Nancy: A Rose by Any Other Name*

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

Jilly: Finding The Right Title. Help!

If it looks like a romance, and sounds like a romance ...

If it looks like a romance, and sounds like a romance …

My story needs a new title. I’m driving myself crazy here, and I’d appreciate a helping hand.

I mentioned in the comments last Sunday that I’d had some push-back at RWA about my title, Rent & Cornflakes. A very nice editor said “Not a fan of the title. It isn’t really catchy, nor tells you anything about the book. I wouldn’t think this was a romance.” A couple of days later, I pitched an agent. She asked my title, looked surprised for a moment, and then said “Oh. Is it women’s fiction, then?” I said no, it’s a love story. We moved swiftly on to talk about the book, but I knew then that Rent & Cornflakes wasn’t doing me any favors.

The final nail in the coffin was the feedback I got a couple of days ago from the Lone Star contest. Unlike Elizabeth, I did not final, but I got some really useful feedback, including the following:

I really like this story. The only thing I don’t like is the title. This book deserves a better title befitting a single title romance, so re-title it. A title should be part of your marketing package and should interest readers to buy. Your title doesn’t do that. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even read the blurb of a book with that title. Everything else is good.

All righty, then. Continue reading