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.
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?”