“Title Talks” or How to Beg Your Writing Partners for Title Assistance!

I can’t thank my incredibly awesome fellow Scriblerians enough for their amazing assistance in helping me choose both a series and individual titles for my realistic contemporary YA series that, if plans continue to fall into place, will launch this summer.

Pieces of a Life storyboard

the “storyboard” for my YA series

I’m terrible at titles and had resorted to referring to the stories by the dreadfully generic “Book 1” and “Book 2” labels. At one point, I had a decently respectable title for book 1, but as the story evolved, the title no longer really fit. At least not in my mind.

And then the series title? That really stumped me. I wanted this all-important title to “fit” the series, to have the right sound to the ear as well as to sound YA enough to appeal to, you know, young adults.

Several of the Scriblerians know my story line and characters almost as well as I do. That’s why I knew I could count on them to pull me through this crisis. A lot of good ideas were tossed out and mulled over via an in-depth conversation on our private Facebook page and then further hashed over during a monthly video chat.

girl reading

Now it’s on to book cover decisions. Oh, my…

“Cover talks” with my Scribs took place briefly last year. Again, there ideas were great. Now that the title has changed, some of the ideas aren’t as fitting as they once were, still they fuel my thought process.

Apparently, a good “fit” for both title(s) and cover are my goals as that word keeps popping up. I have to admit reading a number of books over the years that I did not find “fitting” to the title. Does that happen to any of you? You finish a book, flip it closed, peer at the front cover and think or mutter, “I still don’t know where that title came from…”file000739253401

The same thing has happened concerning covers. I shake my head and murmur,  “What does that have to do with this story?”

I’ve never lost sleep over either a mis-fit title or book cover. But when it’s MY book title and MY book cover, I want it to fit and appeal to readers and create interest in the story and fit and encourage sales and be memorable and … fit.

So what advice can you, our faithful readers, give me on book titles and covers?

  • What do you look for in a title or cover?

  • What do you stay away from in a title or cover?

  • What was your all-time favorite title and cover package deal and why?

  • Can a title OR cover give away too much about the story? Why or why not?


4 thoughts on ““Title Talks” or How to Beg Your Writing Partners for Title Assistance!

  1. Sometimes a title can be too broad, and if I didn’t already know the genre, I would have no clue what the book was going to be about. However, I like the titles you decided on for your books, and I enjoyed pitching in my thoughts for them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, not sure exactly what I look for in a cover other than something striking and on the pretty side (ugly or bloody/violent covers make me cringe). I do think many of the YA covers lately are all the same – they’re becoming generic and boring.

    Titles and covers can definitely give away too much of a story. If there is a big secret or reveal halfway through the book, having the cover or title hint at that reveal is going to ruin it. I have seen it happen in blurbs, too.

    I don’t have an all-time favorite but some of my tops:
    Bloodthirsty by Flynn Meaney – the cover sets the light-hearted tone that you wouldn’t get from the name alone. The cover was what made me pick it up and read the blurb. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7912401-bloodthirsty

    Larklight by Philip Reeve – just…look at it! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1118655.Larklight

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great, creative examples of book covers, Sparks.

      Oh, the blurb or “back matter”. Gulp. Another quandary! I think it’s especially important to NOT give away too much info there but somehow to give enough information to create intrigue. The same with titles and covers–intrigue without TMI. Thanks for sharing.


  3. I cringe when the cover features a Harlequin type of picture. The hero/ess in the foreground looking fantastic and the characters looking on in the background. The title to me has to be short and snappy. I usually like to see some action too. But that’s just hyper me…

    Liked by 1 person

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