Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When titles just aren't working...

Tip of the Day: Today is the last day to enter Kristina’s My Fake Boyfriend Is Better Than Yours contest on her blog.

Your book title is probably one of the most important aspects to any book. Not only does it have to be catchy and make people want to read it, but it has to represent the tone of the book and be fairly easy to remember. It’s also probably not the best idea to name your book Twilight, since there’s a really popular book out there by the same name (maybe you’ve heard of it?)

With all these things going on, when trying to title your book you might feel slightly overwhelmed.

People have told me titles get changed all the time, so they aren’t that big of a deal. But when trying to sell your book I do think it’s important to have a title that sticks out in the crowd. That just might be the thing that gets an agent or editor to look at the book. And it might be the one thing that clenches the deal. Because with great titles like these summer or recently-released books, how could you not want to read them?:

  • The Dead Tossed Waves
  • Forgive my Fins
  • I Know Pronounce You Someone Else
  • Only the Good Spy Young
  • How to Be a Zombie: A Hands-on Guide for Anyone with Brains
  • My Little Phony

Coming up with a good title, however, is not nearly as easy as looking up other books with good titles. If you are struggling with titling your own work, maybe you could try one of these:

  • Go to the library and browse the shelves. Does anyone else’s title spark inspiration for your own?
  • Reread parts of your book. Are there any phrases or combinations of words that would make a great title? You might have already come up with a great one and not even realized it.
  • Try a common phrase, and twist it. Just like Ally Carter does for all her books, the newest one being Only the Good Spy Young.
  • Think of the theme of the book and what you want someone to come away from it.
  • Write down a ton of words that make you think of your book, then start combining them in different combinations and see if you like anything you come up with.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


AchingHope said...

Weird. I was just thinking about titles today, and when I went blog hopping today it seems a general theme.

Thanks for the ideas! :D

Kate Fall said...

Ugh, I am NOT good at titles. But I believe that they are a chance to shout to the world about your book. Maybe that's why they seize me up. I usually just hope inspiration strikes. After all, that's how I named my kids.

Andrea said...

Sometimes a good title just comes to me, but other times I have to work at it. Thanks for the ideas.

DeenaML said...

Ally Carter has the best titles ever.

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