A Tale of Two Titles

by Jeff Abbott on July 28, 2008

I’ve been asked in both the guestbook and in email and at signings why the new book has one title in the US (Collision) and another title in the UK (Run). There is an answer posted in the Q+A on the website, but I’ll go into a bit more detail here.
My UK editor had long liked the title Run and felt that this was the perfect book to use that title. He felt the short, snappy titles have worked very well for me in the UK market (which is actually my biggest book market, even though it is a fifth of the size of the US market) and he really, really wanted to use Run. I didn’t have an objection to the title–my only concern was confusion with an earlier book, Cut and Run. It doesn’t seem to be a problem so far. Run emphasizes the action of the book, and I think that’s what my UK publisher wanted.
My US editor really liked the title Collision, which more stresses the intersection of the two very different lives of Ben and Pilgrim, the main characters of the book. Ann Patchett had a literary novel called Run coming out a few months before mine, and I think that also played a role in deciding to go with Collision.
I don’t prefer one title more than the other. Both stress key elements of the book and I think both are very honest and fair titles for the kind of book I’ve written. In each case, it was a marketing decision geared to the needs and tastes of two different markets.

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