Wednesday, January 12, 2011


The Title

The title of today's blog is The Title. Very ho-hum, isn't it? In fact, someone scanning for titles might easily give it a pass. I wouldn't blame them.

I'm at the title stage in writing my second book. The synopsis is due on Friday andit's gotta have a title. Last year, I would have played around with some words, settled on one of maybe five choices, and slapped it on the synopsis as the working title. In fact, that's exactly what I did but it turns out, the title stuck. Murder By the Book. It's there is my contract. Hmmm.

So, this time, much more thought is going into it. Since I'm writing a cosy, I want the title to be snappy, perhaps a play on words, and memorable while actually relating to the content of the book. Easy, peasy? Not really.

It must be for some authors. I scan the shelves and websites. The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder, Chapter and Hearse, Death Threads, Roast Mortem, If Books Could Kill. I love 'em! How do they do it?

Of course, the process is just as difficult for those writing a non-cosy. The title still has to reflect the content, so the tone is just as important. After all, to many shoppers, the cover and title are the first introduction to the author. If it's eye-catching, or mind-catching, the book will have a chance. It will be picked up, the first few pages scanned, the back cover and any notes read, and a decision made.Hopefully, the book will be purchased and travel home with the reader. And that will be the start of a long-term relationship between that reader and author.

Which brings me back to my title. Here are the ingredients: mystery book club, dead author...any suggestions?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

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