Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coffee Chat!

It's our day to chit-chat. Iced coffee or tea all around! I'll have a nice comfy chair and an iced caramel macchiato (is that photo pure torture or what? I need to make a run to Starbucks!).

For the last couple of days, I've been brainstorming titles for my recently sold book. So today, I'm wondering...

What's your favorite ever book title (your own or one you've read)? And more importantly, WHY? I want to know why certain titles appeal to readers.

Thanks for any input! And yes, it's definitely a Starbucks day. :)



  1. Good question, Missy. And I don't really have an answer.

    Speaking as a contest coordinator though, I've seen hundreds of titles. Some make me chuckle while others send a shiver down my spine. They differ so much depending on genre. Which is good. I mean, if I pick a title called SALTY LIKE BLOOD, it's a pretty good bet I'm not going to read that right before bed.

    I've seen some fun young adult titles that were a great play on words. TIDINGS OF GREAT BOYS and BE STRONG AND CURVACEOUS come to mind.

    It's been said that we have a minute and a half (or less) to capture a reader's attention. The first thing is the title. If they're intrigued by that, they'll read the back cover copy. If they like that, they'll read the first paragraph or page of the book. If they like that, they'll buy the book. So after all our pouring out of words, the reader buys a book based on only a couple hundred.

    It's enough to make a writer cringe!

  2. Thanks for the tea!

    Hmmm, favorite book title? I can't think of just one, but I know a type I like - the kind that draws you into the story.

    "Where the Red Fern Grows" is one of those titles. Others in this type are "Gone With the Wind", "East of Eden", "Call of the Wild" and "The Nine Tailors". On the surface, the title doesn't have anything to do with the story, but there will be one line or one image, usually in the climax of the book, that ties it all together.

    Another favorite type is one that evokes images, like "Green Grass of Wyoming". I fell in love with Wyoming on a family trip years ago (and can't believe I now live only an hour away from the state line - we can say to each other "do you want to go to Wyoming this afternoon?" and then do it!). Anyway - Wyoming is brown, most of the time, so this title evokes a bit of a longing - to see Wyoming in the spring.

    I think I may have to drive over there sometime in the next week or so...

    I also like titles in series that help you know they're a series - I'm doing that with my books. Janette Oke was the first writer I noticed doing that. It's easy to tell which books belong in her "Love Comes Softly" series and which ones belong in a different series.

    Ruthy does that, too - the Men of Allegany County series all has "hearts" in the title. You know where they belong!

    Okay, enough chatting - it's time to get off the internet and dive into rewriting the next scene. Have a great day, everyone!

  3. Interesting takes, Mindy and Jan! Thanks for sharing.

    I know one thing we try to do for any Harlequin lines is make sure there's a hook in the title. So I've been working on getting better at that. I also like to make sure the title matches the feel of the book. Can't be too cutesy for a serious book, that kind of thing.

    Hope you're having a great mid-week day!

  4. I'd have to think more on which titles I like but I do have a funny story. I have one lucky title for contests. Years ago when I was contesting the book, I came up with the title. It was a finalist in the GH and a bunch of other contests. For some reason I don't recall, I changed the title. No finals. I changed it back - started to final again.

    Then I walked away from writing.

    Fast forward - last January I needed a title for my Genesis entry so on the spur of the moment I used my lucky title. *g* Not only did it semi-final and final - this time it won!

    Whatever will I do for a title next?

    1. SPEW ALERT NEEDED!!! Oh, what a hoot. Mary, I'm not sure what that says about mindset, judges or your work, but it certainly is a big red flag for the subjectivity of this writing gig. Laughing in upstate!!!

  5. I have a lot of favorites but to pick one, I would have to say, A DISTANT MELODY by Sarah Sundin. But it's not really just the title of a book that grabs me, it's also the book cover. The cover of A DISTANT MELODY reminds me of the old movie "The Best Years of Our Lives" which was one of my favorite old time movies. I believe a cover can take a simply named book and sell it big. For example, James Rubart's books, ROOMS (beautiful, suspenseful cover)and his book THE CHAIR (haunting). The titles themselves are simple and boring, but add the cover and they became intriguing.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  6. LOL, Mary!!! And yes, I DID notice that you didn't share that lucky title!!! ;)

    Great point, Cindy! I'm drawn to book more by the cover than the title, actually. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Missy, I was searching for her title too, then I realized all we have to do is click into lil ol' ACFW and it will be there....

    Titling Ruthy and Missy's next proposals, no doubt!


    Favorite titles.... I can't separate it from favorite books, but there was a book in a contest a few years ago that a lot of people HAMMERED in the judging and I thought the book was odd enough to possibly be brilliant.

    The Calling of Jujubee Forthright by Scott Philip Stewart. After all this time, and totally not a Ruthy-genre book, I remembered that title, but I think mostly because so many judges dissed it...

    I thought it was a wonderful microcosm similar to Forrest Gump, a glimpse at life.

    But my faves are teemed up with my fave books, and I'm not ashamed to say a couple of my own. "Winter's End".... A lovely non-category title for a lovely read if you don't mind DEATH... ;)

    Sweet Hush, Deb Dixon.... Love that book!

    Who can forget "Forever Amber"?

    Or Sara Donati's "Into the Wilderness"?

    Or "Understood Betsy"????

    Missy, what a fun topic. I could mull titles and books all day, but puppies and kittens are CALLING ME!!!!! Silly puppies and kittens!

  8. Some great titles, Ruthy! I love that Stewart one, too. (Although Sweet Hush is Deb Smith). :)

    Have fun with your new babies!