Titles, much like the dreaded synopsis, can be the bane of a writer’s life. For me, titles either come to me immediately or have to be dragged from the text, kicking and protesting all the while. These second type are often barely satisfactory and rarely my favourites.
Take my recently sold Christmas story, as an example.
When Love Flue In
The title is, I hope, frivolous, amusing and gives an indication to the type of tale you will find within the book’s pages.
It hit me in a lightning flash, with no thought required, and it is one of my favourite titles to date. I tried not to get too attached to it though because publishers have the right to ask you to change your title. Thankfully, Silver appear to have no issue with it and my little play on words has survived the editor’s pen.
Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. A recently suggested title for a possible publication, ‘Ripples from the Past’, has been turned down because it wouldn’t appeal to the publisher’s mainly romantic readership.
So, how important are titles to you when making your purchasing decision?
As a reader I would suggest the title is quite some way down my list, certainly behind author, blurb and friend’s recommendations. Possibly on a par with cover art.
However, when you stop to think about it, what are the first two things you see as you are streaming through the huge number of new releases every week?
Cover art and title.
Consequently, neither of these aspects might make you buy the book, but either could be the reason why you stop to look in the first place.
With that in mind, can I ask, if all you had to go on was a title which of these would make you want to stop and investigate further?
Conquer the Past
Our time, this time
Through Dreams we Collide
Past Love, Future Hopes
Dreams of Past Love
Descendants and Desire
Historical Precedent (for Love)
What went before