Why you chose option #3

And a hint for bloggers…

Thank you for all of you who responded to my request for help choosing a subtitle for The Black Swan Effect–the book on women I’ve been compiling. With all the numerous possibilities, it’s been a daunting task. You’ll be interested to know that more than 70% of you picked the same subtitle–the third one, “A response to gender hierarchy in the church.” The question is why.

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And here’s where it becomes fascinating.  A few days ago, I was introduced to a site that helps analyze the emotional impact of headlines. Type in your headline and  it comes up with a percentage score. A good copywriter averages a score of 30-40%. A gifted copywriter has a score of 50-75%. I checked out my past blog headlines, and sure enough, not exclusively but in general, I would say that the posts that garnered the most interest had also scored well on the site.

I had perhaps 25 to 30 subtitles that had been suggested over the months. I tested all of them with the site. The vast majority were very mediocre, several even scoring 0%.

Back to the drawing board.

As I played around with the subtitles, I began to find words that increased the score. I had decided on the patriarchy headline which scored 63% when several people told me that they weren’t sure that everyone would understand the title.

I was just about to send out the last post when I decided to give the site one more try. Which is when I found that “A response to gender hierarchy in the church” scored 100%! So almost as an afterthought, I added it to the options.

I know that we need the Holy Spirit to breathe life into the title, and that we are totally dependent on the Lord for how he uses the book, but in the face of innumerable choices with no clarity even after prayer, it was invaluable to have some help!

Help us choose a title!

I’ve spent the past two years compiling a book on women. Definitely a labor of love! The book should come out on April 1st next year. But now it’s time to finalize the book title.

The main title is going to be “The Black Swan Effect.” Here’s the rationale behind the title, taken from the introduction to the book.

“The term “black swan” was a common one in sixteenth century London. Everyone knew that swans were white, and black swans presumably did not exist, so the term came to mean something farfetched, not real. However, in 1636, a Dutch explorer discovered nomadic, red-billed black swans in Western Australia. All of a sudden, black swans were no longer an impossibility and the meaning of the term changed. There is now a well-known species of black swans, but at first, all it took was one swan to change people’s minds forever.”

Having talked with a number of people, everyone loves the main title and the obvious analogy to women in the church. The help we need comes with the subtitle. Here are some of the possibilities:

The Black Swan Effect: Men lead; women follow? A response to patriarchy in the church (Do you think people understand the term “patriarchy”? “Men lead women follow” is deliberately a simple definition)

The Black Swan Effect: Men lead, women follow? Responding to gender issues in the church

The Black Swan Effect: A response to gender hierarchy in the church

Please let me know which one you prefer.

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