Proposed Book Title

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Proposed Book Title

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The new book is entering its final stages before we start work in earnest.  After much discussion internally we have finally come up with a potential title for the new book and I wanted to get your thoughts.  Let me preface this with the following:  We wanted to depart from the “tips and tricks” moniker for the book as we feel it doesn’t adequately portray what the book does (or should do at least).  With that said, the current thought on a title is (drum roll, please):


Microsoft Visual Studio Productivity Handbook


I really want your feedback on this one.  Does it suck?  Do you like it?  Tell me your thoughts…



  • Sorry to rain on the parade, but the title sounds incomparably generic.

    May I suggest an alternative:

    Code Faster: Make Visual Studio Do Exactly What You Want.

    That tells me exactly why I would want to buy your book and what the benefits of reading it are.

  • Hi Zain,

    Actually I don't like that title, it seems a bit "stiff", a bit "formal" (unless of course that's what you're going for). It wouldn't want to make *me* go buy the book at all.

    I'd suggest something along the lines of "Things You Might Not Know About VS 2010", or "Getting The Most Out Of VS 2010".

    Just my 2c.


  • How about not ditching the tips & tricks line completley, but dressing it up slightly...

    Visual Studio Productivity Magic Tricks


    Tips for the Visual Studio Debonair

    Just my 2cents.

  • I agree about the proposed name sounding too 'formal'. I do however like the 'Productivity' in the name.

    Visual Studio Productivity Tips & Tricks


  • The publishers are absolutely against the "Tips and Tricks" moniker so it is 100% out.  They want the titles to be sort of inline with the other MSPress titles hence the more formal type name.  I wanted to call it "Cool Visual Studio Shizzle" but any proposed title has to pass the board for review so that was out :P

  • I have to agree with feedback so far - it's not so much formal as just "blah". You could put a Charlie Brown zig-zag across the cover. Devs like puns, hyperbole, and an inflated sense of self-importance. Tell me that this book will make me the XKCD guy who swings in on a rope, says, "Everybody stand back. I know Visual Studio", and saves the day. Because I've totally done that with your tips (minus the rope)!


    Maybe "Microsoft Visual Studio Walkthrough"?

  • Zain, I think Kevin and Yann are onto something...

  • @aaron Yeah, I agree.  

    The delimma is how to best describe the contents.  I like the thought process.  A couple of things to note:  The title has to have "Microsoft Visual Studio" in it according to the rules from MSPress and the content will cover versions 2005-2010.  There can be a title and a subtitle for the book.  The subtitle seems like a given "Covers versions 2005, 2008, and 2010" or something like that.  But the title is kicking my butt.

  • @MarcT  totally off topic but I just burned though two hours going though old xkcd cartoons thanks to you :P

  • How about "Microsoft Visual Studio Productivity - The Basics and Beyond", actually the only word in the title that I don't find it fit for a title is the "Handbook". A title have to be meaningful and attractive for the potential buyer, eye-catching. It depends also on which category of programmers you are targetting, where you want to place your book in the pool of books available on the market. "Handbook" tells me nothing more than "another book on productivity" or VS. You have to consider also the various meaning of words, for example I had a bad experience with books having in their title words as "Complete" so I'll think twice before buying such a book.

    Sometimes it makes sense to use associations between words when making a title, simple associative games could be productive from this point of view.

  • I agree with all who said the title is a bit dry, all the really fun titles might not be permissible by sensible publisher types (I'm thinking Visual Studio on Steriods or indeed Pimp My Visual Studio might not make it past the sensors!) however something more "fun" like "Microsoft Visual Studio Productivity Afterburner" might liven it up a little bit. I think that afterburner correctly describes what the book is about and brings to the mind visions of Top Gun pilots and excitment!


    1 : a device incorporated into the tailpipe of a turbojet engine for injecting fuel into the hot exhaust gases and burning it to provide extra thrust

  • Title doesn't suck but it wouldn't convince me to buy the book. How about...

    1. Things You Wish You Knew About Microsoft Visual Studio

    2. Microsoft Visual Studio: Everything they forgot to tell us, and then some

    3. Mastering Microsoft Visual Studio

    4. Microsoft Visual Studio: The Next Level

    5. Microsoft Visual Studio: From the Rooter to the Tooter

    6. Microsoft Visual Studio: Alpha And Omega

    7. Microsoft Visual Studio: Everything but the kitchen sink

    8. "... And you thought you knew Microsoft Visual Studio"

    9. Microsoft Visual Studio: Soup to Nuts

    10. Microsoft Visual Studio For The Rest Of Us

    Ok... I think I got a little too carried away there... must be those new vitamins.

  • Agree with the general consensus - the title sucks...  

    The only thing that could save the titile would be to completely depart from the typical 'blah' reference book design.  Perhaps it could be designed to look like a worn, heavily referenced sketchbook / notebook.  When I think of a "Productivity Handbook", I think of something that I've pieced together over the years and used countless times.  

    The book would Include all the information (of course), but it would look so different from the other reference books that it would make you want to pick it up from the bookshelf and take a peek.  At that point, the title becomes irrelevant.

    My two cents...

  • I vote for an Asian themed or martial arts cover.

    The Way of Microsoft Visual Studio

    The Tao of Microsoft Visual Studio

    Microsoft Visual Studio: Path to Mastery

  • "... Productivity Handbook" doesn't reveal anything to me.  I would probably gloss over the title as it stood on the shelf.  

    In particular, the term "Handbook" is synonymous for any lengthy document that a corporate committee thinks is in my best interest to read.  IMO, it doesn't connect with developers down in the trenches.  ("... Field Guide" may be closer.)

    What would stand out to me is a title that tells me what I can expect to receive as a result of reading the book.  I'd go with one that had verbal descriptions such as:

    "Unlocking Productivity with... "

    "Optimizing Productivity with...  "

    "Mastering ... " (already mentioned above, a tried and true convention of earlier MS Press books)

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