Where’d You Get That Title?
by Roxanne Smolen
Titles are what make a reader pick up your book. But that’s what the cover graphics are for, you say? True. But what if the reader doesn’t have access to the book cover? What if all they have is a list? In that case, the title must be descriptive enough to let the potential reader know what it’s generally about. And it must be eye-catching enough to draw their attention in the first place.
Take my latest book, Wolfsbane Brew, for instance. I initially titled it The Witch from Blue Ridge. I thought that had a nice ring. But it was misleading. The book isn’t about a witch. Certainly, the witch from Blue Ridge is one of the characters. But the book is about a werewolf. It needed wolf in the title. I chose Wolfsbane Brew, a play on witches brew, trying to give the impression that there are both witches and werewolves involved. Now the person who can’t see the wolf on the book’s cover will still have an idea of what the book is about.
It’s important to keep genre in mind when you title your book. If you write romance, consider using words like love or kiss. A mystery might use words like clue or murder. If your book is about vampires, consider blood or fang. In the case of a werewolf book, wolf or pack are good choices.
My family members, friends, and acquaintances know the titles of my books and can go right to them on Amazon. But imagine a potential reader who doesn’t know me and never heard of my books. Imagine they are werewolf fans and that they simply type werewolf or wolf into Amazon’s search engine when they look for a good read. Because my books have wolf in both the title and the keywords, my books have a better chance of reaching that reader.
Read this and seven other essays in About Your Book Title, Writing Advice from Authors to Authors. Only 99 cents at the Kindle Store.