I received word from my publisher that a couple small bookstores are refusing to carry my upcoming book due to the title - "Overcoming Obstacles with SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting"
They do not want the book in their store because in England 'spunk' is a slang term with a sexual meaning.
My thoughts on this situation:
First, I am aware of the 'spunk' issue, although the only time I have heard it was someone commenting on my DeviantArt site, which is SpunkOnAStick. However, that is a slang term and not even an American one at that.
Second, who here in America is going to think that? (My husband says only dirty-minded English people.) Even if the book goes overseas, I doubt that will be the first thing that crosses someone's mind. Especially seeing the entire title! Besides, the British still call cigarettes 'fags' even though that is an American slang word for homosexual.
Third, the definition of 'spunk' according to Webster: PLUCK, COURAGE - spunky adj
(In other words, courageous, bold, determined - just as I intended it to mean.)
Finally, what to do about this situation! Do I just ignore these small protests? Or do I capitalize on the 'salacious & dirty' title of my book? Sad thing is, controversy sells, although I have gone out of my way to make sure none of my books, especially the YA fiction, are salacious or questionable. Since there really isn't anything objectionable, would it be wrong to play along for the sake of added exposure? Or would the extra attention make more stores think twice about ordering? Certainly none of the contributors or reviewers have protested! Obviously Quality Books didn't mind the title either.
What would you do?