Many thanks for your thoughts, suggestions, and wisdom! Your votes for the book’s subtitle varied even more widely than those for the cover. Looking through the results, and talking to a range of people—including some of the Alpha and Beta Readers who read the full book—the first thing I realized was that I had to keep the subtitle short.
The second thing I realized was that I needed to combine both a tiny summary of the book and a brief focus on the book’s ultimately positive analysis about where our troubled media landscape is headed.
It was a bit like composing a haiku.
I couldn’t include censorship, propaganda, and disinformation in the subtitle. I couldn’t even have two of those buzzwords. I needed to choose one.
This first half of the subtitle came down to a dilemma between censorship and disinformation. Both concepts are central to the book’s premises and receive deep analysis. Your votes helped me to see that one of these words is more compelling to Americans in 2022 than the other. I believe I landed on the one with the widest interest: Disinformation.
Enlightenment vs Consciousness
Even tougher was composing the subtitle’s second half. How to summarize the positive paths I chart in the book—the reasons why I’m optimistic—in five words or less?
- The New Enlightenment is the concept that ties the whole book together: We are living through the unfolding of a tumultuous age like the era that followed Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press in the 1400s. The internet and its unprecedented access to information is enabling universal human connection, revealing long-hidden aspects of reality, and dethroning entrenched arbiters of truth. This is a wild epoch taking us kicking and screaming into a brighter and more truthful future.
- Media Consciousness is the state I urge all Americans to cultivate as we undergo this tumultuous time. If we can talk to people outside our echo chambers, if we can step outside our mental comfort zones, if we can follow a Balanced Media Diet, we can see through much of the censorship, propaganda, and disinformation. We can be part of the solution, and we can live wiser, fuller lives too. That’s how I see it.
Between these two central concepts of the book, the New Enlightenment is more all-encompassing, but I think it is ultimately too opaque an idea for people to comprehend prior to reading the book. The subtitles with this term received fewer votes than those proposing Media Consciousness, which many people liked.
And that was that.
After much consultation and contemplation, I landed on this cover, title, and subtitle. What do you think?
I hope you like it as much as I do. I’m thrilled now to get this book into your hands and embark on this essential, modern conversation with you. How to be informed in a world full of deception?
This book is now with the publisher. The release date will be announced here very soon.
Thank you for all of your encouragement and assistance in helping me reach this point!