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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's In a Name?

I always wonder about how authors name books - or even if they do!! I've named all of my books except two.

I could not for the life of me think of names for what became LOCAL GIRLS and RICH BOYS. I thought the title BAREFOOT SUMMER would work for LOCAL GIRLS, but my editor was like, "Eh." In the end, it was my editor who came up with the titles for those books. They're short. They go together. They describe the books. Supposedly. I have to admit, I didn't, and don't love those titles. I think they sound kinda dumb. As in vapid and stupid. I mean, I do love the pictures on the covers, but when combined with the titles they look really just stupid. As in bubblegum, pop song, air bubble stupid. And I think they're not like that. The girls aren't dumb. The boys aren't dumb. It's not about silly people, yet the names sort of seem silly. But, I couldn't come up with anything better. So they stuck.

I called THE BOOK OF LUKE by its title from the start. But when it came time to submit the manuscript to my editor I wasn't sure she'd go for the biblical sounding name. So I offered up ALMOST PERFECT as a title. Turns out my publisher loved the LUKE title. And so it stuck over the alternative.

PLAN B was PLAN B from the first words I typed on the page.

My adult books were always what they were except DRESS REHEARSAL. Which I changed to JUST DESSERTS to play off the character's profession midway through. My editor loved DRESS REHEARSAL and so I changed it back.

The book I'm writing now doesn't have a title. My friend's 9 year old daughter came up with the title HEARTLESS. But that just sounds so mean, and it's not a mean book. So I'm waiting for that a-ha moment when the perfect title just pops into my head. I sure hope it happens soon. I hate not having a name. I hate looking at the first page of my manuscript and reading "Book #5." I want a title!!!

So how did you come up with your book's title? Or did you?


Mandy Hubbard said...

My debut, PRADA & PREJUDICE, began as "How to Snag a Duke (And other things I learned in School). Which really doesnt make sense, and my agent hated it. I came up with Prada & Prejudice. It sold, and for a second, my publisher (penguin) talkeda bout changing it. I panicked. On the inside. They kept it, thank god.

My book that realeased last week, YOU WISH, started out as The Ghosts of Birthdays Past. Which I still like, and would be much easier to use a google-alert for. ha. My editor renamed it YOU WISH.

My first pen name book, BUT I LOVE HIM, started out as Shattered. I still mourn the change, but I like the new title very much.

RIPPLE my first paranormal romance, started as "that mermaid book." A person suggested the line from Odysseus, "A Ripple Upon the Water." I loved it. I called it that for a long time, but would just call it "RIPPLE" in emails, and my editor thought that was the whole title and loved it, so it becamse just RIPPLE.

Jenny O'Connell said...

LOVE Ripple! What a great title.

Jan Blazanin said...

I'm horrible at thinking of titles. Jen Heddle came up with the title for FOTA, and it's a good thing she did!