|THIS IS ONE OF MY OWN |
It's the first impression one reads about the contents of the book--the story. Personally, the cover itself is more important than the title, because I am a visual learner. I will consider the cover before I even think of the title. If a cover is unattractive to me in some manner, I won't even pick it up.
Titles are equally important, but often are tricky. It's often the most difficult part of the book, in that it must convey an instant idea, thought, emotion, or hint of the story. I agonize over titles at times, but at others...the title is obvious.
But how do you choose a book to read, either from an Amazon page or a library book shelf or a book store?
What do you look for? Short titles or long titles? Blunt titles or mysterious titles. Cute or funny. Intriguing or obvious?
Titles often come from something in the story:
Since I'm no expert on this subject, I took the liberty to research titles of books and see what others said. I made a list from numerous articles of titles that were changed from the original one.
Which title would intrigue you? The original one..or the new one?
1. "Trimalchio in West Egg".....or "The Great Gatsby."
2. "Catch-18"....or "Catch 22."
3. "First Impressions"...or "Pride and Prejudice."
4. "Something That Happened"...or "Of Mice and Men."
5. "The Kingdom by the Sea"...or "Lolita."
6. "At This Point in Time"...or "All the President's Men."
See what I mean?
The title of my recent release is "Beyond the Blue Mountains." I wrote on this story for almost three years, knowing something was wrong with it, including the title. Finally, the plot came together and my two lead characters began to see an end to their common struggles. All this time, the title was "A Life Worth Living." That came to me at the very first of my writing, and I kept it until about a month before finishing the manuscript. But one day, I realized the low mountains in the distance that appeared bluish during certain times of the year were important to the story.
My characters wondered, "What is beyond those blue mountains?"
The light bulb came on. The title became "Beyond the Blue Mountains."
Then I put a train on the cover. Not the mountains. The Mountains could not be duplicated as I "saw" them, so the train is to convey either an arriving, or a leaving...or maybe both?
The very first book I wrote is Texas Blue. I titled it before I had five pages written. Why? The series I planned would have "Texas" in the titles. This first one came about when the man told the woman her eyes were bluebonnet blue.
Second book--Texas Promise--because the hero had ridden away and promised to return, but two years passed before he did. And that's when the story began.
Third book--Texas True--because the younger sister is named True Leigh Cameron-because the older sister said the baby's eyes were "truly blue."
Fourth book--Texas Dreamer-- because the youngest Cameron son ran away at age fourteen, roamed until he was in his twenties and began to dream of being a cattleman and oil man. Big Dreams.
The worst-named book I published is Making the Turn. This is a golf term meaning the point at which you finish the front nine, and move to the back nine. The players have two scores...and we always hope for a better score on the back. This give us a second chance, a starting over point. Of course, it's about a woman who just turned 40 and she must change her life--by starting over.
The cover is a golf green on a pretty course. Each chapter begins with a golf rule that, in my mind, describes what that chapter will tell.
No one got it. Everyone thought it was about golf...duh.
But this novel will be re-released one day with a new title.
These titles are on Amazon's Best Free Books List. Does the title give you a hint about the story? Do you like the title?
***The Girl In-Between
***Teaching the Boss
***Hope to Escape
***His Grandfather's Watch
***The Girl on the Train.
All these books have 30,000+ reviews each...so they must be good stories. But the titles? Most are good, but when I read the blurb, the title had little to do with the story.
Do titles matter to you? They do to me. "The Billionaires Kisses" tells me enough that I don't care to read it.
"Hope to Escape" sounds intriguing, though, as does "Owen's Day."
What is your thought on titles...either your own or books you might read?
Of your own books, which is your personal favorite?