Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Last year I wrote a post about titles. If you take a look over to the right to see my word counter for my WIP, you’ll see a working title, Heart Choices. I think it is my fourth attempt at it in three weeks. I've edited the title more than the book.

I stink at titles but they can sell or not sell a book. I shared with my husband my latest idea for the title. He told me he’d never buy it. Maybe because the word Heart was in it?

It isn’t a romance. It’s women’s fiction—so alright—maybe I shouldn’t care that a man wouldn’t even pick my book up off the shelf. But I do.

So where do I go to find title insurance? I want one that grabs the reader and screams, “Buy Me! I might be worth it!”

Looking for some awe inspiring suggestions. Otherwise, I might have to ask you to read the book first.


giddymomof6 said...

HEY Terri! I would love to help you! I'm a title freak. I love to come up with titles for everyone and I've done most of my friends books too! LOL! I don't feel like I can type until I have the perfect title. So send me a blurb about the book and why you love it and I'll send you back a few examples of titles I think will work. jenniiyq2@yahoo.com

Helen Ginger said...

Maybe you could post the back cover blurb in your side bar so your followers could read and suggest titles. If you'd rather not do that, then gather a group of friends/readers and let them toss title ideas to you.

Titles are difficult. They have to appeal to the bookstore browser, fit in with the genre, relate in some way to the book, and not be the same as any other current book.


Jody Hedlund said...

I'm terrible with titles too! Maybe I'll have to have giddymomof6 help me pick my titles too!

Yolanda said...

You are definately asking the wrong person, by asking me. ;-)

Love ya

Sassy Granny ... said...

OK ... in my business background there is much to be said of the brainstorming maneuver. You simply toss a lot of stuff out there (unedited) to see what, if any of it might be worthy.

Here goes ...

From the Heart
Rythyms of the Heart
The Heart Speaks
A Different Choice
The Heart Knows
Heralds from the Heart
A Different Drum
Tendering a Choice
The Heart's Choice
Honoring the Heart
The Heart of the Matter

Angie Ledbetter said...

Back off, Jenni James! I'm the Title Queen from New Orleans. :)

I wouldn't angst over your title. More than likely, editor/agent will change it anyway.

Jan Cline said...

I stink at titles too but I love what Sassy had to say. Brainstorming is always a good way to eliminate the titles you DONT want. I am impresssed with your progress - good job.

Janna Qualman said...

Ditto what Angie said about it being changed later anyway, but I REALLY like Choices of the Heart. It's a great spin on what you've got... and it has double the meaning.

Barbara said...

Terri, thank you for your concern for little Abby.

Kristen Painter said...

I agree with Helen. Post more info and I'd be glad to help.

Cindy said...

I am not so good with titles, but I don't think I've ever tried to name someone else's book. Maybe it would be easier. If we could have a summary, a quick little blurb, that might help.

Melissa Marsh said...

Yep - Ang is right. Your editor/agent will probably change it anyway. But I also think it's important to have a good title to get the attention of said editor/agent. :-)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, dear. I have no idea. I just go with my gut. I'm told that the editors will likely change it anyway, so I don't put too much stock in what I come up with.

Greg C said...

I would love to help you out too and from a man's perspective. Tell us more about the book. You know that men will also buy a book if there is a nice picture on the cover. :)

Jill Kemerer said...

You're not alone on the title issue. I've come up with some doozies!

I keep the following in mind so the reader can have an idea of what the book's about based on the title:

-genre (a suspense should probably have an edge to the title, a chick-lit would be more easy-breezy)

-basic plot (if it's a historical romance, some idea of when and where can help sell a book)

-character names (do the "Saving Sarah" type of titles ever go away? I think not)

Wishing you a fantastic title!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Gawd! I had so many titles for Tender Graces it ain't funny -- and I "fought" the title TG at first - I said "nooooo it sounds too too - I dont know....gentle!" *laughing* - but, I had to trust the publishers decision on that - they were Right On with the cover that's for sure....But I still mourn some of my titles past ....*sniff*

Alleluiabelle said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog Terri. So much has been going on in the last couple of days, I'm trying to catch up. By the way, my husband watches the golf channel a lot. How could I forget that one. We received your book today. Thank you so much! I read your story out loud to my husband. We shared it together first time reading.

As for your title, for the little bits that I write, I go with my gut. Actually the titles just flow out instantly. I've never had anything published, except for a poem that I wrote as a tribute to my mother. It was published in an anthology. It was great to see something that I wrote published in an actual book.

I'm anxious to see what you come up with. I'll be back.

Love you,

Jessica said...

Well I don't really read much women's fiction, but maybe if you post a blurb we can get something from that? LOL I'm not sure I'm the best at titles. One of manuscripts, targeted to a sweet inspirational romance publisher, is called The Bridegroom's Revenge. :-) Now that gives the wrong impression.
What does your hubby know about women's fiction anyway? LOL

Lynnette Labelle said...

Heart Choices sounds like a romance novel to me. Maybe that's why your hubby didn't like it??

I nominated you for an award. Check it out on my blog.

Lynnette Labelle

Renee Collins said...

I'm right there with you on the Bad-at-Titles Train. I desperately need a better one for my current book. I don't even have a working title! It's that bad!

Good luck. :)

skoots1mom said...

brainstorming 101...
Throbbing Calm
Beating My Heart's Rug
Heart-Pounding Silence
Heart-fire Kindling
Heart-kindling Fires
Heart-fire Embers
Smoldering-Heart Embers
Heart-Healing Hope
Heart-Steady She Goes
Heart-Steady She Went
Mind Baffled, Heart Steady
Heart-filled Happiness

giddymomof6 said...

WOW! you've got some great titles here. I've just finished with mine and I've picked the top 6 from the blurb that you sent. When I try to select a title, I love wordplay, if it can have a double meaning I love it more. Also, I try and go for strong shorter titles. So here they are. From my favorite to my least favorite. Even though I love them all...

Change of Heart

Forbidden Heart

Shattered Heart

Piece of My Heart



Eeeh! Thanks so much for letting me do this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE to do title stuff! Jody, Renee use me! LOL! And Angie--Muhahah so the East meets the West--bring it. Also, Terri, I have others if you'd prefer something darker. Those were just the top 6 that I liked. And as always, you obviously don't have to use anything I've come up with, I just have fun doing them!

Pat said...

Terri, I am GREAT with Titles, it's the inside of the book that hangs me up!
I will title your if you will WRITE mine!!
Bless you,

Michaéle said...

I'm the total opposite...I'm awesome at titles and headlines but finishing the actual book? Not so much. My unfinished novel has had a title for about 5 years yet no novel to go with it!

Andrea said...

Urgent updated prayer request for Colton on my blog. You will also see a negative comment from someone in Landrum SC and my reply. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING, andrea

Lin said...

you are trusting us to come up with a title for a book we've never read. lol! get real. maybe that's a good title?

LisaShaw said...

Hey Sis, I'm probably a bit like your hubby about the word "heart" in titles only because there are SO SO SO many books with that word and after a while they just all seem to merge together on the shelf in the bookstore. I almost become numb to it and the title doesn't grab me.

I'm a "meat" girl so maybe that's why. I like meaty titles that get into the "heart" of the matter without using the word heart on the cover.

Sorry I can't give you a title without knowing something more of the book but I pray for God to give you the Title that He so desires for you.

Love ya.