: A Weight Loss Memoir” does sound good, despite the relative lack of funny.

If your publisher wants humor, you could go a bit more in that direction with a change to “Half-Assed: A Weight Loss Memoir.”

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anji • May 31, 2007 at 8:40 pm

OMG, i saw someone post this on your next entry and I love this title:

“Half of Me: Motivation Schmotivation. (A Survivor’s Guide to Weightloss)”

the second part has your humour, the first half (the half of a half of a half?) would appease your faithful following and I think it’s pretty funny, amusing, intelligent all in one! Good job whoever it was that posted it :P

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Jane • May 31, 2007 at 9:45 pm

I’m with (nearly) everyone else. Nix the donuts and embrace “Half of Me.” (Zelda/Heather beat me to posting the “50% Off” version.) If they want to do “funny,” they can do a cartoon version of your cover photo. (“Half of Me: a lighthearted memoir of transformation) That’s my take on it.

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Corned Beef • June 1, 2007 at 12:19 am

I don’t like the food ones because, as someone else pointed out above, it buys into the “fat people eat a lot” thing in a way that I don’t think that you do.

But fat people do eat a lot. How do you think she lost 200 pounds? By eating more than she used to?

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mo • June 1, 2007 at 3:32 am

I am not feeling the donuts title either. It feels too predictable and it wasn’t just a matter of dropping the donuts- it was so much more than that. I also vote for the “Half of Me” vibe. It gives you good street cred- its clear you lost a lot and have paid your dues and lived to tell the tale. I have to say that I like what the “braeking up with Lane Bryant” conjurs up but withouth the LB part, it doesn’t work. There was a store on the way to the beach called “Ample and Alluring”. What a name.

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Kriss • June 1, 2007 at 10:40 am

Sorry, but the donuts thing sounds condescending to me.

How about: “Chub Rub: A Weight-Loss Memoir” or

“No More Chub Rub: A Weight-Loss Memoir”

It’s simple, kinda silly, and won’t offend us foodies.

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elty • June 1, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Hi PQ [–reposting in the right place as requested!]

Donuts–meh. I wouldn’t buy it, because it sounds annoyingly cutesy. Which would be okay if you were annoying and cutesy.

I really liked the “True Tales” bit that someone suggested, and I agree with the 7-book-titles poster about how words referring to the first-person account (“memoirs” etc) are unnecessary if you use “Half of Me” (which seems like a no-brainer). So, how about:

“Half of Me: True Tales of How I Lost 200lbs”

All the T’s are interesting…? Though granted, not funny.

“Half of Me: TT of How I Ate Catfood and Other Weightloss Adventures”

“Half of Me: Motivation Schmotivation. (A Survivor’s Guide to Weightloss)”

Best of luck!

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sarah • June 3, 2007 at 9:50 am

Ok I’m back after days of stewing over this and reading all the other’s comments. I’m going to have to say that I agree with the majority here. I LOVE the title Half of Me. No it’s not knock you over hilarious or anything but it will pique the brain of the reader. I only foud your blog by reading somebodies blog roll and Half of Me was the first one I clicked on… Why? Because of the name.

SO why don’t you make the second half the funny part?

Half of Me: Memoirs of a De-throned Pasta Queen

Half of Me: Memoirs of the Uphill Battle Wearing nothing but Fatpants

Half of Me: The Memiors of My Unthin-ness

Half of Me: Memoirs of the Mahem that is Weight Loss

Ok again, I cant think of anything else. I’ll be back if come up with something more

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Allison • June 5, 2007 at 2:42 pm

I would stick to “memoir” in whatever title you choose. All the suggestions with “how”, even the “how I” titles, might be misread to mean that you are putting forth some kind of how-to guide. I like the “Dear Donuts” version best so far.

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Allison • June 5, 2007 at 3:15 pm

This is a stretch, but what about “From Fat to Flat: Victories and Casualties of Weight Loss”? I don’t know if you want to talk about your boobs right away, but it seems like so many books out there about weight loss and self-transformation are just so darn positive and one-sided. I like the idea of putting something down-to-earth in the title bc you are extremely down-to-earth and people from all sides and walks of life can identify with that. But donuts are cool, too.

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gina • June 6, 2007 at 12:05 am

I really hate the donut title. I loved the Lane Bryant title. It sucks that you can’t use that. I think the Lane Bryant reference was one that young overweight women could relate to. I know it really struck a chord with me. I was watching What Not to Wear last week and the girl on there had just lost a lot of weight, but still had large breasts. Clinton and Stacy took her to Lane Bryant to find tops that would fit and she completely freaked out because she said she had worked so hard to lose weight and having to shop there again was really difficult. So, I think you really tapped into something with the LB title. You need to come up with something with the same kind of relatability. I don’t think the donut thing does that. Of all the suggestions you’ve received so far, I like Half of Me the most. I would buy it.

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gina • June 6, 2007 at 12:30 am

If someone can get a book published called: “How Walmart is Destroying America and the World: And What You Can Do About It” I would think your Lane Bryant title would be ok. I loved the LB title!! I am sad you can’t use it.

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songlines • June 10, 2007 at 5:15 pm

I’m not overweight, but still enjoy your blog for its funny, smart, and honest writing. Yes, there’s a built-in readership of people who will buy the book because they too want to lose weight, but you may want to target the book to a wider audience than that. (Sorry, the pun was unintentional.) Don’t forget that yours is a good “human interest” story too – it’s not just a diet or weight-loss memoir. – After all, how many of the people who read Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void plan to climb mountains in Peru?

So: no to the “Doughnuts…” title. It’s too narrow in its appeal. I also don’t find it funny at all.

Also no to the Lane Bryant title for its similarly narrow appeal. Lane Bryant just doesn’t have the same brand recognition as Walmart. Yes, most of the blog-readers know the brand, but readers in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Britain don’t. If you’re thinking about international book sales – which you and your publisher should be! – you would then have to the change the title anyway. Ditto if the book gets translated.

If it comes to that, although doughnuts are certainly known in other countries, their ubiquity seems particularly North American. And in the UK, “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” has already been used as a book title! [smile]

I’m with the majority of your respondents: Half of Me is an excellent title. Catchy, smart, informative, and witty. Much like your writing, in fact. As “yo” suggested, perhaps what your publisher needs to do is work on the subtitle and the graphics.

Best of luck with its publication!

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songlines • June 10, 2007 at 6:24 pm

I’m not overweight, and still enjoy reading your blog for its smart, honest, humorous writing. The “Donuts…” title seems too limiting, and I don’t find it funny. You have a real “human interest story” to tell, so you should target it to a wider audience (pun unintentional). After all, Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void was/is read by thousands of people who had (and have) no plans to go mountaineering in Peru..!

Similarly, the Lane Bryant title isn’t a good one. Lane Bryant has neither stores nor name recognition outside the United States. English-language readers in Canada, Britain, Australia, etc. won’t have a clue who Lane Bryant is: divorce attorneys, perhaps? Furthermore, if you’re thinking of future international translations – and you should be! – you’ll probably have to change the title anyway.

Also, I wonder if “Donuts…” is also too specific to North America. Of course, readers in other regions may know what doughnut stores are, but – for example – the UK fattening fast food counterpart would probably be a “chippie”. And “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” has already been used as a title [smile]!

So. A strong vote for Half of Me:… . It’s witty, expresses the theme, is memorable, and brief. As other readers have suggested, perhaps your publisher could work on the cover design and subtitle. Get “blurbs” and quotes to highlight the humour, and “half-portraits” (perhaps the “before” half on the front, the “after” half on the back?) to point to the theme. Those paired half-portraits, combined with the title, will really “pop up”!

The title also works in another way. You are more than your body, overweight or otherwise. And the title alludes to the fact that the “real you” is also your personality, intelligence, smarts, humour, and spirit. There’s more to you than those 200 or so lbs.

Best wishes with your book’s publication!

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Sue • June 15, 2007 at 6:59 am

wow, i am impressed! with this site…

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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