Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Titles

by Amanda Stevens

I've been without Internet all week and I'm about to lose it again so I'll have to make this quick.  Today I'm writing about book titles. They're tricky business. You submit a book with what you believe is the perfect title only to hear back that, for whatever reason, it doesn’t pass muster with the editor/publisher/marketing department. Then it’s back to the drawing board. The process becomes even more complicated when you’re working on a series. Each title should stand on its own (just as each book must), but ideally it also works as part of the collective.

The title of the fourth Graveyard Queen book has already been changed and Books Five and Six are still under consideration. My editor came up with the title for Book Four and I actually like it better than the original. The titles of Books One and Three of the YA series have been approved, but Two didn’t cut it. Luckily, I had an alternative, which looks to be a go.

That’s a lot of titles to have rolling around in my head. The take away? Flexibility makes everyone’s life more pleasant and IMDB is your friend.

Also, there will never be a better title than Snakes on a Plane.

Here are just a few book titles that I love/find provocative for various reasons. Your favorites?


Jordan Dane said...

Great post, Amanda. Titles is a wonderful topic for authors AND readers. Not many people know how much effort can be spent on titles, especially for a series.

From your examples, they back up something I've been doing with mine. I generally start with 3-5 words to make my books unique from the sea of 1 word titles.(IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS & ON A DARK WING, my YA titles) I also like evocative titles of opposite meaning words, like AN ELEGANT DEATH. Before I submit my titles to my publisher, I do a cross check at Amazon or B&N online to see if my titles have been used before. Editors do this too.

All of my adult titles were THE ONLY ones with those titles until Karen Rose recently took NO ONE LEFT TO TELL. I wish her well with it.

Amanda Stevens said...

I have a feeling some of mine other titles may change before the pub dates. I've seen two of them crop up on Amazon since I first sent in the proposals. :(

Jordan Dane said...

Doing that many titles ahead, I would imagine they'd be hard to final. Testing those titles by checking them against Amazon is always a good thing.

I'm so excited to see you're writing YA too. LOVE your writing!!

Have a great weekend. My sister and I are going to see Magic Mike. I got my dollar bills handy. Wish it was in 3-D.