Hello, peeps, Doris here, and today I’m going to talk Titles. How do you choose them, what to watch out for, and that sticky thing called copyright.
Titles can be tricky, can’t they? And there is no denying that an intriguing title can be a great selling point. Who hasn’t looked twice at a title, and either laughed, gone oohh, or rolled their eyes? I know I have done all of the above.
So, how then do you actually chose your title. Well, I can only speak for myself, and I’m one of those odd authors, who has titles first. In fact I need a title on that page before I even start writing.
Sometimes that part is easy. A title pops in my head, and hey presto. Other times I have the idea first and then struggle to find a title that fits.
Other times, a title that seemed to fit great, doesn’t anymore as the story develops, goes off a different tangent. So then, it gets changed.
A word on copy right here.
While titles aren’t usually subject to copyright, it is a good idea to make sure you don’t inadvertently use another author’s well-known title, or indeed series title, especially if you’re in the same publishing house.
It’s common courtesy, really, and besides, wouldn’t you want a unique title for your story? One that stands out and means folks know it’s yours? I know I do.
Also, most publishers will have a clause in their contract which states they have the right to change the title of your story, or ask you to change it, if they deem it necessary. Should that happen to you, rest assured that it’s done in your best interest, usually anyway. Not all publishers are created equal, of course, but I’m assuming best case scenario here 🙂
Of course, it’s by far preferable to avoid that scenario in the first place. So, how do you go about doing that? Well, you cannot possibly search every book selling site to ensure that title or series name has not been used, but Amazon is a good place to start.
Most folks will have their books for sale on Amazon, so before you set your heart on a title, type it in the search engine of the Kindle Store, and see how many, or if any come up.
I prefer to have a title that no one else has used before. Sometimes that can be very tricky, especially with a series name. You want it to fit your story/series, and sometimes every option that you can think of has been taken already.
So, what do you do then? Play around with it. See if you can just change it slightly to make it more unique to you. This is easier with series I think, than an individual title.
I know one of my upcoming releases has one that has been used by other authors a handful of times, but it was really the only that fit, so I went with it in the end. However, had it been one of the in-house authors titles, then I most definitely would not have used it. Common courtesy like I said. Besides, I know how much it can irk when someone else uses a title of yours that you really love.
It has happened to me, and, boy, did I rant in private, as you do. 😉
So, do yourself a favour, and don’t be that author. At best it gets confusing for readers, and at worst, you unwittingly create bad blood, and no one needs that.
Which brings me round to how you do come up with that unique title.
Well, mine usually find themselves somewhere into the actual story, and those are the easy ones.
Take His Prize for instance. The heroine was quite literally his prize. Series names, chose something like the family you’re writing about, or something that tallies them all together. If you look hard enough you find it, and you know, you’re an author. You can come up with something unique. It might just take a little time, but it’s worth it in the end.
That’s all from me today, folks.
Do stay naughty!