A big thank you to all those who took the time to vote in my “title poll”, and to those of you who added comments to support your choices. It was interesting and helpful to hear the thought processes behind the voting. For some people, the choice was clear (they either strongly liked one, or strongly disliked more than one, narrowing the field!). Some people liked all of them and found choosing difficult.
The very long title was a bit of a “Marmite” choice – quite a few votes for 1st place – quite a lot of people thinking it was silly. A friend of mine who works in publishing pointed out that often readers get the title of Jon McGreggor’s short story collection wrong (see my last post if that doesn’t make sense), so (without Jon McGreggor’s fame) it might be harder to market a collection with a similarly long title. A fair point.
Several people asked me if I had a personal favourite (not really – that was the problem, and the reason I needed to canvass opinions) or if seeing the results might make me realise I did have a favourite but didn’t realise. I’m not sure about the latter – possibly.
Which brings me to the outcome. You’d think it would be easy. Get everyone to rank order their title choices. Pick the one with the most votes. Job done. And there absolutely is a clear winner using the “first past the post” definition of most votes for 1st place. (And let’s be clear, this is what I’m using!) The only confusion for me is that Polljunkie provides a statistical analysis of the whole rank-order process, and gets a different outcome (which largely comes about from the combined votes for first and second place – i.e. the statistical winner didn’t get so many first place votes, but got many more second place votes).
I think I would be happy to use this stats analysis outcome if the votes for 1st and 2nd place were a little bit closer, but the “winner” is the one with 45% of the vote, versus the runner up with 31%. (Just for the record, you know earlier when I was pondering about whether seeing the outcome might make me realise I had a favourite? Well, turns out I secretly expected the majority to pick “Trotting On”, but that wasn’t the outright winner, and I find I’m OK with that.)
So…(drum roll)….the title with 45% of the votes is…
A Friend at the Paddock Gate
But there were some comments agreeing that this should be shortened to:
At the Paddock Gate
I’ll probably go with the latter. I mean, I guess I could do another poll, but you’ve probably had enough by now! 😉
Thanks again, folks. Next stop, cover design! Gulp!