What's In A Book Title? - The art of choosing a book title.
I believe in tradition, which is the basic foundation of family gatherings. Due to the next week being the week of Thanksgiving, I will be following our family tradition and cooking my famous Wedding Soup, as well as traveling. Therefore, there will be no blog post on November 20th. In addition, let's keep those in our thoughts and prayers who are no longer with us, working to keep us safe on every holiday, or cannot be with their families because they are serving in the armed forces. I want to take this opportunity to thank all my loyal readers and those who have subscribed to my blog and read it weekly. If you have not subscribed yet, there is no time like now.
I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Let's change up my topics a bit. I received many emails requesting suggestions for how to choose a title for a book. Mind you, I am no expert since I have struggled to choose a title for some of my books. However, along the way, I have found a trick or two to help me decide what I think is the correct title. There is no science to it, but specific guidelines help a reader formulate an idea of what your masterpiece is about. Make no mistake. A book is judged by its cover. The graphics catch the reader's eye, and the title generates interest. When these two concepts are used properly, your book has a better chance to stand out in front of others. I will cover this in a different post. For now, let's focus on the title.
A BOOK TITLE:
Why is a book title so tricky? If it's too short, it doesn't tell enough; if it's too long, it's hard for people to remember. If you are a well-known, established author, you may have a section in a brick-and-mortar store dedicated to your books. That certainly makes it easier for people to find your book. However, most stores have books separated by genre. Of course, the well-known author's books will be featured in that section.
For the most part, the aspiring writer and not as well-known writer has to do it better. Meaning you have to stand out in the crowd. A book title should give a potential reader an idea of the genre of the book, as well as what the storyline might be. Enough so that it causes them to read the introduction. The graphics enhance the title. Here is an example of my P.I series.
The graphics tend to let the reader know the story revolves around a big city, and the couple can mean a couple of things. It can be a story of espionage or a crime novel. What narrows that down is the title. The subtitle, From The "AX" Diaries, tells my readers it will probably be a series, and the main title, Trapped In Revenge, suggests the storyline is about revenge. Therefore, most will look at this as a crime novel.
Therefore, I think this is an excellent example of how graphics help to define the title. Consequently, I believe it will get most to read the introduction, where they will gain a deeper perspective of what the book is about.
Look at your book title as a teaser. It has to say something, but not everything. For example, the subtitle for this P.I. series will always be "From The "AX" Diaries," and the main title will change to represent the storyline. The second book in this series is titled "A Scent Of Fury."
Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Do you write your book and pick a title after, or do you choose a title and write your book? Some time back, I wrote a tutorial that is available on the UDemy.com learning platform on book structure. Do you write your book and assign chapter names later, or do you assign chapter names and then write your book?
That is all personal preference and how you write. I like to name my chapters first and write my storyline line around them. It helps to keep the story flowing in the direction I want it to. This is why I chose to pick my title first. My title and book cover designs are always done first, then I name my chapters, and then I begin to write the story. There is no right or wrong way. It is whatever works for you and keeps you organized.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TITLE:
Is there a right or wrong title? Some might say yes, others might say no. I believe there is no right or wrong title, just a better title. The better title is the one that represents what the book is about. It does not have to be an exact science. However, it should represent the genre of the book—a love story, murder mystery, thriller, documentary, etc. As stated, your cover design should support the title and fill in the missing pieces. When it is all said and done, the cover design and title must flow as one. Earlier, I broke down each segment of this book cover. That was the thought process in the design stage. However, when you view the completed cover, the human eye automatically picks up these details and sees it as one complete project and meaning.
Here is another example. When you look at this book cover, you know it is a love story. You also see the story is about two people from different worlds that meet. The title is short enough to remember but long enough to hint at the storyline.
It takes a great deal of time to choose the best title for your masterpiece and match the best graphics for the cover. In my case, I chose the title, and I used a very talented cover design artist, JodieLocks Designs, to design my covers. I wish I had found her before I published my earlier books. I supply her a brief synopsis of what the book is about, and she does the rest. Together, we refine it to get the final cover.
Pictures speak a thousand words, and words can define a picture. The best of both worlds is a marriage of the two. Each part of this project is equally as important as the other. In addition, never be afraid to ask someone's opinion. Before I finalize a book cover and title, I usually send it to family and some close friends for their opinion.
There is a good reason for that. When it is your baby, your masterpiece, the one thing you gave birth to, it is easy to love the first thing you see. Let's face it. You are seeing your work start to come together. That is entirely normal. However, it does not mean it's the perfect fit because you see it through your eyes. Like any parent, they think their babies are the cutest, as they should. However, as a writer, you need fresh eyes. You might be surprised as to the minor but essential changes someone might suggest that make it look better.
The font of your book title is also essential. It makes the title stand out. If you look at the heading with my name at the top and compare it to the title, which stands out more? The title, of course, as it should. I learned the hard way because the first few books I designed were terrible compared to when I started hiring Jodie to create them. Some people have a unique. If you are fortunate enough to have all these talents, then good for you. I am not one of these. I do not have a graphic art design eye.
Your book is your soul. It is part of you. Your ideas, your concepts, your representation of many hours of work and sleepless nights and missed dinners. Doesn't it deserve the best? Don't be surprised. More than once, I changed the title of a book during the writing process. It is essential to have a book designer who will work with you should this occur. Many times, we start to write a book, and our ideas change, or the book concept changes as we are writing. This is also normal. Writing is a creative art. Many times, things will change along the way. We may change something and revert to what we had. All ideas must be explored before we can say it's down and we are happy with it.
Remember, your book title is not just an off-the-cuff fleeting thought. It is one of the most essential parts of your book because your title is what you will be marketing. You are the writer; that's your brand, and your title is what you sell. Give it the time it deserves. Here is a good article for reference.
I nor anyone else can tell you what will work best for you. We can give you guidelines and suggestions. We can show you examples and provide explanations. However, it is a process that has to flow for you—a process you need to figure out that you are ultimately comfortable with. Please feel free to email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep in mind that most of us who write about things things have already made all the beginner mistakes. We learned the hard way. Often, it is a costly lesson. We do not claim to be experts. All we do is pass along what we have learned what works for us, and offer you the opportunity to view and try different methods. Thank you.
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Be safe, stay well, and focus on being happy. And remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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