Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's in a Title?




Titles are the best and worst friend a romance author can have. Get a good one and your book is half-way off the shelf (add a great cover and it leaps into a reader’s hands/e-reader).  Get a bad one, however, and your wonderful book may very well sit on that virtual (or real) shelf for months with no takers. How do you tell the Good from the Bad and the Ugly?

Some successful titles give us clues to what the book holds for us, especially the genre.  In historical romance novels key words like mistress, rake, seduction, scandalous, duke, viscount, bride, marriage and lady often come up in the titles.  In paranormal romance you may find wolves, vampires, prophecy, angel, demon; in westerns cowboy, cowgirl, horses, ranch, ride, branded, Texan/Texas, and wild; in fantasy dragon, sword, magic, quest, fairies, wizards, and magicians.  It all depends on how you use these words, how you craft them into an unforgettable title that will speak to the browser and make them want to read your book.

That being said, I decided to have a little fun with this post, and so I have some not quite serious advice for the authors out there.  It’s called the Random Romance Title Generator and it can be found at http://novelistvmd.awardspace.com/RomanceTitleGenerator2.htm.  There are eight slots for titles and you simply push the button to generate random titles for your WIP or book.  I played with it for a while and came up with some very interesting title material:
Flaming Servant, The Shattered Book, Kiss of Viscount, Churchyard in the Sky, Irresistible Ruin (I actually quite like that one), Bedouin in the River, The Women of the Trembling Twilight, The Virgin and the Viscount, Creek of Courage, The Trunk’s Tears, Woman in the Bible, Unwilling Twilight, The Delicious Stranger, and (my personal favorite) Physician in the Lips.  These are only some of the hysterical / good findings at the site.  I became addicted to generating titles in a very short time and even if you don’t use it seriously, it’s a great, fun stress reliever.  And who knows, a random title may spark a new story for you.

I was lucky when I sat down to write Almost Perfect, because the title that suggested itself to me got accidentally changed.  Since the book is set on an island, the song Almost Paradise immediately popped into my head.  So I started writing and emailed a friend that I had begun this great book and described the plot and gave the name as Almost Perfect.  Why I typed that I have no idea, especially as the other song was stuck in my head.  But she wrote back that it was a great title and I value her opinion so much that I changed it without a second thought.  And she was right because that title can be easily used to promote the work:  An Almost Perfect Interview, an Almost Perfect Christmas, an Almost Perfect Meeting, an Almost Perfect Title.  Hmmm.  Could have been the title for this post.

Giveaway: Jenna is giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card to a commenter. Be sure to leave your email address so we can get a hold of you!

Blurb for Almost Perfect:
    
 Pamela Kimball’s birthday present, a 1Night Stand adventure, promises to jump-start her life, put a new man in her bed, and help her forget her past.  Unfortunately, movie-buff Pam’s Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy takes an alarming wrong turn when she’s abandoned on a not quite deserted island—with ex-husband Roger Ware. 

Forced by hunger to accept Roger’s offer of dinner,  Pam realizes the geek she married has transformed into one of the most charming, sexiest men she’s ever met. His newfound confidence—and hot body—re-kindle old fires.  A simple kiss leads Roger to challenge her to discover how much his lovemaking skills have improved, leaving Pam torn between self-preservation and burning desire. 

With time running out before they’re rescued, Pam must decide if her heart can survive the consequences of becoming Roger’s “almost” perfect 1Night Stand.

Almost Perfect is Decadent Publishing's Read For A Cure book for the month of May.  All publisher proceeds from sales of the book from any vendor during the month will go to benefit Relay for Life. And a portion of the author's proceeds will be donated as well.  That means whoever purchases the book during the month of May is making a wonderful contribution to cancer research.   Please Read For A Cure and help us close the book on cancer.

Bio:
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical  and contemporary romance who has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own writing.
Jenna lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage. 
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Excerpt for Almost Perfect:

She inched into the lapping surf, searching for movement. Reflection off the water made this task harder than expected. Wasn’t the Caribbean supposed to be teeming with fish?  Now that’s something she’d had a lot of instruction in. Almost every marooned-on-an-island movie had a scene where the heroine learned to catch fish. Six Days, Father Goose, Blue Lagoon. All you needed was your hands and patience. She could do this.
Pam waded out further then stopped just before the water hit her now dry shorts. “Not gonna to have a damp crotch all night.” The words reminded her of exactly what she had hoped for tonight. “But not from wet shorts!” She headed back to shore to remove and drape them next to her shirt. The bandeau was a different story. Still damp, even after several hours, and uncomfortable. Might dry better if not next to her skin anyway. “Screw it!  Live dangerously.”
Standing as good as naked on the deserted beach, Pam smiled as the warm breeze caressed her bare body. The sense of being slightly naughty added to her delight in the sensual feel of the air as it dried her breasts. Her nipples peaked as the wind cooled them. She strutted down to the water’s edge to sink her toes in the sand, the salty tang in the air adding to the perfect moment.
“If you’re skinny dipping, you forgot to remove one very important piece of clothing.”
Pam whirled around. Roger stood on the beach behind her, a green bottle of Perrier in one hand. His gaze played up and down her naked torso and his salacious grin widened. “Mind if I join you?”




40 comments:

  1. This one sounds very good, I'm going to have to pick this one up!
    viarirose@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Viari--what a wonderful name! I certainly hope you enjoy it if you do. Thanks for stopping by this morning!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much, Carrie Ann, for having me here today. I just know we're going to have some fun!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great interview! Thanks for the link, Jenna! I am terrible at coming up with my own titles. My hubby usually comes up with them for me. Gonna give this a try. Love your books! Congrats on the release!
    jennyrlowery@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Good luck with the generator! I found a couple of really nice ones I might try and write a book for. :)

      Delete
  5. Great post Jenna. Titles are very hard for me and I also believe they can make or break your book. I am adding your generator link to my favorites! You book also looks awesome!

