Friday, March 4, 2011

Naming Your Book

I've heard several people asking about naming their books.  How do they choose a name?  They ask family, friends, and co-workers if the title they picked is good enough.  Truth is, most publishers are going to change the title of your book anyway.  That's why some authors call their projects 'untitled.' 

When Harlequin published my first book, they did this to me.  I'd been living with the name Married To A Stranger for so long I couldn't imagine it being called anything else, but Harlequin already had a book with that name.  I didn't have a choice.  The senior editor told me she had a few titles in mind.  I wanted to figure something out for myself, but my editor insisted that we listen to the senior editor. 

The book was called Would-Be Wife, a title I still cringe at.

For my second book, I kept the title I chose for it: Borrowed Identity.  So sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.  In my opinion, it is better to have a back-up plan going in.  Don't just choose one title for your work.  Pick two or three just in case the publisher doesn't like what you have.  Maybe you'll get lucky.  Happy writing.


Nancy Beck said...

Gack - "Would-Be Wife"? Where'd they come up with that one?

The other title sounds better.

I always have a title, even one that totally sucks, and I think it's a psychological thing, "There's a title, so this must be a book!" Something like that.

It's funny where you can get titles from. The WIP I'm working on now comes from an old Beatles tune (it's never said *within* the song, but it's my take on it). The next in the series I hit upon from, believe or not, a radio announcer.

The next one is going to have a Native American take on vampires...and the guy was talking about his poor little boy having night terrors.

So that's what I'm using for the next book. Weird. But then I'm a weirdo chick anyway.

Have a great weekend! :-)

Jennifer Bogart said...

It's amazing to realize how much emotional attachment writers have to the titles of their books. Using "Untitled" is probably easier than having to mourn the loss of something they felt was creative and unique. I don't have a title for my work in progress, mostly because I can't find just the right catch-phrase. When I do, I will no doubt have a difficulty giving it up for something like "Would-be-Wife".