Apr 22, 2011


How do you title books?

When I'm working on them, they usually have the title of a main character. That's how it begins. Then I'll shift it to something else. The title a book starts out with in my computer is VERY RARELY the title it ends up with. And the ones that have managed to stay the same, may not stay the same for long...

My husband has named ONE book for me, and honestly I think it's my favorite. Insight - a YA paranormal.

If you're anything like me - you pick books first by recommendation, then by title and cover. So, yeah. It's important.

The other night I was having problems with something I'd just finished a rough draft on.

Me: I'm having title problems.
Mike: Oh. (looks away quickly, hoping to be left alone)
Me: Help?
Mike: Sigh - how about "This Title Grabs You."
Me: Very funny.
Mike: Fine, fine. But really, I think you should just name your books READ THIS IT'S MY BOOK and then you can just have vol. I, vol. II, vol. III...
Me: Never mind. I'll figure it out on my own...

I still don't have it figured, but I'm down to 5 options, and that counts for something, right?
Where do your titles come from? Do you like to use characters names? Settings? Phrases spoken in the text? Or does it change from project to project?


  1. Very rarely do I care about the title. It's not usually what grabs me since scifi/fantasy is generally Book 3 of some sort of series with admittedly a silly name. That said my personal favorite of mine was Jack of all trades because he was Jack and he was master of none.

  2. I love titles that play on words. Love the conversation with your hubby. too funny. sounds like a few conversations we've had around here.
    Great post! thanks!

  3. I struggled with coming up with a title to The Moongate for a long time, before finally realizing it wasn't my first priority. I still remember when it just popped into my head out of nowhere; I was going up the escalator at Barnes & Noble, and got so excited I almost fell off! ;)

  4. Terri - you made me laugh. My brother has handed me so many sci-fi books with odd title and crazy pictures that I ended up loving.
    Kari - my favorite titles are the play on words.
    Kristin - your story made me laugh out loud. Awesome

  5. I wait until I'm almost done with it and then give it a name. I've named mine after the world they live in but I also think the title may be up for negotiation when I go to publish so really...I ignore the title most of the time. Poor neglected title. I still love you.

  6. I loved your conversation with your hubby. It varies I like titles with plays on words and short three word or under titles, especially one word titles. But after reading I sometimes don't even remember the title accurately, ok at all, but I remember the details of the story.

  7. Titles are very important to me. I recently read a book because the title intrigued me. Turns out I didn't like the book very much, but I still bought it and read it. It was mainly the title that sold that book. (I had heard some good things about it, but not from anyone I knew personally.)

    I have no particular process for titling a work. The title for my first book just came to me very early on in the writing of it. The ones that followed? Not so much.

    As important as titles are to me, I LOVE your husband's idea. It would make things so much simpler. ;)


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