There is so much that goes into choosing a title–as I found out this week. As a reader, the title is what draws you to pick up a book in the first place. As a writer, that’s a terrifying thought. What if we choose the wrong one, and the reader never picks our heart up off the shelf?
There a dozen different techniques and strategies and advice for picking a title. (K.M. Weiland has a great post on it here) But honestly, there’s not a science to it. As with almost everything I do related to writing, I follow my gut. If I don’t feel it, it’s not happening. So when I didn’t get that feeling for any title, I was kind of freaking out.
Solution? Put my ideas into a poll, and take it to a vote 🙂
Thanks so much to everyone who participated and helped me to choose a title! I really do value your feedback and input, and the few outside suggestions I received. The final vote count was “Shadow and Ash” with 6 votes, “Nightfire” with 5, “Shadow Mark” with 4, and “Fire and Shadow” with 1.
Let me start with the ones I didn’t choose, and why. Fire and Shadow was already a maybe, and with such a low vote count, I threw it out. Next, I toyed with Shadow Mark for a long time, or even Shadowmark as one word. I liked the strength of it, but something about it was off, it was too long, and I couldn’t get it to look good font/cover wise. Finally, the winner, Shadow and Ash. I was surprised this one won, really. I hadn’t really considered it seriously before, but put it in as an option. Ultimately, though it won, and it is catchy, I decided it was too similar to the already popular book Shadow and Bone, and not unique enough.
So, you guessed it: the new title for my WIP is…NIGHTFIRE
Now, this may change by the end, but I like how unique it is. It is different, and I think it catches your attention. I also love one word titles, and think it packs a punch. As I played around more with each title, I just kept being drawn back to this one, and as I said, I go with my gut. No, it didn’t win the vote, but it was pretty close 😉
Since I’m a nerd and wanted to see how the titles might look on covers (to help me choose) here is my very basic mock cover for NIGHTFIRE:
Now I’m curious to know, how did y’all choose your titles? Was it relatively easy (as most of mine have been) or difficult, as this one has been? Was your original title completely different than your final? Do you have any advice for others who are choosing titles now?
Let me know what you think 🙂