I’ve become convinced that the title of one of my novellas (the one I’m currently trying to get published) is no good. In fact, I’m on the verge of saying it downright sucks.
Originally, I thought it was a clever little title. It’s actually one of the last lines in the book, and I thought that was smart. What I began to realize was that it was only a clever title if you’ve read the book. It wasn’t a title that made you want to read the book.
I was having my doubts about it, then I reached my tipping point: I wrote a query letter to a small, independent publisher, and found myself purposely not wanting to disclose the title. I felt like after reading the brief synopsis describing the book, the title just didn’t work.
So, now what? Being so new to the whole publishing thing, I’d never put that much thought into titles before. I would just slap a title on a story and move on. Luckily, Novella #2 has a working title that I think will stay, and I managed to stumble upon a good title for the novel I’m working on, so I just have this one that’s posing a problem.
Do I just think and think until a title comes to me out of thin air? Is there a book title version of the Wu Tang Name Generator? By the way, if anyone’s curious, according to the site my rap name would be Phantom Criminal. As cool as that sounds, it wouldn’t really make sense for the title of my book.
I’d love to hear any other writers’ ideas; what do you do when you’re stuck for a title? And any non-writers out there, what titles caught your eye and made you want to pick up a book you knew nothing about? Please let me know in the comments. Meanwhile, I’ll be brainstorming while I fill out the forms to legally change my name to Jobee, The Phantom Criminal.