My Book Needs a Title… Can You Spare a Few Seconds to Vote?

It’s been a little while since I talked about the book I wrote over the summer about high school atheists but preparation for its release is kicking into high gear.

The plan is to have the book available around Thanksgiving (!!!). A lot of things need to happen before then, including picking a title, and that’s where I could use your help today.

Here’s the dilemma: Some titles are “Google-friendly” and get straight to the point. Other titles might be more catchy/memorable, but if random people can’t find your book online, is it really worth it? My editor and I ran through a list of titles and we would like to know what you like the best. If you prefer a different one altogether, feel free to leave it in the comments. (Keep in mind all the titles below will probably have a subtitle of some sort.)

The poll closes at midnight tonight.

Thanks a bunch.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://preliatorcausa.blogspot.com/ Joé McKen

    Looks like I’m the first voter, wee.

    If I may explain my rationale (in case anyone gives a hoot):

    • “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide” – My pick. Nice and catchy, and it gives a good indication of what the book’s about (a reference about the struggles faced by godless students). It’s also decent with SEO, I’d reckon.

    • “Young, Proud, and Atheist” – A decent contender, but I just thought the above was better.

    • “High School Atheists” – Feels somewhat unmemorable, and it doesn’t really explain what the book is about; ie. what about high school atheists, specifically? Their troubles? Their social lives? Their favorite hair colors? Etc.

    • “The Friendly Atheist Goes to School” – I take it you were going for the name recognition with this one, but to be honest, it felt like it diverted the focus to yourself (putting your moniker right in the title) rather than to the actual subject of the book. It also doesn’t make it too clear what the book is about; it makes me think it would be about your experience with giving talks at high schools or some such, when I don’t think that’s the point of your book. (Though that mental image may be just me.)

    • “Unsaved by the Bell” – Cute, but doesn’t make it immediately apparent what it’s about, exactly.

    The preceding has been my 2¢.

  • Aaron

    Survival Guides FTW.

  • Oz Tilson

    I voted for the FAGS title but I think I like the survival guide title better- I just don’t remember you talking about this being so much a guide as a book of research.

    I don’t know how you feel about the fact that FAGS is an easy abbreviation for the title with your site name in it.

    Either way- can’t wait to see it come out!

  • http://christophersisk.com Christopher Sisk

    “Give me an ‘A’!

  • Whio

    I voted for Young, Proud and Atheist, but as soon as I submitted, I saw the last option and I’m glad that one is winning – Young Atheist Survival Guide is great. Unsaved by the Bell is actually horrible. I know you’re ‘friendly’ but I hate any and all religion taint and the whole ‘saved’ thing is particularly revolting. Linking us to that even by saying ‘unsaved’- I don’t know, I find it most def not cute. As if there were such a thing.

  • Greg1466

    I voted for The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide, but I also have to say that I really like Christopher’s “Give me an ‘A’”.

    As Joe McKen pointed out, the problem with Give Me an ‘A’ is that it doesn’t convey the subject of the book. However, since you have already said that there will be a subtitle, may I suggest:  Give Me an ‘A’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.

    • b00ger

      count me as plus 1 to Greg’s suggestion.

    • Andrew

      I also concur with this (Give Me an ‘A’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide)

      • Randomfactor

         Yes, much better.  The typography of the “A” is obvious.

      • Baby_Raptor

        This idea right here! I love it!

      • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

        Yes, this one.

    • Barefoot Bree

       “Give Me an ‘A’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.”

      Yes yes.

    • Iota

      Give Me an ‘A+’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/A37GL7VKR3W6ACSIZPH7EID3LI rlrose63

      Agreed… this one has a levity to it that the Survival Guide title (which I voted for as well) could use but not corny like the Unsaved title.

    • Drew M.

      I’m digging this one too.

    • viaten

      “Give Me an ‘A’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide” gets my vote.

  • Cascadiaj

    Friendly Atheist’s (High) School Survival (Guide)
    for SEO name recognition while linking to back to the blog and getting into the Survival Guide zeitgeist.

  • Sailor

    I like Give me an A as well.
    maybe if it needs to say more
    Give me an A for atheism

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    Unsaved By The Bell: A Young Atheist’s Survival Guide 

    • Kaoru Negisa

      This is exactly the suggestion I came here to make. Way to beat me to it!

      Seriously, I think if you combine some of these you can get the best of both worlds with a subtitle.

  • DKeane123

    Didn’t really love any of them – voted for YASG

  • Dave Roscoe

    “Hey, Teacher! Leave those atheist kids alone!”

    Okay, only kidding.

    I really like “Give Me an ‘A’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.”

