What’s in a book title?

Quite a bit, actually. For my first published book, I had the experience that many new authors have: the title change. Initially, I thought my original title was great, but I quickly learned that I didn’t know much about the publishing, packaging, and marketing of books. My vague title, which was based upon theme and subplot, really did need to change. Peacekeeper, a more direct and hard-hitting title, was chosen by my publisher. Once the first title for a series is chosen, of course, the rest of the titles must follow in the same style.

Here’s another strange side effect of titles: if I haven’t figured out the novel’s title, then it hasn’t coalesced, regardless of the details in the outline. I find that I can’t even get past the outline stage, if I don’t have a working title. What’s up with that? Is that an obsessive-compulsive problem, or is it a matter of focus? (Hmm. Let’s move on, shall we?)

The third book had an identity crisis. I’d first named it Pathfinder in the synopsis, but when I submitted it, I had changed it to Explorer. My editor asked me why I did this. I waved my arms and said I liked the fact it didn’t start with a “P” and this newer title was more encompassing, wasn’t it? My editor told me firmly that she preferred Pathfinder. Not surprisingly, when I worked on changes, I discovered that it all made sense: yes, the novel should be called Pathfinder.

Note: this entry imported from Amazon Author Page on 11/3/2010.

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