Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wanted: A Cool Book Title

Coming up with titles for novels is almost as hard as writing the novel. 

Sometimes the titles come at you fast, like car accidents; other times, they linger in the wings waiting for you to find them.   And then when you discover The One, you can't help but wonder, What took so long? How come I didn't see that one a mile away?!

Carina Press editor extraordinaire Liz B. and I are in the process of coming up with a brand-spanking new title for my contemporary romance that will be publishing in July.  I heart the story so naturally I will spend as much time brainstorming names for this novel as I would finding the perfect name for a newborn baby.  Maybe more, in my case. 

Besides divine intervention, one way to brainstorm cool titles is to come up with keywords, phrases and concepts to determine the best title.  Normally that requires a fair amount of brainstorming (and in my case, chocolate) till you find the one that's just right.  Like the porridge.  Yesterday on my run, I returned home with a list of cool new titles.  We'll see if any of them play out. 

Writers: How do you come up with your titles?  Readers: Have you ever purchased a book based solely on its title?

Wish us luck! I hope to be able to share the new title with you in very near future.


P.S. I'm guest posting today at a brand-new site called The Happy Writer. It's a fun site. Check it out!


Elisa Dane said...

Titles are the bane of my existence! I always struggle with them! Most of the time I search through the narrative until I find something relevant to work with and go from there.

That being said, I actually have a title for a new manuscript I want to start, and that never happens! I'm pretty excited as the title is perfect for what I have in mind. I just need to finish the book I'm working on now before I start.

Maria Zannini said...

It sounds conceited to admit this, but titles are ridiculously easy for me to brainstorm. Even easier when I baptize other people's books rather than my own.

I'm the proud godmother of several novel titles currently out or awaiting release.

Usually, all I need is the synopsis. Titles are especially delicious if they hide extra meaning once you read the book too.

Angelina Rain said...

Liz, I’m so with you. I have such a hard time with titles it’s not even funny. Actually, my manuscript change titles and my hero changes names multiple times before I’m done writing. It makes editing very difficult for me. Good luck on finding your title. I myself will be asking for help probably next week before I submit my newest unnamed baby for publishing.

Julie Moffett said...

Great minds think alike! This is exactly the topic of my blog slated for tomorrow at Carina's mystery and romantic suspense authors site Not Your Usual Suspects!! LOL!!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Titles are so hard sometimes! I'm not a good title-creator, at all. But I'm in good company because apparently Hemingway came up with horrible titles, and his editors or his wife always changed them.

Anne R. Allen said...

I had no problem at all with titles when I was first writing. I'd often think of the title before I came up with a plot. But then came Google, and a quick search usually told me my title had been used. Again and again. Trying to think of ORIGINAL titles was way harder.

Now, when I'm trying out new titles, I like to run them through Lulu's "titlescorer". I don't know if it means much, but they base it on statistics gathered from 50 years of best sellers. It's a fun way to play with your ideas, anyway.

Nas said...

All the best with your title choosing. May you came up with a catchy one which brings in lot of sales success!

Donna Cummings said...

I usually have a pretty easy time with titles, BUT (always has to be a but! LOL), I have one book that I've retitled a zillion times. I think I've finally gotten it where I want. For now. LOL

Carol Riggs said...

Oh yes, a book title is SO important. It can make the diff of whether or not a person picks up a book to see what it's about. Haha, divine intervention. LOL I do use the brainstorming by using keywords and concepts, but usually it's pretty obvious what the title of something should be (of my own novels). But I've been off-base before, and have had to alter/switch. :) Happy Wednesday!

Michael Di Gesu said...

I'm pretty lucky... They usually just come to me.

Good luck on finding yours.

Summer Ross said...

I come up with my titles based on content, if I am writing poetry- well depending on what i put in that poem will be what my title conveys.

In my novels, I usually take an important plot point and try to fix it into a title some how.

Margo Benson said...

I haven't had too much trouble so far. I like to have a play on words in a title if that's appropriate.

Wishing you all the best with yours!

M Pax said...

Sometimes [not as often as I'd like] the title just comes to me early on.

Most times I struggle with them. The title for my first novel took longer than I'd care to admit to come up with.

Sometimes I ask my crit partners for help. They don't usually come up with the title but often come up with words I like that then trigger the title.

Denise Covey said...

How exciting to have a new book coming out in July! Congrats! It must be fun thinking of titles and covers. Keep us posted!


I'm just going around making a blog list of all those in my groups. I begin a new Publication Party today. I hope you can visit and maybe leave a comment on some of your tips to being published!


Publication Party! Author Ann Carbine Best

Unknown said...

Oh, I hate coming up with book titles. That's something I think I'll always struggle with.

Danette said...

Good luck! I can't wait to hear what you choose! Hemingway (and plenty of other famous writers actually) used to always gripe that all the great titles were already taken. He came up with good ones by using Ecclesiastes (the sun also rises) and John Donne's poetry (for whom the bell tolls).

Marianne Arkins said...

My favorite title for a book ever was "Isn't She Liv Leigh" for my now published book "One Love for Liv".... obviously it was shot down by the publisher.

Do I buy based on titles? Seldom ... if I did that, I'd probably never buy another Harlequin in my life (because "The Billionaire's Pregnant Virgin Mistress" just doesn't appeal to me at all).

I do admit to buying (or NOT buyin) a book based on the cover.

Jean Davis said...

Titles used to be a nightmare for me, but lately they just come, often before I start writing or in the opening pages. It's wonderful (or the aliens knocked into something when tinkering with my brain).

Not to say that my titles are all great. Changing them puts me back in nightmare territory.

Good luck with finding the perfect one for your novel!

Anonymous said...

I'm terrible with titles. So I appreciate your suggestions--ANY thing to help! The title my publisher came up with for my memoir was something I would never have thought of--though it came from an image in the very first part of the book. That's what we need a good pair of "other" eyes for!!

Thanks for your comment about my writing and life journey that L'Aussie's posted on her blog. I'm the last one of her hosted guests. I've met some new people because of it. I've also been happy to see familiar faces such as yours. You thanked me for being brave and willing to share. I think we're all brave when we put our inner selves out there for others to see. It's a bit scary, but I'm curious as to how people respond. Writers need a tough skin, which isn't easy to develop!

Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Ann @ Long Journey Home

Ben Langhinrichs said...

I find it relatively easy to create titles, but have a bit more trouble with the novels. It's a journey.

Anyway, I have certainly bought books based on titles, just as I have bought books based on covers. Perhaps it shouldn't matter, but honestly, could I refuse "The Interdimensional Dumpster" or "Reversing Over Liberace" or "Bimbos of the Death Sun"? The simple answer is, I could not, and have bought all three (and even liked two of them).

Trisha said...

I don't know that I'm very good at coming up with titles. A lot of my novels have the characters' names in them. In fact, 3 I can think of do :P The others...well, one novel is about a music festival, and the title of the novel is the festival's name.