Reconsider, v. To seek a justification for a decision already made. -Ambrose Bierce
Readers have commented that The Ride is a perfect title for my book and have asked me how I came up with the name. It’s been so long that I honestly can’t remember if I assigned my manuscript the title from the start or if it popped into my head at some point (most likely the middle of the night) during the first draft. I do know I was pleased with the title because it describes the book both literally and metaphorically. I was also happy that the publisher kept the name.
After the book was released, however, I had second thoughts about my perfect title. As a new author, I excitedly went to Amazon and typed in The Ride. When a page came up showing the first twelve out of 13,800 possibilities, I groaned. Not too many people I know are going to go through a list like that to find anybody’s book, including me. Of course if you type in the title with my full name, it’s not a problem. But I’m probably not the only one who can often remember the name of the book and not the author or vice versa.
I’m not sure I did much better at naming my second novel. If you type in Reigning Cats and Dogs there are only 43 results. However, if people hear the name, they are most likely to type in "Raining Cats and Dogs." Sigh.
I decided before I fall in love with the title of my current WIP, I wanted to see if I could find any information on how to come up with selecting an ideal title.
One helpful article was “Tips to Land the Perfect Title for Your Novel,” by Jacob M. Appel. Among his suggestions were Googling the title you’re considering, including precise nouns and active verbs, and making sure the title matches the story.
Another interesting approach I found was “How to Write a Book Title Using a Few Simple Brainstorming Techniques!” The article suggested writing a paragraph describing your book then writing down all the verbs and nouns you used in that paragraph. The next step is to write as many combinations as you can using those verbs and nouns. There are more suggestions if this doesn’t work.
Similar to the brainstorming article, “How to Title a Novel” by Christine Hamlett, suggests writing keywords that best describe the novel's content, central theme and settings on index cards, then try to come up with interesting combinations. She also suggests keeping the title to six words or less and making sure it’s pronounceable. But, I think her best suggestion was, “Say your proposed titles out loud. Oftentimes what looks perfectly fine in print will sound laughably terrible when spoken.”
If titles are a dilemma for you, I’d recommend reading all three articles.
If you still aren’t happy with your title selection, there’s always The Title Tailor. The site offers “custom-crafted titles that sell books.”
How do you come up with your titles? As a reader, are you frustrated when the title doesn’t seem to go with the book?
Thanks for stopping by today. Hope to see you again next Monday.
Tags: Ambrose Bierce, book titles, The Ride, naming a novel,