Tuesday 24 May 2016

A Title to Intrigue

By Rel Mollet

Authors and publishers spend a lot of time and money creating a cover to fit a story, with the hope it will hold visual appeal for readers and entice them to buy. There's always significant airplay given to covers people love and loathe in online discussion boards and on blogs.

I wonder if as much time and effort is invested in choosing the right title. I believe a clever, intriguing, and genre appropriate title can have just as much importance in catching a reader's eye.

Here are some recent titles that have appealed to me...

A Fool and His Monet and Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

Dust and Obey, While You Were Sweeping, and Thrill Squeaker are all titles in Christy Barritt's Squeaky Clean Mysteries.

Dear Mr. Knightley and The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan

Curio by Evangeline Denmark

Obviously, I like a good play on words in a title, as shown by Sandra and Christy's titles. Titles that hint at a different take on a story I'm already familiar with intrigue me, which is why Katherine and Mike's are listed (and yes, Mike's refers to a poem rather than a classic novel!).

Rachel's grabs my interest immediately, firstly with the unusual reference to a "bachelor girl" and then linking it to murder. The title alone tells me a unique story is waiting for me...and it was!

Evangeline's simple use of an old fashioned word, along with its meaning, made me curious, of course!

There are plenty more examples and there's no need for me to go into bad titles as I'm sure you are all well aware of those.

I'd love you to share some book titles that caught your eye recently, and why they particularly appealed.


  1. Yes, I agree titles are important. After all, we refer to books by their title and author, not as "the one with the girl and the guy on the front, and she's wearing over-the-knee black socks". Because most people will just be shaking their head at that (but hopefully they've heard of Close to You by Kara Isaac!).

    A couple of my recent favourite titles:

    Think and Eat Yourself Smart (by Dr Caroline Leaf, which I've reviewed on my blog). I like this because we're usually being told to eat ourselves skinny, not smart.

    Sit Stay Love by Dana Mentink because of the play on words from Eat Pray Love. A fabulous novel, especially for dog lovers.

    1. LOL Iola - as soon as you said 'over-the-kneee black socks' I knew which book you meant :)

    2. And if you said 'the book with a cyborg foot on the cover' I'd know immediately that you meant Cinder by Marissa Meyer but I'm just being cheeky. For most covers one might be struggling (the young lady in a bonnet or the bare-chested man with a tatoo).

    3. Great point, Iola :) Love your description of Kara's novel :)

  2. I actually think I see the title and author first before the cover especially as the author's name can be particularly large.

    I thought Amanda Stevens series was a clever play on words: Seek and Hide, Found and Lost, Take and Give, Far and Near.

    I agree with Rachel's - great title for a detective series that reminded me of James Patterson's modern day series Women's Murder Club.

    Good post, Rel, thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Oh, yes, I thought Amanda's titles were great, too.

  3. Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency, All the Light we Cannot Sea, The Light between the Oceans, Kingdom of the Air - because they intrigue me, or succinct but creative titles like the Lunar Chronicles - Cinder, Scarlet, Winter or Twice Stolen. Titles in series that follow a theme (like Adele Jones - Integrate, Replicate, Activate. I also like the titles of some of the anthologies I've contributed to - Let the Sea Roar - or Like a Girl (which turns a often derogation phrase on its head).

    For me a good title catches my attention, intrigues and ties in with the actual story and is not too cliched. Finding a good title that has been used a hundred times before can be hard though. For my own books I usually use a characters name paired with a word that says something about the theme of the book - Akrad's Children, Rasel's Song, Mannok's Betrayal, Finding Elene, Jared's Choice - hopefully they are intriguing enough, at the least they are unique.

    1. I left out Cress (Cinder, Scarlet, Cress & Winter) - all creative fairy tale retellings in a near-future earth (just over 100 years). So, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White.

      Great post, btw Rel. Thanks :)

    2. Fabulous, Jeanette - thanks for sharing, and yes, those titles are intriguing :)

  4. Oh yes, Rel, we just can't help judging a book by its cover.And if it's a series, it's wise to link those titles somehow.

  5. Hi Rel,
    I always get drawn in by a catchy, clever title. If the cover is also lovely, it's a perfect match :)

    1. A terrific title/cover combo is hard to overlook, isn't it, Paula?!

  6. Playing with words for a book title is fun.

    For the book launch party for my December release, Carry Me Home, someone suggested I serve Carry-Me-Hummus on the buffet table. That made me laugh. :)


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