Perceptions of Book Titles
by P.J. Hultstrand
I saw in a random blog that the phrase “time conquers all” was depressing. This phrase is affixed above a clock in the Dymocks Building in Sydney, Australia. I remember seeing this building when googling several book title ideas when I first wrote my book one, Time Conquers All. At the time, I thought I could live with that title because, after all, it was not already a book title. There were several Love Conquers All, but none about time as conqueror. I have been using this title since 2004, when I first started writing that book, so it’s much too late to change my mind now.
When I read this blogger’s perception of the phrase being “frickin’ depressing!” I wondered if perhaps I had been incorrect in my assessment of the phrase for my book title. Then I read that this blogger decided to do a poll on others’ perception of that phrase. He received three negative views of the phrase, and a ton of positive responses.
So, HA! I guess I got it right!
But this got me to thinking of how important perception of book titles is. I have seen plenty of titles that just don’t match the covers, and vice-versa. Just last December, I had an author proceed to explain to me why the cover art on her book was relevant to the title and idea behind the book. HINT: If you have to explain your choices, then either the cover art is wrong for the title/idea, or the title is wrong for the cover. After all, you can’t go into every reader’s home to explain your choices when they only buy books online.
If you have a few people telling you this about your cover or title, then you might really want to consider a change, because those few are the only ones really telling you what a lot of others may be thinking.
I have also had several writers tell me that they had their books written but couldn’t come up with titles. I asked, “Seriously?” I took a sheet of paper and wrote down all the possible titles I could think of with the word “time” in them. Of course, they had to make sense and also be action oriented. Oh yes, and I needed at least 14 workable titles, because that is the number of books I planned for this series.
Well, there are websites to address this problem, so perhaps it is more of a challenge for some authors than I realized. If you need to kick around some ideas, here are a few websites to help the momentarily uncreative creative person who is stumped for a good book title.
I think you get the idea, and if you Google “book title generator,” you will get even more free sites to help you get your groove thing going when it comes to finding that one – or 14 – all-important book title.
Patti J. Hultstrand has assisted in bringing 78 books to market since 2009 through her company, AZ PublishingServices, LLC. She has been a graphic designer for 24 years, fourteen of those years in a print shop. PJ is an author of four books, three fiction and one nonfiction. She is also the Managing Editor for the pop culture newspaper, The WOD, and is a media host on KWOD Radio. You can find her speaking or running her media team at many local Arizona conventions throughout the year. Follow her on Facebook.