My latest book was briefly released under one title, Shore Bets! The Delmarva Fun Guide, but now it goes by another title, Shore Fun: The Delmarva Wanderer’s Guide. What’s up with that?
The book got off to a fabulous start out of the gate with that first title—press releases, TV appearances, initial sales. It even landed at the top of a best-seller list in regional travel, besting tomes about boring locales like New York City and New England.
But things went south when I moved into stage two, advertising.
The villain of the story is artificial intelligence. The magical bots that try to keep us all safe from unsavory social media content proved unable to navigate a simple play on words. The bots in charge decided that “Shore Bets” and “Sure Bets” were the exact same thing. Hence, my first title amounted to an immoral promotion of gambling.
“No advertising allowed because your title is irredeemably evil.”
Oh, come on! You can’t be serious! I tried again. The bots were adamant.
“Try to commit this sin again and we’ll suspend your account.”
Sigh. I tried to argue the point in an online chat. Before I could even finish explaining myself, the fake AI person on the other end of the line made an announcement in the typed equivalent of the voice of God:
“This chat will now be closed.”
Amazingly, I managed to get a real person on the phone. She hung up on me. So, well, I gave up. I pulled out my checkbook to pay for various redesign services and new ISBN numbers.
Now I have a new title. And now I will commence trying to rebuild my lost sales momentum. Sigh.
If you are lucky enough to have a copy of this book with that original title, congrats on your future collector’s item! For everyone else, here is info (including where to buy) on a book with a new, heavenly, wholesome, and beatific title: Shore Fun! The Wanderer’s Guide to Delmarva.
BONUS: My cheesy-but-fun visual summary of this turn of events:
–posted by Jim Duffy for Secrets of the Eastern Shore/Whimbrel Creations LLC in May 2023