This was almost not fine

Here’s a comprehensive list of book title ideas that I considered for This Is Fine. One of the biggest things that delayed the book was choosing the right title. It kept me up nights and stressed me out. But after all the trouble I don’t know why worried about it so much – my footprint isn’t big enough to cause a controversy, so many of these would have been just fine. Maybe. I almost went with several of these…but ultimately decided that This Is Fine was the correct choice. 

I also included here two early cover art sketches for the book, which were done by artist Emilo Medina of MuyCreative. Again, there were several ideas pitched for the cover which were considered for some time. Did it matter?

So what do you think? Did I make a mistake? Would you have preferred one of these titles instead? Would you have called it something else?

It’s funny, I think the cover I went with probably went over many people’s heads but what can you do? It’s done.

The book is, of course, on sale at my store. Reviews are needed and appreciated. As of this writing I have yet to receive a single review for this book. That is very telling to me as a writer and a publisher. I won’t say more than that for now.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think of the list.

  • Triggered
  • Adventures in Failure
  • Don’t call me Latinx
  • Don’t Call Me Chicanx
  • Anything But Chicano
  • Chicano is a Dirty Word
  • Kill Your Selfie and Other Poems
  • Freedom of Speech and other Fairy Tales to Tell Your Kids
  • Literary Jihad
  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • Fake!
  • FAKE NEWS! And other Poems
  • Where Sacred Cows Go To Die
  • Slaughterhouse for Sacred Cows
  • Dead Sacred Cows
  • Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse
  • Digital Darwinism
  • Is Everyone Crazy or am I Just Getting Old?
  • Peas in the Guacamole
  • Shipwrecked
  • Special Unique Snowflakes
  • Turns out I am my Khakis
  • Unplugged
  • Brownlisted
  • Mad World
  • Outcast
  • The Florida Sacred Cow Massacre
  • Sacred Cows & The Electric Kool-Aid Cult
  • Consfearacy Theories for Propaganda Pals
  • Get Out of Denver: Poems from Paradise Lost
  • Scar Tissue: Poems from the Culture Wars
  • Poems For Dead Milkmen in NeoAztlan
  • Poems For Dead Milkmen in a Post-Aztlan World
  • Poems from the Murder Capital of Florida and Other Joys
  • Poems from Paradise Lost
  • I Saw This coming a Long Time Ago
  • How Much Rot Can You Handle?
  • The Difference Between Justice and Revenge
  • Propaganda Poems for Cognitive Dissonance
  • This Is Fine: Poems from Paradise Lost

3 thoughts on “This was almost not fine

  1. There’s a few I think would’ve been better. Some that form a question in people’s minds they might answer by reading the book: “Poems from the Murder Capital” (just that); How Much Rot Can You Handle?; Peas on the Guacamole; The Difference Between Justice and Revenge.” They are original, and have a hook. “This is Fine” felt like a mistake to me right away because…while I know you were tapping into pop culture as well as agreeing with the statement, it buried your book in a cloud of popular trend; would’ve been easy to write it off at first glance as derivative, or at least not terribly original. I ‘got’ the cover; each and every gag on there. It was very inside humor, which is cool. But your work perhaps deserved to stand apart a little more.

    Just one Xicano’s opinion! Keep on, either way, carnal.

  2. You are your own editor, I assume…that can be hard. Sometimes we need an extra eye on our stuff. Not to make decisions for us, but just to provide a fresh view/mind. Also, my comment above has some confusing juxtapositions…It sounds like I’m saying the inside gags on the cover made the book not ‘stand apart a little more’…that’s not at all what I meant. The gags were awesome. I was referring to the title, still. Anyway, maybe the title is FINE too 😀 But…part of what I do for work and art is marketing. My video promo work relies heavily on decisions involving the kind of thoughts that inform titling, like here. So that’s why I had thoughts on it.

    1. No, no – I completely understand and appreciate your insight. You’re right, it is hard being a one-man-show. As you know, book titles and concepts are difficult and they often make or break a book. With this one it was such a struggle for me to decide on something that it delayed the book by several months, if not a year. I ultimately had to pull the trigger. I kinda regret not going with Peas in the Guac – that was definitely a top contender. Going with what is now a classic meme was definitely a risk – I gambled on it being more beneficial than not. And that comes from not being able to navigate the marketing pitfalls indie publishers face. It’s always daunting and a struggle. Plus, things shifted cosmically online the past couple of years and the book did indeed get buried. But I’m happy with it. Poetry is not highly marketable and i knew that going on. Still, I tend to go with my gut on this stuff and it sometimes blows up in my face but it’s always a learning experience. I appreciate your input, man – hope you are well!

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