I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that naming a book is almost as difficult as naming a baby! I’m working on my second draft of my latest work in progress. I’ve had a working title in mind (Meeting Mr. Wrong), but I’m growing rapidly disenchanted with it. I chose it because the H/H are at first blush an odd couple. But one strike against it is that a couple of other books, some old out and of print, have the same or similar title. But more importantly, I don’t really think the title reflects what the book is about. My book is kind of a sexy romantic suspense with a wacky sensibility thrown in. It features a lot of colorful elements like Vegas, the mob, medieval manuscripts, ultimate fighting, and snowstorms. (Well, of course. Doesn’t every book?)
As I’ve contemplated this problem, I’ve weighed several different types of titles. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are the main types I seem to see a lot. I’m referring mostly to contemporary or historical romance or romantic suspense, not erotica, inspirational, or paranormal as I don’t read widely in those subgenres:
- Meaningless but romantic: “Love’s Sweet Passionate Savage Treason” or whatever. This type seems to be losing popularity.
- Sexy puns: Puns involving mouths, lips, bodies, binding, etc. Seemingly never goes out of style.
- Flower titles: “Wild Red Rose” or similar.
- Practically anything that works in kisses, love, brides, bachelors, marriage, engagement. For romantic suspense, these key phrases are often combined with some word that signals danger, such as Deadly Kisses, Fatal Passion, etc.
- Plays on songs or movie titles or song lyrics.
- To signal a Regency, a title often contains scandal or some mention of dukes, earls, princes, etc.
- Then there are more vague titles that play on some element of the story to hint what it’s about. My story “Montana Belle” works in Montana to let readers know that it’s a western. My forthcoming story “Forget-Me-Not” is an example of a flower title, but also hints at the story’s amnesia plot.
So those are the types of titles I see most often. Which have I forgotten? For you authors out there, what is your strategy when naming your novel? For readers, what kind of title makes you want to pick up a book and learn more?
Note: I’m giving away an ebook copy of Montana Belle to one lucky commenter. Leave a comment by the end of day Wednesday the 26th of January to get your name in the hat!