August 5, 2015

How To Pick Your Book's Title

From Becoming Jane
I usually like to have an inspiring title already set when I'm working on a story. After all, I love to pick names whose meanings are relevant to the characters I'm giving them to (exceptions made for the Morgana Trilogy as I mainly used those already available in Arthurian legends).

Because titles are really important. The have to intrigue your targeted readers as much as possible, oeuvre d'art one thing during your whole writing period that you cannot change it later.
enough to make them pick your book up and read the blurb (which should then inspire them to read the first few pages of the book, which should in turn get them hooked into reading the rest of your work--a perfect snowball effect!). So it doesn't hurt to think hard about what title would best fit your story and your genre. But worry not, it's not because you've called your

Here are, for instance, a few famous book titles' before and after:


  • First Impressions à Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
  • The Don't Build Statues to Businessmen à Valley of the Dolls (Jacqueline Susann)
  • Trimalchio in West Egg à The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • The Last Man in Europe à1984 (George Orwell)
  • Strangers from Within à Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  • At this Point in Time à All the President's Men (Carl Bernstein)
  • Private Flemming, His Various Battles à The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane)
Would any of these books have had the success they had if their titles hadn't been reworked? Who knows? But I do like their later titles better...

Classic Penguin
For those of you who'd like a more in-depth talk about picking titles, I recommend you check out Anne R. Allen's 10 Tips for Choosing the Right Book Title in the E-Age.

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