This could TOTALLY be Percy and Finola if he were a strawberry-blond instead of a brunette.
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. Continue reading
‘Tis the season for guilty pleasures. The summer read. The blockbuster movie. Maybe it’s just me because my day job is in the education field (although I’m one of those dreaded administrators who work all year instead having the summer off [i.e., reserved for various therapies to recover from teaching]). But. I pulled my head out of my current grant deadlines and looked ahead to summer fun.
The New York Times recently published an article about The ‘It Books’ of Summers Past. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only read one of them. Ever. And it was the 2013 ‘It’ book Crazy Rich Asians, which I read in 2019 and found very entertaining, but as we are all story wonks of varying levels, not particularly well written in a strictly fiction craft sense. Of course, we’ve also discussed all the ways writers can ignore craft rules and still tell a wonderful story. I did see the Primary Colors movie, and of course, Love Story (which I will never watch again or read – it’s just too sad, because, spoiler alert – she dies [no HEA]). Continue reading
If I had to take out a personal ad to describe my current writing dilemma, it would go something like this: Multi-genre author with deep-seated issues around choosing book titles seeks readers with sharp, intuitive minds to help choose an appropriate marketing title for a book going out on submission.
You can probably see where this post is going. You, dear readers, are the sharp, intuitive minds in question. A few weeks ago, I didn’t realize I’d need your help, as I was merrily skipping down the primrose path with my beloved working title for a soon-to-be-submitted story nestled safely in my blue and yellow basket. (Yes, metaphorical Nancy is a weird amalgam of different fairytale characters. And she skips. Just go with me on this one.)
Then approximately a week and a half ago, I was on a video chat with Jennie Nash, one of my writing mentors, and a few other people when the conversation turned to submitting manuscripts to agents and editors. Jennie mentioned the importance of having an email subject line that captures the recipient’s attention. Since most query emails will have the prescribed subject line “Query: Book Title,” that means a marketing book title – without the benefit of a full book cover to convey genre and tone – might carry more weight than the final title on a published book. The title needs to convey Continue reading