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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The original title of my book was....

But before I tell you, visit my blogbuddy Heidi to read her thoughts on titles.  It can be harder than it should be.  

A writer wants a title that will catch a reader's attention.  It has to suit the book.  It should give a hint of what the book is about, without being a paragraph long.  It has to sound right.  

And here we thought we were done our work once we typed THE END.  

No no no.  From what I hear, if you're lucky enough to land an agent, who in turn gets you a publishing contract, you're not done working yet.  You might still have to do some editing and tweaking, and sometimes that includes that pesky title. We do judge books by their covers, after all.  

After the first or second or fifth draft of my little novel, I decided on a title.  I like it.  I think it does everything a title should.  

TROUBLE WILL FIND US. 

But the original title? The one I first typed into the computer five or six years ago?  Back when I thought I was sooooo clever?  

Here it is:

HOW TO SMOKE, SWEAR, BAG MATH CLASS, HANG WITH THE BAD BOYS AND GET AWAY WITH IT.

Yeah.  Then I changed my mind.  

12 comments:

Adaora A. said...

LOL Heidi!

I've changed mine a few times.

A long title can be not so bad. Somtimes it can be intriguing. Although it might be a bad omen. Such was the case for the Harvard Student who lifted premise/verse/lines and all from a book and called it "How S[forget her name] gets kissed [gets a few other things I can't remember] and gets a life."

Tod said...

Trendy titles put me off buying books. Things like, "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian." I resisted that book for months until a friend insisted I read it. Great book, daft title.

A don't get me started on the trend for covers depicting ladies shoes and handbags.

Heidi the Hick said...

haha Tod! There will be no shoes and handbags on my cover. I can promise you that!

I have heard it's a good book but the title could be misleading!

Adaora- yeah, a title that nobody can remember cannot be a good thing, eh?

JKB said...

How are your queries going, Heidi?? I've kept my title, but then again, it's way short and I love it. :) If the only thing keeping an agent from signing me is the title of my book then I'm all for changing it. :))

Biddie said...

The first title pretty much desribes our grade nine year, doesn't it? LOL.
I agree with Tod. I hate the handbag/shoe thing. What is THAT all about?????

Heidi the Hick said...

Biddie, it's known as CHICK LIT. I can't write it. I think Bridget Jones popularized it but I can't get into it. Now, Grade 9 disasters? That I can write about!

jkb, it's in an envelope on my coffee table. I just have to take it to the post office, get it weighed, and buy the postage. This is one query that I'm sending on an exclusive. I don't usually do exclusives, but this one of the big agencies in Canada (there aren't many at all but this is a good one) and this was a requirement. I want in, so I'll jump through the hoops. And yeah... if they want to change a few things, I'll do it!

Anita said...

LOL...

CindyDianne said...

We all do what we gotta do. I like the title now much better!

Heidi said...

The final title sounds like an adult book. The original sounds like a YA book. I think you made a good move.

I think an agent might ask to see something based on a great title, but I don't think they reject based on it. As I understand it, they change it in editing fairly often anyway.

Isn't it funny how hard it is! It's like a mini-mini-pitch. How to sum up your book in five words or less. And we though queries were hard! :)

Thanks for the link.

Linda said...

LOL indeed. Good luck with the query. My title keeps getting shorter, but I've kept with Brighter than Bright since I started querying and have actually gotten a couple of 'nice titles' out of agents. Now, if only they'd say 'nice book, I'd like to rep you'...

Ah, it's all in the marketing... sigh... peace, Linda

LadyBronco said...

**HOW TO SMOKE, SWEAR, BAG MATH CLASS, HANG WITH THE BAD BOYS AND GET AWAY WITH IT**

Uh, Heidi - did we go to the same school? lol...

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh what fun!

(You can see why I had to change it, eh?)