Friday, February 11, 2022

Book titles!


 

I guess Jeff Somers isn't the only one who has a hard time finding good titles!

23 comments:

E.M. Goldsmith said...

So this book has no title? That seems wrong.

And "We Are Not Good People" is one of my favorite titles ever and that is a Jeff Somers work. I generally love his titles and his books so you wouldn't know he struggles with them.

I can't figure out a good title for my new book - I am going with A Rooke's Tale for now. I was using Taverns & Tales. But ultimately have no clue what to title it. I want something a bit more punchy. The book is fantasy and is about a storyteller who has to go down into the world below the mountain he lives on and tell stories that will make the people of the Three Empires dream and create and question or two very grouchy dragons will wake up and destroy to world in hopes of getting a better one with people who expand creation instead of oppressing it. Simple right?

Titles are harder than you think. I am definitely not buying the book above because it is kind of arrogant in the no title. This is a Harry Borsch and Renee Ballard novel - you like them right? (I do but I still want a title). What are they doing? Knitting? What are they chasing? Unicorns? I have no idea. I need a title. I am not picking this up in the bookstore - real or virtual. The dragons are definitely waking up with non-sense like this and destroying everything. I do not wish to be destroyed. This book needs a title.

Luralee said...

Well, when you put the authors name that big on the cover it IS the title.

ACFranklin said...

Crawling up from the depths to say that after I took a poetry course in university, titles seemed to get at least a little easier. Probably because a title is about condensing a complex concept into just a few words with rhythm and grace.

I return to the void now.

CynthiaMc said...

I love Harry and Renee eventually grew on me. I'm sold. It doesn't need a title.

I've finally come up with a title for my latest screenplay that I've been calling Freaky Friday Meets 9 to 5 at Christmas. It's a body swap comedy and I'm having a blast working on it. I've started calling it Christmas Wishes since that is the catalyst for the body swap but now I'm wondering if that's too bland.

Good to see everyone! I've been working way too much.

Elise, I am so sorry about your uncle. Hugs.

Kitty said...

I checked his website and found this: Coming out on November 8, 2022. We’ll share the title, cover art, and more details soon.

It doesn't mean, of course, that he isn't having problems settling on a good title.

Timothy Lowe said...

I can sympathize. Almost 30,000 words into this WIP and the title is still the MC's last name.

Sometimes, they come really easy. But most of the time, they don't.

Craig F said...

If it is an ARC, they might want to do a big reveal on the official release date.

I agree, though, that titles, even working titles, are like getting beaten with a stick. What might be enticing to some seem to have other connotations to others. Something mild, to me, might look like perversion to others.

Dena Pawling said...

Titles are a bear in more venues than just publishing. The Washington Football Team played for two entire seasons before settling on a name.

I really enjoyed the narrator on the audio book THE LATE SHOW [Renee Ballard #1].

Kate Larkindale said...

Titles are always hard. Most of my books sit in my hard drive with tiles like "JuvvieLesbian" or "DruggieBallerina" or just the MC's name until I have to give them a title to query them. The only time I ever wrote a book that had a title before I started writing it, my publisher changed it because the finished book no longer matched the title. Which is a shame - I really liked that title!

Unknown said...

Cynthia, could go with "Christmas Bodies". At least people must wonder what it could be about.

Unknown said...

I for one like book titles. If the publisher only wants to sell to current readers of Ballard & Bosch novels, fine. But can they attract a new reader with such a title. The title should raise some curiosity in potential readers. "We Are Not Good People" does fit that. But "Killing Puppies" is not a good title.

Miles O'Neal said...

I'm with Elise on that book's entitlement.

I had the title of the first book in my series from the beginning. I had titles for subsequent books as well, but realized early on they simply wouldn't do. So I just slap a fun working title on each book until I get inspired or it's to the point I have no choice. While they didn't come up with any of the final titles, discussions about titles with my most trusted readers (alpha[1] and beta) were fun, mind-expanding, and ultimately helped me come up with the titles I used. (The first is still my favorite in the series: Year of the Dragon Lord. The year I started writing it was the Year of the Dragon; a Chinese New Year celebration at work inspired that one.)

Don't get me started on chapter titles.

Like covers, titles matter. ESPECIALLY for pulling in new readers. IMHO. Amen. Yeehah. Etc.

Miles O'Neal said...

Oops. Footnote left off above post.

[1] The few most trusted peeps (currently my wife and two others) who get chapters as I first draft them are what I call alpha readers. Beta readers come into play once I have a draft in reasonable shape.

JRL said...

I say save the Big November Reveal Party and just give out the Title now.
I mean, I'm pretty sure I know what it's gonna be anyway.

"Something I Overheard In A Bar That Gave Me An Idea So I Scribbled it Down On The Back Of The Cork Drink Coaster My Long Island Iced Tea Had Been On And Now I Don't Have Any Place To Set Down My Drink"

or something along those lines. And don't ask me how I came up with that Title...

Android Astronomer said...

All my WIP novels start out with the working title STUFF HAPPENS, EDITING REQUIRED.

Kitty said...

Android, I love it! Forget the 'working' and make it your title.

When I get the title -- or when it hits me -- I know I've got the story. I was prompted to buy, and read, Lee Israel's "Can You Ever Forgive Me? Memoirs of a Literary Forger." I've read it several times now.

NLiu said...

E.M. I *love* the concept of grouchy dragons threatening to enforce a do-over for un-creativity! Titles... hmm... something like "Understory", perhaps? If you don't have comps, Havenfall by Sara Holland (pubbed 2020) is probably worth looking at. It also has an inn joining three worlds (but lacks dragons so is obviously inferior).

Aaaaaaand I'm rubbish at picking titles too. See above. I like the idea of not having one, and leaving a rambling description instead. "Evil Trees Fantasy Tale"... "Whodunnit In Renaissance London" ... "SciFi With Realistic Aliens"... It could catch on?

AJ Blythe said...

I am completely weird in that I can't seem to settle into writing a book until it has a title. I wouldn't care if the title has to be changed for publication, but having a title is important to me. Maybe because cozy titles are very specific so it seems as important in the writing?

John Davis Frain said...

Bernie Taupin wrote a song for Elton John titled This Song Has No Title. (Kinda like Never Say Never, right?!)

I don't believe it ever became a hit, which was one reason why all the subsequent songs written by Mr. Taupin for Mr. John had titles.

Said Mr. John to Mr. Taupin: "Rock it, man!" So, he did.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

NLiu Thank you so much for the comp recommendation. Havenfall looks great at first glance.I ordered the whole trilogy. Looking forward to reading. And thanks for the title idea. I am going to ask my beta readers what they think. I usually have good titles but this book, the favorite I have ever written thus far, baffles me when it comes to titles. I want something that really entices a reader. Ah well, one day.

Joseph S. said...

I have a title guaranteed to sell books."

"Saving Taxes Through Sex"

Unfortunately, I don't have a manuscript to go with it.

P.S. You got a laugh out loud from me, John Davis Frain.

Joseph S. said...


John Davis Frain

You made me laugh. Thanks.

NLiu said...

E.M. you're welcome! ^-^