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Friday, April 22, 2016

Creating a title



Writers know how important a title can be to getting attention for their book. The title draws the reader to the blurb and sample. Blah or misleading titles doom sales or lead to unhappy readers.
 
With writing as many titles as I have with 25 books and hundreds of blogs, I should be used to coming up with names. I found with this new 5 book series, I was not so. The series began with a neighborhood in Tucson. Such a cool place and I love its name. I felt though that using it in a title might mislead readers into thinking the book is ethnic. It’s not. 

Moving into a new genre complicated it for me. What would readers of urban fantasies be expecting in a title? How would I let them know that the books were also romances?

For those who may not be into them, urban fantasies are where you have ordinary folks going about their business, with no clue that alongside them are diviners, shapeshifters, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, warlocks, shamans, conjurers, elves, trolls, and so forth. The fey try to keep the un-fey from knowing they are around—unless they threaten them or see them as prey.   

One thing that helped, on the otherworldly end, is that I had done research on it for two earlier paranormals. So, I put together my timelines, got a feel for the setting, photos for characters for the books and trailers. I came up with five general plots. Five potential covers... but still didn't have titles.

Some writers get the titles while writing the books. I have often done that, but this time, this was a series. I wanted the titles to go together and wanted all five before I began the first book. 

Often to get titles, I scribble down inspirations based on aspects to the books. Nothing though worked for me. Finally, I resorted to looking online for title creating tips. I found some good ones. Using them, I came up with keywords, and finally my needed titles began to flow—more scribbling but with purpose. 

A few titles, that I had liked, ran into roadblocks—already in use. One of my favorites was used by a famous author in a series nothing like mine but still it didn't seem it'd be smart to use it. I am not averse to using a title that is out there but not by a well-known author and not in the same genre I am writing. 

Finally, I found five where no one has them—yet. Since it’ll be months before they are all out, that could change. Unfortunately, there is no copyrighting a title—if there was, I’d do it as I put a lot of time into these.

Here are the title creating tips I found helpful:
    1. Have the title make a promise that the reader will find appealing
    2. The title should be attention grabbing.
    3. Memorable so the reader won’t forget if they didn’t buy it that day.
    4. Informative as to what is in the book.
    5. Easy to say.
 

4 comments:

  1. I agree. It's getting more and more difficult to think of the perfect title. Good luck. Hope you nail it. I'm looking forward to your urban fantasy series.

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  2. Rain, you're clever to check online to see if other books already use that title. I didn't do that at first and am now regretting my mistake. Now I am very careful, but sometimes after I've written the book and have the cover, I find someone else has had the same idea simultaneously. All we can do is try.

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  3. Great advice. After I released my first book, someone else released a book with the same title. I don't know if that hurt or helped sales! But you're definitely right -- a title is a book's first impression.
    I'm looking forward to reading your urban fantasy series.

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  4. Thanks. It is almost impossible to find titles that nobody has ever used. It's hard to give up a really good one. I felt like if it had been used in a different genre, it was less of a problem.

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