#SaystheEditor: Title Trouble


Jett dropped me a note. She’s come across a nine-book Rock Fiction series and wanted me to know that it’s one of the rare series where all the books aren’t named the same. You know: starting with the same first word, all being named after song titles (that’s common in Rock Fiction), or something else that makes it impossible to tell each book apart.

Am I the only one who struggles with this? These similar titles, either in words or theme, trip me up every time. I have to keep lists of what I’ve read to make sure I don’t both repeat what I’ve read — or skip books in the series, too.

Titles are hard. A lot of my authors struggle with titles every bit as much as they struggle with back cover copy.

I get it. I didn’t have the title for Broken until probably a week before I decided to put it out during Rocktober. I mean, you’re trying to come up with something that’ll be eye-catching, relatively different, and yet sums up the book perfectly. Sometimes, like with Trevor’s Song or Mannequin, it’s easy. Sometimes, it’s not.

So, yeah, I brainstorm with my clients about titles. Sometimes, that’s back-and-forth e-mail where we throw words at each other until the author goes, “That’s it!” and sometimes, I leave suggestions in my notes on the manuscript. It all depends on the client, who they are and what they need from me.

But I gotta admit, when they come to me with those titles that are similar, I cringe… and help them pick the best ones. Because, let’s face it: I’ve already read the book. Such as one reads when working.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *