Naming a book is a big task. It has to reflect the story and interest the reader in some way. It could be funny (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) or dark (The Queen of the Damned). It could be named after the main event or plot line of the story (The Hunger Games, Under the Dome) or cleverly hint at something that only someone who reads the story would understand (The Color Purple).
Sometimes a title can come right away. Other times it comes while in the middle of the first draft or even after the book is complete.
It’s best not to rush trying to find the perfect title. It’ll come when it comes. You could even have a title picked out and then come up with something better. Or an agent/publisher will suggest a new one.
But let’s forget that for now. First let’s discuss a few things that could make naming a book easier.
1. What’s the tone/mood/theme?
My published books are dark and suspenseful. Death and crimes are common so it’s no wonder that they are titled Hurricane Crimes, 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. Immediately when you read those titles you know what kind of ride you’re in for.
2. Think about the main character.
For a paranormal story, it’s clever to add the type of supernatural being that your MC is to the title. Or to at least hint at it. For example: Despite the Fangs by Dylan Newton is about a woman who is the Alpha of a werewolf pack. Another example is Divergent by Veronica Roth. The MC, Tris, is a Divergent.
3. What happens in the story? (What’s the plot/purpose?)
In The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Katniss Everdeen has to fight in a deadly competition called the Hunger Games. What happens in your story? What does your character have to do? Consider your answers and see if a title pops out at you.
4. Be sneaky.
30 Seconds is named that way for multiple reasons. One is because of all of the action and how everything happens to fast…as in every thirty seconds. Though that is a bit of an exaggeration. There’s also a hidden romantic meaning behind the title. Can you come up with something cryptic that could get a reader guessing?
Here are some of my favorite titles:
Moonless (Crystal Collier)
Moonless (Crystal Collier)
Despite the Fangs (Dylan Newton)
52 Likes (Medeia Shariff)
Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc (PK Hrezo)
How to Date a Nerd (Cassie Mae)
So You Want to be a Wizard (Diane Duane)
The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)
A Child Called “It” (Dave Pelzer)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Rebecca Wells)
The Devil Wears Prada (Lauren Weisberger)
SHARE: Your favorite book titles.
QUESTION: How did you come up with your book titles?