Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Naming my baby...

I have a mid grade manuscript good to go. A quirky little mystery thriller. What really happened to Sally Beachem's father? Were stories of his demise premature? Why has her mother suddenly given up her job? Can Sally uncover the truth and reunite her family?   At the moment the story is nameless. Titles (and covers) make the first impression. It's important to make a good first impression.

Titles used to come easily. I don't think I appreciated this ease. Somehow though, the more I have come to know about writing, the book business, publishing and marketing, the harder the titles are to come by. The freedom of ignorance is gone.

You have to keep your target audience in mind. Girls? Boys? Girls and boys? Junior, mid-grade, YA??? What's popular with the age group. What kind of titles do they prefer? You can't give the story away (How Harry Potter defeated Voldemort). You can't imply its a different story (The Voyage of... when the story doesn't take place at sea, or Barking Mad when there are no dogs involved). You need to hint at what it is (The Mystery of..., The case of..., Who Shot JR). It needs to be age appropriate (so not The Thief, The Cook, His Wife and her Lover) and not too oblique. If its a series you want to include elements that link it to future titles. Too long? (But this can work - The Incident of the Dog in the Night Time anyone?) Too short? Single words can be genius (Holes, Fear, Beserk). The same as another book (I love The Deceivers but this has been very popular and then maybe it's too mature)? Trips off the tongue but doesn't quite work. Doesn't trip but does have the right vibe? What should you go with? My usual rule of thumb is that warm and cuddly gut feeling that tells you you're on the money. I haven't felt that yet. I just  have to keep trying on titles no matter how harsh the dressing room lights are till I find the one that fits. You'll hear about it when I get there.    

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

How exciting!! Whatever your baby's name, it's bound to be a good one!! Yay! Take care