A book can live or die by it’s title like it does by its cover. Many readers will say that they dont judge a book by it’s cover but let’s face it, we all do it. I also believe that we do the same with the title of a book. When I’m in a bookshop I look along the shelves and see all the spines of the books and all there is the authour and the book title. I have brought more then one book just by the title because it’s caught my attention. Naming a book is a real weak point for me, thankfully Owen is pretty good at it so for our joint projects I just tend to let him roll with what he comes up with. It’s very important, the title of a book. It has to grab attention and make the reader think ‘Damn that sounds good!’ and in this growing age of the ebook I think book titles will play an even more important role in grabbing the readers attentions.
So how can I find the knack for naming my work? I know the name should come from the story and when it comes to some of my short stories I seem to have hit the nail on the head. In these cases though the title has seemed very obvious, now that I think it I’m not as bad as naming my work as I thought. A title though has to represement the story, or at least part of it as well as making us take the book off of the shelve.
There’s also having an overall title if we are writing a trilogy or a series of books. Scott Sigler has his Galactic Football League series, Dan Abnett has his Gaunt’s Ghosts and J.K. Rowling has the Harry Potter books. Owen and I have Project Phoenix, which originally would have been a four book series including a prequel and we had many discussions about and overall title for the series but we never settled on anything and as long time readers will know Phoenix is in stasis at the moment until we come around to rewriting it. We also have our Project Apollo works which will come under one title banner for all the works in that series. It will give a familiarity for the reader, if they like the stories then they will see them banner and pick it up (hopefully).
This is one of those marketing things that writers nowadays have to consider. We need to have our work scream out from the shelves, or Amazon, or wherever you may browse for your books. Especially if we are indie authors. We need to get the readers attention, to spike their interest so they pick our book off the shelve, or to click the preview link on an online outlet.