So, I’ve been working on setting up Fury in the Gulf, and have run into a couple of snags.  Part of the entire plan to begin with was to utilize Amazon Marketing Services extensively, and Facebook ads to a lesser extent, to spread the readership wider.  However, I seem to have run afoul of both entities’ ad guidelines in the process.

While the messages I’ve gotten have been extremely vague and non-commital, it appears that the title Brannigan’s Bastards isn’t passing one of their filters for “vulgar and/or profane language.”  Considering that it’s the series’ title, this presents a problem.

Now, I’ve got two possible courses of action here.  I can either say, “Screw it, drive on,” and try to continue the current, mostly word of mouth model, keeping everything as-is.  Or, I can attempt to re-brand the entire series, so that it gets past the filters and can actually get to readers who might not have heard of my stuff before.

Now, trying to think of a different title was a problem.  Part of the initial inspiration for Brannigan’s Bastards as a series title was the old Marine Black Sheep Squadron, which the pilots initially wanted to call “Boyington’s Bastards.”  There was also an old, WWII pulp adventure series entitled “The Rat Bastards.”  (Apparently, that would not be allowed today.)  “Misfits” would be a fitting replacement for “Bastards,” but “Brannigan’s Misfits” just doesn’t have the same punch.  “Mitchell’s Misfits” might work, but it would mean completely renaming the lead character.

However, I had an idea.  Brannigan’s Blackhearts could still work, being close in sound, similar in meaning and punch, and wouldn’t require a great deal of tweaking in the files already set.  And, it’s something of a callback to an old 1st Recon Bn callsign from ’03-’04.

I’d like to hear your thoughts, readers.  How does Brannigan’s Blackhearts sound?

Change of Plans

Peter Nealen

Peter Nealen is a former Reconnaissance Marine and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He deployed to Iraq in 2005-2006, and again in 2007, with 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Recon Bn. After two years of schools and workups, including Scout/Sniper Basic and Team Leader's Courses, he deployed to Afghanistan with 4th Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Company, I MEF. Works by Peter include: The American Praetorians Series Task Force Desperate (October 2012) - ebook , paperback and audiobook Hunting in the Shadows (June 2013) - ebook and paperback Alone and Unafraid (August 2014) - ebook and paperback The Devil You Don't Know (June 2015) - ebook and paperback Lex Talionis (June 2017) - ebook and paperback The Jed Horn Series A Silver Cross and a Winchester (October 2013) - ebook and paperback Nightmares (January 2015)- ebook and paperback The Walker on the Hills (December 2015) - ebook and paperback Older and Fouler Things (September 2017) - ebook and paperback The Brannigan's Blackhearts Series/Universe Kill Yuan (Spring 2016) - ebook and paperback Fury in the Gulf (November 2017) - ebook and paperback Burmese Crossfire (January 2018) - ebook and paperback Enemy Unidentified (March 2018) - ebook and paperback Frozen Conflict (May 2018) - ebook and paperback High Desert Vengeance (August 2018) - ebook and paperback Doctors of Death (December 2018) - ebook and paperback The Unity Wars Series (P.L. Nealen) The Fall of Valdek (July 2018) - ebook and paperback The Defense of Provenia (August 2018) - ebook and paperback The Alliance Rises (September 2018) - ebook and paperback Short Stories Rock Meet Hard Place (Part I) - Baen Books Blog Non-Fiction Operation Redwings: The Rescue Story Behind Lone Survivor (December 2013) - ebook only The ISIS Solution: How Unconventional Thinking and Special Operations Can Eliminate Radical Islam (SOFREP) (November 2014) - ebook only

11 thoughts on “Change of Plans

  • November 1, 2017 at 11:51 am
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    Doesn’t have the same gut punch impact, but still works.

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  • November 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm
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    As a fan of action series I’ll buy it no matter the title. I like the connection to old series’s of books and battalion names.

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  • November 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm
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    Blackhearts works but damn they are giving you the no-go for bastards? Sad, really sad. I will be reading it either way, thank you PC police.

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  • November 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm
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    I’ll buy it either way, but yeah, bastards is way better, IMO. ‘Blackhearts’ just sounds too… literary? to me. I have a hard time imagining a bunch of US ex-military types choosing ‘blackhearts’ to name their outfit. Self-labeling as ‘bastards’, OTOH… The type of humor and self-irony I’ve observed from the US service people I know fits this a lot better.

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    • November 1, 2017 at 5:21 pm
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      I think the main reason I picked Blackhearts was the fact that “Blackheart” really was the 1st Recon callsign about thirteen years ago. And there are a lot of Recon Marines who are damned proud of that callsign.

      I’m not happy about having to change the title. I liked Brannigan’s Bastards for a reason. It’s punchy, and it’s definitely a callback to several historical and “literary” predecessors. But business has to take some priority here. And if this is the only major change I HAVE to make, that’s not too bad. Imagine what some of the mainstream publishers these days would demand…

      Reply
  • November 1, 2017 at 5:46 pm
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    As others have said, I will buy it regardless of title since I love your work. Blackhearts should do the job for marketing, etc…

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  • November 2, 2017 at 2:53 am
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    Like everyone else, for me the Title isn’t as important as the Author, and if that whats needed for the business side, then so be it. I think you could even use this, Bastards is pretty much self-explanatory, but Blackhearts hints at a backstory, how Brannigan’s Bastards became Brannigan’s Blackhearts…

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  • November 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm
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    As others have said I’ll buy this no matter the title as I’m already hooked on your writing. That being said, I do like the original title better. Could you just re-brand the advertisements on social media but keep the book name in place? Just a thought.

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    • November 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm
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      I thought about that, but the series title on the listing being different from the title on the cover and in the book just seems jankety and unprofessional to me. Professional presentation is going to be part of what sells.

      Reply

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