    Penny
    www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if you don't get a good title out of it, it's a fun little break from writing. :) Thanks for coming by, Penny.

      Delete
  6. Finding titles can be a problem, sometimes. Or sometimes not, I have several stories that were "inspired" by old songs (Patti Page and similar), and I just used the song title as the story title. Had one where I expanded a short story "Cauldron to the Stars" to a novel, but the publisher wanted a different title to avoid confusion ... ended up with "Magic Is Faster Than Light." Turned out to be good for a series, "Magic to the Rescue" is in the works and I've got a WIP whose title starts with "Magic."

    Jim Hartley linuxjim@programmer.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get a lot of my book inspirations from song as well, Jim. And I've used their titles as working titles if nothing else. Good luck with the series! And thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. I love coming up with the perfect title. I think this book sounds fabulous, Jenna!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jerri. It's such a great feeling when you think of the perfect title. Thanks for coming by. :)

      Delete
  8. I love titles. I kind of pride myself on my titles, actually. Of the two eds I have, both have wanted to keep my titles so far. They usually come from a line in the book.

    My latest ms, I'm stuck, though. It's just not coming. Maybe I need that title generator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with that, D'Ann. And you can always generate some titles and then substitute words for things that don't fit--like knight or viscount. :) I'd love to know what it generates for you. Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  9. I think coming up with titles is an amazing talent in and of itself. You are right they are so important and can really draw readers!

    sugerlady@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does take talent to consistently come up with titles that work well. Thanks for stopping by, Tamara.

      Delete
  10. Titles are extremely important -- especially with ebooks, since that't often the first thing a reader sees. A good title does two things: 1. accurately describes the book and 2. hooks the reader. A good title should raise a question in the reader's mind. Some titles are descriptive, but don't hook. Others lure the reader in, but don't deliver what is promised. Also, authors should always check what other titles have been published before titling their work. Titles CANNOT be copyrighted, but you don't want to give your book the same name as 20 others out there. Don't make it hard for a reader to find YOUR book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips, Cara. You're right, the most important thing is for readers to be able to find your particular book easily.

      Delete
  11. Titles really are important. They can either grab your attention or not make an impression at all.
    Here's an example of how a title grabbed my attention before I knew anything else about the book. A friend and fellow author--Lisa Kumar--was getting ready to release her novel--she didn't have a cover yet--but when she posted the title on our writing group--Bound By The Mist--something in me said, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK. LOL, and I did and I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great title Lisa came up with--and it does give the reader an excellent idea about what the book is about. A great thing for a title to do. Thanks for coming by, Brenda!

      Delete
  12. I am utterly awful at titles. Generally, I come up with one that works for me as I write, but it doesn't work on the "shelf." Lately, I've taken to having my husband suggest titles. He does a much better job. My Journey series titles were all his and they've done pretty well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, he's done a great job, Patricia, with the Journey series. So you have your own private "title generator!" Lucky woman. :) Thanks for coming by today!

      Delete
  13. OMGosh! Those titles are hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And there were some that were more--Bride of the Living Widow and Missing Tresses--many more. It was so funny. Enjoy yourself, but watch out--bet you can't just generate one set! It's addictive! Thanks, Sharon. :)

      Delete
  14. Woman in the Bible - now there's a book for you to write!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know it would probably make a good inspirational series detailing strong women, like Ruth and Esther, in the Bible. But not for me to write---well, maybe the one on Salome or Bathsheba! Thank you for that suggestion, Daryl! LOL

      Delete
  15. What a beautiful cover! I love it.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debby! I love it because it captures the mood of the book as well as the scene. And the people are perfect for my hero and heroine. Thanks for dropping in!

      Delete
  16. I enjoyed the titles you got. You're right that titles grab me so I look at the book to read the blurb. I quite liked 'Irristible Ruin'. Though I read a lot, I have only written articles for organizational publications, and that title actually makes me want to sit down and try my hand at something else. Thank you for the exceprt too.
    Patricia
    panthers.ravens@yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Patricia, for coming by today. I know, that title would definitely have me picking up the book to find out what's going on!

      Delete
  17. I'm totally messing around with that link tonight. Awesome post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melissa! Have fun, but I warn you--it takes a lot to tear yourself away! :)

      Delete
  18. Thank you so much, Carrie Ann for having me here today. This was a blast! You and your blog totally rock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, you're welcome darling! And you're on all week for peeps to stop by and read and maybe win a prize! *grins*

      Delete
  19. Wonderful post. I love coming up with titles for books. I think the name of your book is perfect. Oh and I had some fun with the generator. Got the following

    Luscious Bride
    The Rising Pirate
    Window of Wizard
    The Man's Desire
    The Heart of the Ships
    Bluff in the Enigma
    The Beginning of the Lyrical Desire
    The Portal and the Trouble

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Luscious Bride sounds promising; The Rising Pirate--depends on what's rising! These are so much fun! Thanks for coming by and sharing, Savannah!

      Delete
  20. Great interview. Congratulations on the book being selected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ella! It's a great cause and I'm so pleased to be selected too!

      Delete
  21. Very fun post. The book sounds good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  22. A bit late... Still, I enjoyed this post. Will definitely give the title generator a try.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Some of those title were quite good. Your book sounds interesting with a second chance at love.
    Jess1
    strive4bst at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete