Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What's in a Title

What's in a Title?

Let's have some discussion. What do YOU think a title should be about? Recently, a new writer was seeking advice on coming up with a title for a medieval fantasy about a warrioress who betrayed her love and now needs redemption.

This was an answer given by another new writer, whose stuff I have read:

A title is a marketing tool. It doesn't need to capture the heart of the book, or even be very informative.  It just needs to capture the attention.  Do a key word search for the genre that you are publishing in to see which books are popular.  Then devise a title that seems appropriate to you.  This is also true of the cover--it need not have anything to do with the book.  A few years ago, every book that sold well had pictures of women's bare legs on it, even if that didn't fit.  I know all of this because I, too, suck at titles, but my kung fu master, who built hs business from scratch, and boot strapped himself from poverty (literally, trailer trash) to millionaire status taught me this.  (He learned from Kennedy, the master copy writer who started his career in marketing when he noticed all the collection notices he received were in three's . So he devised the rule of three.  However, you market, do it in threes.)  And congratulations on getting your book published.

I cringed at the deception that would be perpetrated upon the reader. Yes, for decades, romance novels have had covers that had nothing to do with the story. Yet, the titles somehow reflected the main gist of the story. So, even though the writer has picked a title, I just had to put in my two cents. This is what I said:

I just have to put my two cents in on what one person said--Your title is MORE than a marketing tool & if it has nothing to do with the story, you have lied to your readers and I would likely chunk the book across the room for feeling duped. Your title and cover are the first thing your reader sees. Make it catchy AND applicable to the story. Second thing a reader looks at is the teaser (synopsis) on the back or on the about the book for kindle. No more than 200 words and make ME the reader want to open to the text. Then your first paragraph should draw me in. And if you need a good cover guy, go to  Give Christopher the gist of the book, & he will create you something fantastic!


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