Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Writing Wednesday: What's in a Title?
I've posted before about judging a book by its cover (and how it can affect sales) but what about judging by titles? Think of it like naming your baby. It's not something any author should take lightly.
The title is the first piece of information the reader has about the story, sometimes in conjunction with the cover, sometimes without. Similar to naming a baby, an author spends copious amounts of time choosing just the right title, one that helps convey the tone of the book and attracts readers who will be interested in this story. I admit that I've been drawn to books many times by an intriguing title, only to read the blurb and realize the book isn't for me. Sometimes the opposite is true. Check out this book as an example.
I hate this title. I also don't care much for the cover as it looks like erotica, not my cup of tea. But it was recommended to me and the blurb convinced me to try reading it... so I bought and downloaded it to my Kindle.
When I didn't get to it right away, I forgot why the heck I downloaded it. I don't like the cover. I really don't like the title. I couldn't remember why I wanted to read it or who had recommended it to me.
It sat there gathering virtual dust in my Kindle library.
Saturday morning I finished the YA I was reading to review, and the ending was abrupt, leaving me wanting to read something else right away. (Does anyone else ever get that feeling? Some books you want to savor in your mind, and others you want to wash away in the waves of another story.)
So I scrolled way down through my library, deleting books I'd long ago read or tried to read and disliked too much to finish. I came across My Sunny Vampire and almost auto-deleted it, but decided that wasn't fair. So I opened it up... And got sucked right in. Finished it in a day and was left feeling satisfied.
Well written and well paced, the author uses two distinct voices to give readers the he said/she said views of both sides of the budding relationship. This paranormal romance hit all the right chords for a satisfying romance with suspenseful twists and the right amount of mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in this world with these characters and loved every minute of the story. The ending satisfied, while leaving enough threads to make me want to read the next book in the series.
There's that title and cover. How do I reconcile that? And this isn't a self published novel, it's from a New York house, published in 2014 by Lyrical Press, a division of Kensington Publishing.
Which I guess means even the big boys get it wrong sometimes. Because this is a really fun read, in really bad packaging.
What do you think about titles and covers? Have you ever bought a book because of a great title or cover and hated it? Or have you had an experience like mine where the opposite came true?