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:~: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 :~:

What's in a Title?

Apparently quite a bit.

Now, we've all heard (and some of you may have experienced this) that titles are often changed by the publisher. So why spend all that time trying to pick out just the right one? Well, before they buy you still have to capture their attention, and a title is an important aspect of that initial appeal.

Here are some tips I've gathered from various writing-related sites:

1. Make it exciting, intriguing, frightening, moving. Make the title elicite some type of emotion from the reader and you've got a better chance they'll not only pick it up and read the jacket copy (or query), but will open it up, become involved and hold onto it until "the end".

2. Make it fit. As you'll see below, my recently finished and finally polished manuscript has a working title of Love Sketch. Now, that's actually kind of a nice name given my heroine is an artist and meets the hero while freelancing as a sketch artist, but the book is also a single title romantic suspense, and there is no element of danger or suspense in that title. Likewise, Flight of Horror would probably not be a good choice for an inspirational romance.

3. Use key words (a.k.a. buzz words) from your book to brainstorm a title. I used: love, danger, death, threat, art, artist, draw, drawing, sketch, sketching, sketchy, etc. from this ms and came up with some great possibilities.

I'd love it if you all would help me choose a title for this ms. I've inserted a poll below...so take a second and vote, then take a look at how your vote rated against others. And if you've got a great idea, post it in the comments section!

Below is a list of my manuscript titles. Share yours with us!
1) Amazon Sunrise
2) Tangled Webs
3) Hiding in Plain Sight
4) Safe in Enemy Arms
5) Perfect Fit (working title)
6) Love Sketch (working title)
7) Dead Man's Hand


Okay, this is a lame little blurb for my ms, but I just whipped it up so you could have a bit of an idea on the content of the story to enable you to better choose a title. And remember, don't hesitate to add your own suggestions in the comment area!

Love Sketch:

Trista Cavanaugh's artistic talents as a freelance sketch artist have just landed one of the county's biggest Russian mob members in prison, and while the police insist Trista's roll was too inconsequential to warrant retaliation, she continues to receive vague threats from an unknown source. She's only weeks away from a make-or-break art show, one that will either earn her the validation she's sought for years or prove her parent's negative opinions true. Any distraction comes at an extremely high price.

As Sycamore Canyon's new chief deputy, Carson Denali is faced with a troubling obstacle when the conviction of a major Russian drug dealer pushes the mob from Santa Barbara into his sleepy suburb. And despite his intensely negative opinion of artists on both personal and professional levels, he'll employ every resource he has to stop this network, which means using an artist to pull indentification sketches from a confidential informant.

Working together, Trista and Carson break through long-standing hurts from their past while striving toward a common goal--safety and justice, and find love along the way.

(Oh, man, that's bad. If I weren't so darn tired, I'd rewrite it.)

Looking forward to your votes!!


Blogger Allison Brennan said...

Hi Joan . . . found this through Elisabeth's blog. I voted :) . . .

Yep, publishers change your title. My first published book had five titles. But my second book kept my original title (yeah!)

My unpublished books (the ones that will never see the light of day) I called: HOT LATTE, PROTECTING HART, WATCH YOUR BACK, and FATAL SECRETS.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Hot Latte - oh, wow, I REALLY like that! Very original. I'm guessing HART is the name of a character. Watch Your Back is unique and Fatal Secrets is a keeper. All of them illicit interest...make me want to read what the book is about. Perfect!

Glad you voted. Thanks!! I'll post results next time (Wednesdays).

10:34 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Allison, what happened to My Dead Husband? Didn't you final in a contest with that?

7:53 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Aha! My title's winning!!!!

*cheesy grin*

7:53 AM  
Blogger Paty Jager said...

I actually liked "Hiding in Plain Sight" Which wasn't in the vote. But I voted anyway. I always have to have a title for a WIP or it just doesn't seem like I'm working on anything.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Amie Stuart said...

LOL Funny enough I tend to come up with titles before I even have a story.
The Cowgirl Rides Away
Once in a Blue Moon which was originally Cowboys Don't Cry
Even Cowboys Get the Blues
Redheaded Stranger
The Big Girl's Guide to Buying Lingerie
Starting Over which became Dancehall Diaries: Lynette
Love and Basketball (a YA that'll never get finished)
Nowhere, Oklahoma which was originally Finding You -- I gave Finding You to the sequel.
And of course Blue Collar Chicks inspired by the Blue Collar Comedy Tour--I SWEAR TA GOD IT'S TRUE! 8-D

I'm really really hoping I'm gonna get to keep BCC =)

Dang, that wore me out!

5:15 PM  

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