Monday, June 29, 2009

Longest Book Title

“There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.” – Josh Billings

While researching last week’s post on the Longest Books Ever Written, I ran across a really long book title. I couldn’t let it go. One long title led to another and another. That I’m easily entertained is the only excuse I can come up with for my fascination with this sort of nonessential information. But, unable to keep such trivia to myself, I am introducing you to the three longest book titles I found.

The winner has 1022 words with no spaces. Books average 250 words per page, so the title alone equals four pages. I’m not going to type out the full title because…well, it’s four pages. (Did I hear you say, “Thank you?”) Actually, the main reason I’m not writing it out is that I couldn’t find the entire title anywhere. Blowing up the size of the book jacket, didn’t help. The words were a blur. Daniel Radcliffe the story of the not so ordinary boy chosen from …….’ and ends with ‘to his ever royal crown of fame’ is the longest piece of the title that I came across. The Amazon listing simply reads, “Daniel Radcliffe……..(1022 words).” The author, Dr. Subramonian, submitted this title to the Guinness Book of World Records. Though the doctor does hold two Guinness records, longest title isn’t one of them—yet. You can read more about Dr. Subramonian here.

I guess it should come as no surprise that Nigel Tomm, author of the 13-million word The Blah Story, has also written a book with a long title. The title consists of 670 words. Once again, I’m not going to print the whole title, but this time the reason is due to the title being downright boring. It starts off Selected Works of Nigel Tomm (2006/2007) (Shakespeare's Sonnets Remixed 2006 / and never gets any more exciting. However, if you’re interested, you can read the whole title here.

The third book is listed on as the longest book title though it has only a mere 290 words. The book, published in July 2007, is written by Davide Ciliberti. Ciliberti is an Italian, which means the title is written in Italian, which means I can’t read it, so I’m not writing it out either. If you’d like to practice your language skills, you can read the entire title here.

An elevator pitch is the 20 to 60-seconds a writer has to pique the interest an agent, publisher, or reader in the hopes that the person hearing the spiel will represent, publish, or buy a particular book. This summary is no easy feat to accomplish. Therefore, I can’t help but wonder what do these authors do? How can you pitch a book whose title alone would probably take 10 minutes to recite? Is it possible to condense 13-million words into a speech of no more than a minute? Have these authors memorized their titles?

I can’t think of one good reason to weigh down a book with a ridiculously long title, not even to make it into the Guinness record books. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on this very important topic?

Off subject, I wanted to let everyone know my excitement upon receiving the prestigious, Galen Kindley Award for Enduring Admiration, for decoding a message in his post (with the help of a couple of hints, but that’s not important). You can view the award by clicking here. If, for some unimaginable reason you’re not interested in the award, you’ll probably want to visit his blog Imagineering Innovative Fiction anyway because the posts are always fun, interesting, and informative.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tags: Josh Billings, Guinness Book of World Records, longest title, longest book, Dr. Subramonian , Columbine, Nigel Tomm, Ciliberti, elevator pitch,


L. Diane Wolfe said...

I agree - that's a dumb record to strive for! Who is gonna remember all that? I guess the title IS the elevator pitch, although they'd have to condense it even further. And here I've stressed that all of my books have both title and subtitle - they appear so short now!

L. Diane Wolfe

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sounds nutty to me!

And it makes it hard to locate your book at the library or at an online bookstore.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Jane, you are just too, funny. Who is this Galen Kindley? I’ll have to look him up, or, run the other way.

All my "How To" books tell me title, cover art, and back of the book blurb are key to sales. There’s a billion rules for doing each correctly. Can’t recall that long and boring was in there anywhere. Must work, though. Wonder what the sales for those books are.

BTW, have you considered an ancillary career in research? You dig up some pretty interesting and arcane stuff.

Best regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Karen Walker said...

I love your sense of humor and the interesting tidbits you uncover.
Thanks, Jane.
Karen Walker

Marvin D Wilson said...

That's just crazy - unless your goal is to make the Guinness Book, I suppose. Good grief!

The Old Silly

Helen Ginger said...

There's gotta be people out there who would buy the book just because it has such a long title. But I would not be one of them. I will sometimes pick up and look at a book that has a title that catches my eye, though.

Straight From Hel

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Diane, at least your titles and subtitles are interesting and not just words strung together.

Elizabeth - Good point!

Galen - you might want to check out this Galen guy - he's pretty funny, too! I checked Amazon, Daniel Radcliff is not out of print and shows a ranking of 8 million something, The Tomm book is 3 million something and the Italian book doesn't show up. I haven't considered a research job because, quite frankly, I'm a bit worried by the stuff that attracts my attention!

Thanks, Karen.

Good grief says it all, Marvin.

Titles catch my eye, too, Helen and that's why if they are long, they better at least be interesting!

Alexis Grant said...

HA -- People (and authors, too, apparently) do the strangest things.

Anonymous said...

I'm sticiking with one-word titles: Breakthrough, Opening, and Escalation are the names of my trilogy. I like consistency and themes, so one-word titles are my thing.

- Steve Tremp

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Alexis, ...people (and authors... - that made me laugh!

Stephen,I think one word titles are great and I really like how yours increase in intensity in your trilogy.

Terri Tiffany said...

I think shorter titles are so much easier to remember! Congrats on winning Galen's award!

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world