Thursday, April 19, 2012


Coming up with the title for your book can be tricky. Sometimes it jumps out at you right away, and other times it takes forever to come up with something just right. Sometimes you come up with something perfect and it gets changed, or the title's already been taken.

This happened to me with my second book. It started as "Winner Takes All" and even won a contest under that title. When it got contracted, there was already another book with that title at my publisher. So then I came up with "Playing For Keeps". Wouldn't you know it? As soon as my editor and I decided on that, someone just squeaked in ahead of us with the same title. Finally, based on a game show in the story called Win a Wild Wedding Weekend, she suggested Wild Wedding Weekend, and it turned out to be perfect! Now, I can't imagine it under any other title.

Other than that, I've been lucky with my chosen titles, as I've gotten to keep all of them. Some publishers rarely keep the title a mss was submitted under.

Of course another thing to be careful with when picking a title is whether there's something else out there with the same title. (Titles aren't copyrighted, so it can happen.) I learned this the hard way with This Can't Be Love and A Christmas to Remember. My Google search on these titles comes up with several hits each day, most of which have nothing to do with my book.

Sometimes titles are chosen based on a series they are part of. My first was This Time for Always followed by the second installment This Can't Be Love. "This Feels Like Home", which will complete the trilogy, is currently undergoing some fairly major rewrites. As you can see, I've gone with the theme of starting each title with "This". That coupled with similar fonts for the titles helps to tie the stories together in a visual way and provide recognition for readers.

So, how about you? What tales of titles can you share?

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. I hear you, Debra. My first choice for the title of my timetravel is The Bride Wore Black. There is another book, much older, with that title. It's hard to be the first with a catchy title.

  2. Ana, Sometimes it does seem like all of the good ones are taken, doesn't it?

  3. Sometimes a title is simply 'there' without me even having to think about it. That was the case with 'His Leading Lady'. When I checked, there was no book with the same title, but five months after its release, someone else published a book with the same title - grr!
    At present, 'Fragrance of Violets' (based on a Mark Twain quote) seems to be unique. So does 'Changing the Future', the title of my new release next month.
    I had to struggle to find a title for my Egypt story - 'Romance on the Nile' was somehow too reminiscent of Poirot and 'Death on the Nile'. I finally came up with a title, although I'm not wildly happy with it! However, at least there's no other book with the same title - not yet, anyway!

  4. I haven't had the experience of an editor changing my titles. Not sure if it's because mine are so awesome or because the editor doesn't make major changes. I tend to think up my titles fairly quickly. They fit the books, I think, but maybe brainstorming with an editor would result in better ones?

  5. Paula, Similar titles can pop up at any time can't they? It is frustrating.

    Jennifer, I think it tends to happen more often at 'bigger' houses. I don't know why.

  6. Wild Wedding Weekend is a great title!

    BTW, Barbie was born circa 1959. Your picture must be quite old because you don't look like someone pushing eighty!

  7. Joyce, I do love the title. Like I said, I can't imagine it as anything else now.