Saturday, November 11, 2017


     The book title must grab my interest in just a few words. I believe most readers choose to peruse the book based on its title. I personally do not like titles that are so long I feel as if I have read the book. 

    I want my curiosity to be peaked.
    So that I pick up the book and read the back cover.
    Then I will open it and randomly read a few paragraphs as I flip through the pages.

Here are sample of titles that are intriguing and eye-catching:

                Love Story
                Moby Dick
                To Kill A Mockingbird
                Gone With the Wind
                Gift From The Sea

And, I did buy and enjoyed every one of them. My favorite is Desiree.

Certainly longer titles have worked for many successful authors:

                 Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
                 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
                 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
                 Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
                 Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent,
                 Terrific Days.      
                 Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire


Often it is the non-fiction books that have the longer titles. My book is a perfect example: Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Just having "Outshine" did not seem enough. Just "Ovarian Cancer" sounded too boring. So, it became Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir.


Novy's Son
is an unusual title and it is my hope that the title will spark the potential reader to find out what Novy means. So far, the title has been successful.


My latest novel, Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens clearly states what the book is about. By adding the name of the famous sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, people familiar with art and $20 gold piece will be likely to pick up a copy. 

       Here are some thoughts to consider:

     1.   Does the title give at least a strong hint as to what or who the book is about?
     2.  Is a character or sentence from the book a clever title?  
     3. Is my title original? Google to see if other books have the same title.           4. Have two or three ideas and then ask friends, family, or members of a book club for feedback.

      If the title is intriguing or informative enough for the potential reader to pick it up, then it is the right title. The most important part of selecting a title is that it is meaningful to you. You must be proud of the title and feel good standing behind it.


  1. Great thoughts about titles, Karen. You are so right, a title needs to grab you. Thank you!

  2. This is a great subject to talk about. The title is usually the first thing you read. I like when I can remember a title, too. I always search my title at end of first draft after using a working title to try to be as unique as possible. Your titles stand out and I can easily remember them:)

    1. D.L., your titles always are "catchy" or "interesting" and therefore easy to remember. Thanks for sharing.