Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Titles


Since I'm starting a new project, I've been thinking a lot about what to call it. Titles are very important once a book is published. Look at the book above. First of all, the cover is fabulous. I love the feel it gives you, but the title was what drew me in. It sounds interesting and fun. Now, I've never read this book...but now I want to.

I find that I pick the coolest title I can think of, and then move on. I tend to do this because I'm of the opinion that I shouldn't be too attached to a title because the publisher will have final say on the title anyway. But I wonder if I'm being too flippant about it. Maybe it is a bigger deal in landing an agent and a publisher than I give it credit for. Don't get me wrong. I'd never submit a book and call it Project 1 or something. My books always have decent titles, but they're never what I'd consider really amazing or anything. I put much more time into the writing, revising, and polishing--not a lot into the picking of the title.

What do you think? Do you invest a lot of time into picking a title?

11 comments:

  1. I'd say there's a balance. You do need to focus mostly on the book itself, but a bad title could turn off an agent/editor before they look at it. Some titles come to me easily, others I struggle with. I try to come up with something catchy that sounds appropriate to the genre, but I don't get overly attached to the title, either.

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  2. I used to spend a lot of time puzzling over titles. It took me a while to realize that I wasted a ton of time romanticizing the title and not actually writing the book. Now I hate coming up with titles because, like you said, I feel that they might change anyway.

    I've only recently ensured that each project has a clear title because I needed an unconfusing way to refer to them with beta readres.

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  3. I haven't queried yet, but the title I have, although I love it, I'm okay with the agent or publisher changing it- if changing it means I get Agent Awesome or that publishing deal, fine. I just started a new project and I have no clue what to call it, so for now it is titled New Project. Hopefully I'll come up with something to call it!

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  4. I don't invest a lot of time, because I'm crappy at titles. Like you said I figure it would be changed anyway, but now you have me wondering. I'll be curious to see what others say.

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  5. I do. When I titled my book, I brainstormed at least 50 different titles. Then it got changed. Ha! But how did we do it? We brainstormed at least 150 titles. True that.

    Right now, I know I need to retitle my novel, but I can't think of anything. The upside to this is that I have people who can help me with it.

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  6. I am bad, bad, bad at titling my own WIP. I couldn't think of a single title that would work. So I asked a friend and he gave me the perfect one. Perfect! I love it! Sadly, no one else even knows what it means. :(

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  7. I LOVE picking titles! You wouldn't believe how many times I've actually started with a title. :-)

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  8. I wonder if an agent has not gone on to read a query because of a really bad title. If so then I guess titles do matter. Anyone heard of this?

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  10. You can certainly write a book without a title. You can even edit it a bazillion times without a title. But it feels very much like there's something missing--kinda like having a toddler running around that you're still calling 'Baby' because you and your hubby haven't been able to decide on a name.

    My WIP #1 was a year old before it got a name, while WIPs #2 & #3 had titles before the first words were written.

    But you're right about not getting too attached, especially when you're first starting out. You run the risk of being hurt if the publisher doesn't like it or wants to modify it. A bit like waiting for the final book in a series and theorizing where the author will take it and being so invested in your ideas that you're angry with the author and disappointed in the series because the author didn't do what you expected. So I guess we should like our titles, but not too much.

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  11. Titles... oh yes. I spend waaaaaaay too long trying to decide because they are the introduction to your book. Even if they are changed later, they will be the introduction any prospective agent or editor gets. VERY important.

    I love that book cover too.

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