Saturday, March 21, 2009

Title Wave

Before I was published, I suffered over the titles, wanting them to sound cool and intriguing, wanting titles that gave a flavor of the story. I wanted titles that were short, to the point and would look good on a book cover.

I am over that now. I'm apparently just not good with titles (as the subject line of this blog post would suggest). Every title I've ever proposed has been rejected by my editor. WHAT THE HEART SEES (admittedly a stupid title) became FORBIDDEN TERRITORY. DANGEROUS PURSUIT became FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION. DEADLY ILLUSION became...well, you get the picture.

Intrigue editors aren't necessarily thinking about how cool a title is, or how good it will look above or below your name. They're looking for titles that sell. I wrote a cowboy book and titled it TARGET: JANE DOE, a title I thought was very cool. Even the editor liked it. Except, well, the book was part of a big "Ultimate Intrigue Heroes" month and the title really needed to focus on the hero instead. So it became COWBOY ALIBI.

At that point, I think I gave up. Now, when I work up a proposal, I just name it anything that remotely sounds A) like a title and B) like it could fit my story. Why go to the extra effort when the editor's just going to change it anyway?

I know a lot of readers are drawn to or repelled from books by the covers. What about the titles?


  1. You really want something intriguing? visit my blog... see you there.


  2. I've only had three and out of the three only kept one. Who can decipher the mind of marketing? LOL.


  3. Titles do have an effect on me and whether to buy a book or not. It's not the total determining factor but there are some words that if they are in the title I'm not as likely to pick up the book and read the blurb. Most of these are not Intrigue titles.

  4. Titles don't play a big part in why I buy a book.

  5. Titles don't pull me into the story. But sadly the cover does. ::shaking head:: Some days I feel so shallow. LOL! No matter what the titles are, Paula, your books are great. Keep it up.

  6. I've been really lucky with my covers, Carla. Guys in the rain on all four. ;) I'm hoping book five keeps up the tradition--there's a great rain scene they could draw from. I'll be sure to put it in my art fact sheet. :)

  7. Who cares about a title with him on the cover?!? I'd buy that book just to look at the cowboy.

  8. The cover will draw me to story too. Then I will flip it over and read the back of the

    But there is something to be said for these men they get to do these covers for you all. Where in the world do they find them at?

    Love the cover Paula

    patsy :)