Here on the blog, we spend a lot of time discussing the importance of book covers and branding in getting our books into the hands of the right readers, the ones who will love our particular genres and stories. It probably goes without saying, but in case it doesn’t, I’ll say it now: book titles are an important part of the overall package that positions books.
With that caveat, you can probably see where this post is going. Turns out, the title I selected for my next book, a title I’ve loved and attached to and had at the forefront of my brain while I wrote the book, might not work for my romance sub-genre. It all started when I was working on cover concepts with my new cover designer (this is designer number three, for those of you following along at home). After several discussions of the book with her, I woke up one morning to find an email in my inbox that changed the way I now see my beloved title.
As she had been setting up a design and working on fitting the title into it, it struck her that Three Husbands and a Lover sounded like a reverse harem erotica title. If you haven’t heard of the RH subgenre, it’s one woman with multiple male lovers, and tends to be erotica. Um, no. Not my genre, and not what I intended communicate with that name. If I thought it was just her opinion, well-versed as she is in the romance field, I could ignore it. But now that she’s put that thought in my brain, all I can picture when I see that title is my heroine surrounded by her four lovers. As a reminder, my genre is Victorian Romance, steamy and sexy but not erotic, with one-to-one partners.
That means it’s time for a new title! And while there is absolutely no rule that the new title has to contain the word “three” or “third”, I would prefer it. First, I’ll share a list of titles I’ve brainstormed. Let me know if any appeal to you on their own merits. Then I’ll share the short, one-paragraph blurb (which is a work in progress, not final copy, and only included here to give you a sense of the story). Please let me know if that changes your mind or sparks any new ideas!
Third Husband’s the Charm
Three Weddings and a Lover
Three Weddings and a Husband
Three Weddings, One Husband
Third Comes Love
Quick Story Summary:
Captain Percival Carlyle, the Earl of Granville, is plagued by nightmares that convince him a missing friend is a victim of foul play. When no one believes him, he worries he’s succumbing to the mental disease that destroyed his father’s life. Twice-widowed Finola Tenney Simmons stands to lose her hard-earned fortune to her scheming stepson, unless she can enlist the help of a powerful ally. Percy and Finola agree to a fake marriage so he can protect her financial interests and she can guard him from his own failing mind. It’s the perfect business arrangement, as long as neither of them falls in love…
Do any of those title possibilities strike your fancy? Do any other thoughts come to mind? And is anyone interested in using Three Husbands and a Lover as the title for their next RH novel?