I have the hardest time choosing things. Big life decisions, where to go to college, where to live, what kind of job I would have, were all easy for me to make. But take me to a restaurant and give me a menu with more than ten items and I turn into a massive ball of indecision. I have the same problem with clothes. I’m one of those unfortunate people that changes clothes four times before they leave the house. Why?
Duh! People are going to see me and what I wear is like a statement of who I am. The same thing goes for what I write. I’m sure like most if you, what you write is a part of who you are and when you turn out a piece of writing to the world it is like a little reflection of who you are. And that little piece of you needs a good title.
I don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I judge a book by its title, because when you go to a book store and see all those multicolored book spines on a shelf that’s the first thing you notice. I found two new authors on title alone. A DUKE TO DIE FOR by Amelia Grey and THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE by Jennifer Ashley was another. When I saw those titles they jumped out at me. On a shelf of hundreds of books I picked those up because the title made me need to know more. As a writer I want that. I want readers to need to know more about my books.
I have to give it up for fellow scribe, PJ, who named her next release SAVAGE CINDERELLA. In all honesty I don’t know much about the book, but the title makes me think of a heroine who doesn’t have it so easy and might be somebody I could root for. It’s a book that even if I didn’t know the author I would pick up.
What bugs me about a lot of romance titles are that they are so benign. They are usually two or three words put together that doesn’t tell me anything about the book. Do you have any idea how many books are titled THE SWEETEST THING? BE MY BABY, ONLY US, JUST THE WAY YOU ARE , all good books with so-so titles. Books ,that if I hadn’t read the authors work before, I might not have given a second look.
I know that editors at big publishing houses change or pick titles for their writers all the time. But what if you’re a newbie like me who is trying to get an agents attention, or a writer whose working with a small press or e-publisher trying to get your name out there? Or an indie published writer who title needs to stand out among thousands. I know that writing a good book should be my/ any writers first concern but isn’t the title important too?
I have a hard time coming up with them. I want them to be memorable and catchy and attention grabbing. But I also want them to give readers a tiny glimpse into my book and the type of writer I am.
I often spend more time than I should lamenting over titles. (I can’t even bear the thought of having to name children!) I didn’t even choose one for my latest WIP. The credit goes to Casey Wyatt, to whom I sent a panicky email to begging for help. Ten minutes later she came up with a dozen of them. Asking for help is the easy way out but I want to know if there is a way to do it?
So how do you do it? Is your title really that important to you? Have a hard time choosing one? Have an easy time? Any titles jump out at you lately? Got a favorite? Any and all comments are welcome.