Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Choosing a Title

I am in the process of finishing my first book. I believe the title I have chosen is a real eye-catcher but I'm concerned it may be too dark. My book is nonfiction or should I try to come up with something softer. I don't want the title to scare people off.

This question actually came as a comment to the previous blog post I did of the same title, but since I thought it was an important question, I thought it deserved its own post.

If there's one thing I've learned in life it's that you should go with your gut. In other words, if you're questioning something about your book, your plot, your title, your submission plan, your characters, whatever it is, you're probably right. If there's a niggling feeling that something isn't working, it's probably not working. It's amazing to me how often I'll give revision suggestions to a client and the client will turn around to say that she had the same concerns, but wasn't sure how to fix it. Hopefully at that point we've figured out how to make the fix.

It's hard to know if your title works without knowing anything about the book or specifics about the title; however, if you think it's too dark and doesn't properly represent the tone and voice of the book, no matter how eye-catching, the title probably isn't working.

Jessica

4 comments:

Naomi Levesque said...

Interesting, thanks

Kate Douglas said...

Choosing a title is an interesting process--some just show up, even before I have the concept for the book, and I end up writing to the title--it becomes my synopsis, in a way, in that the title sets the tone for the story. Other titles elude me until I end up asking my editor AND my agent for help.

Right now I'm working on a book that's the first in a new series and the title was there before the story. I always feel as if I've been given a gift when that happens.

Jessica L. Foster said...

That is excellent advice. I don't know why we always ignore that something-is-wrong feeling, but it seems nothing good ever comes from it. I will try to remember this. Thanks for the tip.

Martha Ramirez said...

This a very good reminder! Thank you!