About this time last year I started writing a book. I’d never done that before and so I was a little intimidated and unsure how to proceed. Fortunately I had an amazing literary editor Cynthia Zigmund at Second City Publishing to steward me through the process, until I was able to secure a book deal with Prometheus Books.
Having over 25 years of experience in design, advertising and digital branding and brand building I thought that finding a title and sub-title would be the least of my issues. Turns out that coming up with a title which both encapsulates the essential premise AND is suitably distinctive and accessible to a cross-section of desirable audiences isn’t all that easy.
My book is about movements, how they form and the illogical leaps that often drive and shape them. We were looking for a title that captured my focus on emotion as a driving factor in becoming involved in a movement or in being dedicated to a brand–how emotion overrides reason and fills in factual gaps to make an idea make sense to an individual and a group. Indeed emotion is the engine of history, commerce and culture. The initial working title had been Social Contracts but after further discussion it was decided that this was too formal and legalistic sounding to appeal to a broad consumer and business audience, and so we brainstormed literally hundreds of names, including:
The Emotion Chip – The Illogic Chip – Social Pacts - Socio-Pacts – Psycho-Pacts – Social Attractions – Culture Waves – Culturenomics – Illogical Leaps – Psychonomics – Psychonomically Challenged - Illogically Challenged – Citizen Illogic – Illogical Affairs – Crowd Love – Waves in the Crowd – Making Waves – Proteus Waves – The Waves of Proteus – Proteus Movements – The Proteus Factor – Harnessing the Power of Social Movements – Make a Movement – Making Movements – The Anatomy of Movements – Movement Tides – Movement Mayhem – Mad Movements – The Fabric of Movements – Why Movements Live and Die – How Movements Live and Die – The Rise and Fall of Movements – A Brief History of Movements – The Heart of the Movement – The Art of Movements – Movements in Motion – Movements in Emotion – Riding Movements – Ride the Movement – Movements Rising – The Emotion of Movements – Movementology – Moveology – Movement Craft – Crafting Movements – Crafting the Movement – Big Shifts – Making Big Shifts – Making Big Leaps – The Big Shift – Shift – Movements in Time – Shifts in the Culture – Culture Contracts…..and finally…
Culture Shifts: How Illogical Leaps Shape Our World—And Worldview
And from all these options one title and subtitle were eventually chosen, namely Culture Shifts, which has been my working title up until this point. And after living with a name while you are writing a book you inevitably become attached to it. So as we moved into the last phase of editing and refinement prior to the launch in 2012, it was painful for me to acknowledge that we still didn’t have a name, which was at the same time memorable, accessible and immediate in terms of capturing the essence of the narrative. Sensing my frustration my wife Natalie did offer up Shifts Happen which seemed apt, but we brainstormed a number of new options, including:
The Illogic Gap – Mind the Illogic Gap – The Age of Illogic – Welcome To The Age Of Illogic – Being Human – The Madness of Being Human – You’re Making No Sense – Hey. You’re Making No Sense – You Make No Sense – You Do Realize That Makes No Sense? – Why We Make No Sense – The Human Flaw – The Flaw In Our Thinking – The Flaw In The Movement – Illogic Is The Beginning of Wisdom – The Beginning Of Wisdom – Illogic Is The Engine Of History – Why Emotion Is The Engine Of History – The Emotion Engine…and last but not least…..
Second That Emotion
Second That Emotion: How Decisions, Trends, and Movements Are Shaped
This speaks to the breadth of the book, allowing me to focus at any time on history, politics, cultural trends, and the appeal of brands. It captures the power of emotion in bringing about change and in changing what we think, how we think, and who and what we become committed to.
I hope you like the new title and subtitle and will start spreading the word, as I don’t plan to change it again!