You Can’t Judge a Book Without a Title

As I’ve mentioned earlier on this blog, my next MG novel will be coming out this fall. But have I mentioned that for a long time my soon to be published middle grade novel did not have a title? I wanted to, just now, say that it was titleless but WordPress doesn’t acknowledge titleless as a word, contrary to Google which says it’s an adjective meaning “without a title.” Interesting.

Titles can be very important to a book. I can remember when my first book Bitter, Sweet was published; so many people commented on the well placed comma in the title. I had originally titled the book Bittersweet and when my publisher asked my thoughts on tweaking it a bit, I wasn’t quite sure. I needed time to think about it. I was told they wanted the title to stand out. There were other books out there with similar titles. I took a few days to mull it over, but ultimately agreed with them. Later, I was so glad I did. I now couldn’t imagine it being all one word and, as I said, many people seemed to be slightly curious about that comma.

But this last book of mine, coming out this November (yes, I did say November!) has been without a title for awhile now. I did title it when I submitted the manuscript, of course I did, but my publisher didn’t love the title. (Hey, these things happen!) So my editor and I brainstormed some ideas and sent our suggestions along. Our list was narrowed down to three, of which I was asked an opinion on. And suddenly my book had a title. Just that simple, dimple.

Did I say simple? Hmmmm, not quite.

The first list we submitted didn’t have anything that jumped out for my publisher. Could we come up with more suggestions?

No problem. We came up with another list. And then finally, within that list, three nuggets were found. I picked the biggest and shiniest nugget of the three. Hello book title!

I find it interesting that so often when people hear that you’ve an upcoming book, their first question is “What’s the title?” Never fail.

I find that interesting because, without knowing anything else about a book, the title doesn’t sem all that important to me. For instance is it an adult fiction? childrens book? non-fiction? What’s the story about? All things you might not be able to discern by a title alone. But that is just my thoughts on it.

So, happy that I am to have a sparkly new title. I won’t yet share it with you. Not to be intentionally cruel, but I’ll wait until I’m ready to show the cover. Believe me when I say, you’ll appreciate the title much more when you have a visual to go with it.

But stay tuned. I will share the original title in my next post, but only because there’s a story to go along with it. You may even learn a little something from the post. See you then!

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3 Comments

  1. Titles can be hard. But strange as it seems, the title usually comes before the story for me. Right now I have a title but no real story idea. Weird, I know. I look forward to your next cover and title.

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    • Thanks, Darlene. I’ve occasionally had the title first but not often. I’m just looking over a Middle Grade novel that began with a title. All books are different, every experience differs. I sometimes wish I was more consistent, but I just do what feels right at the time. Good luck coming up with a story idea for your title! ❤

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  2. A title does a lot of work. I often wonder if too much pressure is put on the title, and if the title feels like running away some days. But it’s a workhorse. So it sticks around.

    If I don’t have a title when I start a book, I find it extremely difficult to find one suitable. It’s why I try to create the title as soon as I write that first chapter.

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