In my quest to write the next great novel, I am constantly hit with the question as to what the name of my next book will be. For now it’s, “A Man’s Worth,” however that is the third rename and undoubtedly not the last. I have also considered, “Signs in the Dark,” and “Lighters.” Every time I write another chapter I am dumbfounded as to what is the perfect title. Someone asked if a title makes a huge difference? Of course it does. It is the very first impression to a book. There are plenty of books I haven’t purchased based on title alone, “Zombies versus Unicorns,” is one, and anything with the word vampire or witches. Of course that’s because those are not my type of books, but had Zombies v Unicorns been named something along the lines of Majestic Dead, then I may have gone passed the cover.
The point is to catch a readers attention based on first impressions alone. The other kicker is the cover art, but I’ll stay on topic today. A title is the defining moment as to whether or not someone will pick up your book based on the words written on the cover alone. It needs to be catchy, something people will take notice of, and should also represent what the book is about. Years ago there was an awful movie out titled, “Vanilla Sky.” When the screenwriter was asked why he named it that he answered, “I always liked how it sounded, but it had no meaning to the movie.” WOW! I’m glad I heard that awhile later because I really did wonder how the title fit the movie. Don’t leave your readers wondering unless it is some kind of philosophical book with meaning within the meaning. The kind of book Aristotle and Socrates would sit and debate to find greater definition. The way I see it, the reader should not wonder how the title went with the book. It’s not a puzzle! It shouldn’t be as confusing as Sudoku.
Do I really believe a title is important? Yes. And all the questioniares I have filled out for Iuniverse surveys, information, and marketing packets have asked how the title pertains in one way or another. In fact, my first editorial review did review my title to suggest whether or not it pertained to the book. SO far I have passed with the, “Be Still,” book, and think I did okay with the, “When I Thought I Was Tough,” book. As for my next tear jerker (which should be a genre by the way), I am compelled to find that perfect title. SO far, “A Man’s Worth,” is at the top of the list, until some country twangy song convinces me otherwise. As for Zombies versus Aliens, well it can’t be as bad as Cowboys versus Aliens, and the YA gurus seem to like it, but my tear jerker, adult contemporary general fiction side wants something more deep like, “The Trouble With Gambling Aliens.” I know, I know … too deep for a YA audience.