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Thursday, April 26, 2012

How Do You Determine Your Title?

Since I started my women's fiction a couple of years ago, I've called it The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood. Recently as I edited and rewrote portions of the book, I began to wonder if the title works. The book is about lessons learned from geese, but that's not the main thrust of the book. Lifelong friendship is. My two main characters are going through menopause, marital stife, and health issues. They're sick and tired of it. The book calls attention to all the frustrations in their lives and all the antics and misadventures they get caught up in, trying to enjoy themselves in spite of Life's obstacles and stumbling blocks. I have decided that a better title is Slightly Cracked. That title covers the goose egg issue in the book and also could be used to describe either of these sassy ladies. I am happy with my choice. It is officially Slightly Cracked now or until a publisher changes it to something even catchier.

The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood or Slightly Cracked

What do you think?

Have you changed the name of a book, or wished a book had a different title?

How important is the title to you?

Please leave comments for a chance to win a free signed copy once it's published.

21 comments:

Mark Rosendorf said...

For the record, The Rasner Effect's original title was Permanent Solutions. During my pitches, everyone thought I was talking about a hair product, so I changed it to The Rasner Effect, which turned out to work much better.

Susan Whitfield said...

Ahh, that's funny, Mark. It's so good to hear from you. Yes, a husband of a friend said my original title sounded like a book for kids. I'm much happier with this shorter snappier version. Thanks for checking in.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I've changed some of my titles. I've also had my titles changed for me by editors. This has happened with both short stories and novels. Harlequin is forever changing titles. Stacy's Song was originally A Different Drummer. When L&L elected to publish the novel, Lisa wanted a different title. She preferred my second suggestion. Titles can certainly help to draw reader interest.

Pauline B Jones said...

I have had titles change. One was a publisher choice. In an interesting twist, I was looking through a box of old research material and found that The Last Enemy used to be Hunt and Seek. Had totally forgotten. And a publisher asked me to change Pig in a Park to The Spy Who Kissed Me. I even had a totally different name planned for my son, but when he was born it wasn't right. LOL! I think we need to be flexible.

The other thing I learned, google/check them on amazon, etc, before you fall in love. If you're competing with a bunch of books of the same title, it will make your book hard to find. The Key was perfect title for the book, not so great for marketing purposes.

My MIP has no title yet. I'm hoping to trip over it while writing....

Susan Whitfield said...

Pauline, you make a good point about checking titles. It's amazing how many books have the same exact title and it IS truly hard to find the one I'm looking for. Good luck with the new MIP.

Anita Page said...

Susan,I decided on the title for Damned If You Don't early on. Fortunately, my publisher was happy with it. The title for my WIP, however, remains elusive.

I liked Slightly Cracked--more memorable, I think than your earlier title.

Shannon Baker said...

I love Slightly Cracked. I am terrible at titles. Fortunately, a critique partner is truly gifted. She helped me with Sacred Balance for my upcoming book. It was perfect. But not for the publisher who thought it sounded more like their new age non fiction titles. They changed it to Tainted Mountain. I'm making the adjustment.

Susan Whitfield said...

Anita, some titles just click and I like Damned If You Don't. I'm glad you and Shannon like Slightly Cracked. Maybe folks can remember it easier too. Shannon, I'm sure if the pub changed it, it's because they think it will draw more attention. Good luck to all of you with your new titles and thanks for weighing in.

Linda Lovely said...

Susan, I really like "Slightly Cracked"--a much catchier title and easier to use in large type on the cover. My second Marley Clark mystery is due out in May and I did a teaser for book three at the back. For #3, I used a title "With Neighbors Like These"--that mystery will center on homeowner associations. But now I'm having second thoughts because the title is so long.

Susan Whitfield said...

Yeah, Linda, I knew my original title was wordy. You could always knock off the "With". I'm certain that you'll end up with the perfect title.

hanque said...

My first book was titled Fool's Gold and I thought I had a unique title. After it was published, I googled the title just to see if the book would turn up. To my shock, over 4,000,000 google items showed up. I've lean red to google any and all titles before deciding one.

Susan Whitfield said...

Yikes, Hank! LOL. A lesson learned, I'm sure.

Denise Verrico said...

I changed the title of my new Immmortyl Revolution book from Ratopia to Servant of the Goddess. People seemed turned off by the "rat" part of the title. The new title reflects the story better and plays off one of my previous titles, Twilight of the Gods.

Susan Whitfield said...

Denise, I really like Servant of the Goddess. Good luck with it.

Patricia Gligor said...

Susan,
I love that title and the fact that it has a double meaning, something I try to have with the titles I choose.
I had an easy time coming up with the title for the first novel in my Malone mystery series, "Mixed Messages." The title for the second book took a little longer because I was trying to decide which of two titles I liked best. One day "Unfinished Business" clicked - and it has a double meaning.

Susan Whitfield said...

Good one, Patricia.

Betty Gordon said...

Susan, I think titles are soooo important. They are the first thing that grabs me as I look for a book and then I go for the back cover. I usually think of a title at the beginning of work and see how it settles as the manuscript progreses. If it doesn't suit, then I list about ten and go from there. Usually, however, I end up with my original thought.

Susan Whitfield said...

Betty, that's so true, "a title as the beginning of work". I think Slightly Cracked has a double meaning that will become apparent as readers go through the book. Thanks for the input.

Mary Deal said...

Ha-Ha, Susan! Slightly Cracked is a title to which I can relate. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I can't wait for this book to come out. Love that title!

Susan Whitfield said...

Mary, it seems to work better and has triple meaning in this book;-)

Susan Whitfield said...

Congrats to Shannon Baker who won the free copy of Slightly Cracked.