    • Dervilia

      My vote is for this as well ^

  • Doctor Jen

    I don’t think I would worry about Google-friendliness because a search will pick up more than just matches against the title of the book.  Any blurb will obviously include a reference to “The Friendly Atheist” and so will match up even if that’s not part of the title.  That said, I actually liked The Friendly Atheist Goes to School the best (unfortunate acronym notwithstanding.)  The survival guide title probably has the most appeal to the kids themselves.  “Unsaved” is funny, but too much of an invitation for idiots to complain that you are “converting” people.

    Now that I think about it, probably your key audience (and the people most likely to only come across the book by “accident”) are middle- and high-schoolers.  People who follow your blog will know about it and find it, regardless.  Ok. My vote will be for “survival guide.”

    • allein

      I agree on Unsaved…I couldn’t quite pinpoint what I didn’t like about it but you articulated it well.

      I like the other suggestions with the “Survival Guide” part as the subtitle with a catchier main title (Give Me an A is great). :)

  • cathouseumbrella

    “Unsaved by the Bell” all the way, it’s by far the most memorable of the bunch and the least stodgy-sounding as well.

    • Sarah

      Might I suggest that an an 80′s-90′s tv show reference like “Unsaved by the Bell” will probably sound a bit out-dated to teenagers today?

      • cathouseumbrella

        You might suggest that, but I didn’t see anything in his description of the book indicating that it was aimed at teenagers.

  • Thalfon

    Is this book intended primarily to be read by (a) the youth themselves, (b) others interested in the topic, or (c) both? I’d suspect (c), in which case the title “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide” might make it seem like a book not intended for those who aren’t young atheists. In that case I might pick “Young, Proud and Atheist.” If it’s particularly geared to youth readers however, then yes, “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide” is the best choice IMO.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      It is indeed geared toward both demographics.

  • Nick Matthaes

    I like the title Unsaved by the Bell: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide

  • Diana Cunningham

    “Unsaved by the Bell: A Young Atheist’s Survival Guide”

  • Theresa

    I also like the suggested title of Give Me an A: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.

  • Don Gwinn

    I voted for “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide,” but this comment is yet another vote for GIVE ME AN “A”: THE YOUNG ATHEIST’S SURVIVAL GUIDE.

  • Lurker111

    _Using the Mind God Gave You_

    Would likely pick up a lot of people who REALLY need to read it.  Perhaps it can come out with this title in an alternate edition.
     

    • allein

      I kinda like that too, though it seems a bit more confrontational than the book sounds like it’s intended to be. I like your reasoning, though ;)

  • Randomfactor

    I dislike the first one the least.  Not crazy about any of them.

  • RobertoTheChi

    I like Give me an A… The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide the best.

  • http://goddoesnt.blogspot.com/ James A. Lindsay

    Unsaved by the Bell: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide

    Punchy title, search-friendly subtitle.

  • BeasKnees

    Give Me an ‘A’: The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide is excellent.

  • Joan

    I voted for “The Friendly Atheist Goes To School” because I thought it would be good to have the name recognition in the title, but it looks like I’m outvoted.  Rest assured that I will buy it no matter what you call it.  Good luck with the book!

  • Bill1957

    I voted for Unsaved by the Bell because it was the only option that didn’t have the word Atheist in it. In as much as that is what the book will be about, the word Atheist is rigger word that will make, IMHO, a lot of non-atheist reject it outright and not get past the title.  This may not be a big issue, depending on the target audience for your book, but should be something to consider if the desire is to reach beyond the already enlightened ones :-)
    Either way though, good on you for writing the book, I hope it is wildly successful and will inspire more high school Atheist to be more vocal.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I suggest a catchy title and a straight forward, Google friendly subtitle, such as
    Unsaved by the Bell: A High School Atheist’s Survival Guide

  • Annie

    I just asked my soon-to-be high school atheist, and she and I both agreed on “Give me an A! The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.”

  • Mike Geries

     I voted for “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide”, but also feel that the addition of “Give me an A” does add a bit. It could make the cover graphic stand out

    Give me an

    The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide

  • Mike Geries

    sorry, it appears the atheist “A” symbol graphic did not show in my comment

  • Liqualmier

    Unsaved by the Bell is my favorite.

  • Marella

    I voted for High School Atheists, the least popular for obvious reasons, because I think it is the most likely title to be picked up by the religious as well as the high school aged non-believer. I don’t really know what the book’s about though. If it is a how to guide to making Atheism more prominent in high schools or something like that then maybe the Young Atheist’s Survival Guide would indeed be better.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I like “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide”. It’s quick, to the point, and piqued my interest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Unsaved by the Bell gets my vote simply because it made me chuckle.

  • A Reader

    My favs are “Unsaved By the Bell” and “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide”. Maybe becuase Saved By the Bell references are still weirdly popular at my school :)


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