In a name... Titles

As writers, most of us hate the prospect of putting a title to a book that we have been working on so hard for so long. It's usually a case of very easy or incredibly hard to come up with something that will encapsulate your theme and story, entice the reader to pick up the book and still be small enough to fit on a cover. There have been a lot of trends over the years with titles. Amanda Quick did an entire series with one word titles and Janet Evanovich's number books. They are all effective, and, if done right, can be the turning point between a best seller and a midlist contender.
Already I can hear the collective groan from a hoard of writers who are struggling with titles. The real catch on this is that we spend all that time coming up with a title that will catch an editor or agents eye and then the publisher will most likely change the title when the book goes into production. But that doesn't stop us from struggling with the issue.
One of the most common questions that I get with OBSIDIAN is... what is obsidian? Well, if you've read the book then you know that there is a reference to the black volcanic stone in the book, but it also became a metaphor for how deep and dark our pasts can be and how it colors our life as we continue on to adulthood. OBSIDIAN was the name that I picked for just that reason. I never dreamed that Five Star would actually want to keep it. But it worked on so many levels for the book.
THREE TRUTHS was published originally as THE THREE TRUTHS OF KATIE TALMADGE. I think that I was reading a lot of regency historicals at the time and thought that I could get away with that long a title. But I truly thought that the title would be changed by someone with much better skills at marketing the book. The publisher kept the title and I was left with a book with an incredibly long name. So much for the good will of the Title Gods. I did, however, get the chance to make this better when the book went to Kindle as an ebook. THREE TRUTHS is a much smarter and much easier to handle title and I consider it the grown up version for such a great book.
But what got me started on this topic was the title of a book being pitched to readers in Borders recent email. THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING. I have no idea how the book reads. It's on my to be read list, but the title completely enticed me. I loved the descriptive word play and all it invoked. Not to overlook the great cover art to go with it.
Then there are the THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE GIRL WHO... (insert the latest title here). I was surprised to find that there were other books being pubbed out there with similar titles that were not written by Stieg Larsson. Is this an obvious attempt to trade on the popularity of a bestseller? Or merely another example of titles changing to suit the readers demand. Much the same that the popularity of genres changes to suit the demand. 

So, just what is it about titles that you like or dislike? Is it a combination of the titles and artwork? And could just hearing a title entice you enough to buy the book? Let me know..

Three Truths, Kindles and the eBook Revolution


I admit it. THREE TRUTHS has been up for sale on Amazon's Kindle store for awhile now. But I was slow to movement to put up previously pubbed works in ebook format to give them another opportunity for enticing readers. This book never quite got the attention that I wanted. It's a wonderful Cinderella-esque story that weaves in a tale of rebirth in both the heroine (Katie) and the hero's (Simon) lives. It talks about taking chances, even when they make us uncomfortable and about believing that there is more out there then we can see.

Kind of like the whole ebook revolution.

The term "revolution" as I use it here is probably not appropriate the change in publishing's collective thinking and the steady stream of authors who are now offering, and finding a venue, for those beloved works that are collecting dust on the back shelves of our internal hard drive. There is definitely a feel of ebracing the unknown when we get into epublishing. There is a whole complete learning curve for both writers and readers to conquer when it comes to changing the way that they think about feeding their need for a good story. I've been in publishing long enough to know that this "revolution" has been a long time coming. Could we ignore it? I seriously doubt it. You'd have to be living in a cave to be able to ignore the fact that more and more readers are making the transition daily to the ebook format, Kindle or otherwise. Even I have tried to read on my iTouch, but frankly, I wouldn't suggest it to anyone in need of glasses. The print requires a larger format to read. My friends fall into two groups, those that have made the transiton to ebook reader and those that still prefer the feel of paper beneath their fingertips.

Obviously, it's here to stay. Even a giant like Harlequin has embraced the ebook transition and offer their categories in the format. That's good news for all those writers whose books had a short shelf life in the printed form. And for authors, this means that there is a chance for an almost instantaneous satisfaction for those who read your books and want to read the rest of what you have written. Instant gratification, devoted readership... and hopefully new life and increased sales for writers. The ebook revolution is here to stay.

Just a reminder, if you want to read about romance and magic with heart you can download THREE TRUTHS at Amazon's Kindle Store for only $1.99. I call that a good deal.

Tax Time for Writers

There's still time to gather up all those receipts and file your taxes. For writers, this can be an arduous task with vague advice offered on a multitude of sites. But I've found an article on Savy Authors (my new favorite go-to site) that gives some great tips for getting all that stuff in order. Too late for you this year? Well use their advice to set yourself up for success in the coming year. While you're at it, check out www.savvyauthors.com (That's with 2 v's)!


Savvy Authors - Tax Tips for Writers

Workshop alert: Night Writers: 8 Week Book & Body Boot Camp Begins!

This bears repeating... and repeating... and repeating..
The workshop is free and the instructor is a certified aerobics instructor and a multi-publishing author. I'm willing to give it a shot. How about all of you?

Night Writers: 8 Week Book & Body Boot Camp Begins!: "Welcome to the 8 Week Book & Body Boot Camp! Join me for an 8 week program (free of charge) HERE at the Night Writers Blog! Starting ..."

Featured Post

Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" ...