Dare to Read

December 22, 2011

That Elusive Perfect Title

Filed under: On Marketing,On Writing,Two Moon Princess,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 12:37 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

The Cover, the Title and the Blurb, the three things that determine whether we buy a book, are chosen by The Powers of Be, not by the author, in the traditional publishing business.

I discussed the cover of my YA fantasy, TWO MOON PRINCESS, in a previous post where I explained I had no saying on it.

I didn’t choose the title either. My original title was LEAVING THE CASTLE, because in the book my protagonist, Princess Andrea, tries again and again to break free from her father’s castle and this struggle is what motivates her throughout the story.

Which title fits the story better, which one is more catchy to prompt the readers to grab the book, I do not know. But the importance of the title is hard to ignore. It was reading about the title of the new released remake of the Swedish trilogy THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO that made me ponder about that elusive “je ne sais quoi” that makes a title unforgettable.

In Sweden, the trilogy had a quite different title. One that defined the spirit of the book exactly and expressed the point Stieg Larsson was trying to make with his story, that abuse against women exists even in Sweden, considered by many the most liberated country.

The title there, if you wonder, is THE MAN WHO HATED WOMEN.

Appropriate? Absolutely. Catchy? I’m not sure.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO on the other hand catches your interest immediately. But does it match the book?

What do you think?

October 5, 2011

In Search of the Perfect Title

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Given that my agent has requested my full manuscript, I have stopped rewriting my query and, instead, dedicated my efforts to another, if possible, more difficult task: finding an enticing title.

I must confess that if writing a query/blurb/pitch is intimidating for me, looking for a title is paralyzingly scary. My track history of naming my books having been one of utter failure so far.

I called my first novel Leaving the Castle, a title that, in my opinion, conveyed my protagonist’s goal of leaving her father’s castle to find freedom and live life on her own terms. My editor didn’t agree and published it as Two Moon Princess (http://www.amazon.com/Two-Moon-Princess-Carmen-Ferreiro-Esteban/dp/1933718277/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1317490293&sr=1-1).

I thought I had found the perfect title when I named my most recent YA fantasy, Requiem for a King. But when I published my first page for critique at the writeon.com conference last year, I was told my writing was engaging but the title made my book sound terribly boring. Humbled by such comment, I changed the title to The Revenge of the Wolf King and, voila, my rate of manuscript requests increased substantially after I queried with the new title.

Seeing that my instincts cannot be trusted when it comes to naming my book, I studied the titles of many classical and modern books looking for inspiration. I also read many articles on the subject.

From Jane Lebak’s recent blog post, You Called it What? (http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2011/09/you-called-it-what.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QueryTracker+%28QueryTracker.net%29) I copied the following advice:

“Your title should fit (and be specific for) your book.”

“It must fit your genre.”

It “should convey tension” and “elicit an emotional reaction.” A good title allows you to “predict the central conflict without knowing any more about the story.”

Overall the purpose of a title is to intrigue, to “entice someone to learn more about the book.”

It’s all great advice, yet still I can’t decide.

Here is the list I have compiled so far:

Becquer Immortal

Becquer Eternal

Meet Becquer

Becquer’s World

Becquer Forever

Any preference?