Find a Title for your book

Thanks to all of you who commented on a possible title for my arson book.

First the clichés:

For the life of me-I can’t do something even to save my own life. Expression dates from early 18th Century, used not when one’s life is really in danger. An early version was used in Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield (1766).

Bold as Brass-Impudent, shameless. Simile is same source as brazen, which means either made of brass or shameless, too bold. The latter dates back to Shakespear’s time. Present dates from late 17th Cent.

No way- Under no circumstances. Dates from the 1960s and is American in origin. Slangy has several variations – as in “no way, Jose”, no way, shape or form. See J.G. Vermandel in Dine with the Devil (1970)

How do you pick a title for your book? I always thought you found a phrase that you used in your book and went from there.  Well I’ve been working with a Redwood Writers member who helps many of us design books and he suggested a two word title.  All of you who commented came up with some good ideas.  I was on the fence, so I decided to run some of them by Goodreads.  Well, my number one pick for a title – Night Terrors – has so many books by that title, that I stopped counting. That title is no longer an idea.

Another Redwood Writer’s member said to remember that when you are designing your book cover, you don’t want to do a “see and say”. What does that mean? Well, she said that if your title has terror in it and your design shows “terror”, that’s a see and say, and you can delete the terror title.

So picking a title is not much ado about nothing.  You need to be specific and consider the cover design as well as the title.  I’ve decided that to do one’s own thing is not a good idea at this point.  The RW member also said she used a firm that helps people decide whether to self-publish or go traditional route and helps with titles, back covers, etc.  So I might just check them out.  Picking a title for your book and a design cover is very important and it’s not something you rush into so I’m going to slow down a bit and consider all possibilities.

So how do you pick a title for your book?  Let me know.

Keep Writing,


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About Julie A. Winrich

I write suspense/thriller novels, some young adult, and have a Spanish/English alphabet book, as well as trying another form of writing. Writing completes me, is good for my soul, and I've been creating stories from a young age. I have three books completed and working on two more.

2 thoughts on “Find a Title for your book

  1. I don’t know whether you’ve settled on a title yet, but if not, you might find this useful.

    First of all, with the rise in self-publishing, I’m not sure a two-word title is really “safe” any more. You might be the only one using that title today, but what about tomorrow? There’s no way to protect your title, so the only real “protection” is to pick a title that’s really rooted in your book.

    I think you’re on the right track with the idea of picking a phrase from the text. But you could also pick a character, a location, or an event. I think you want to answer the question “what is my book *really* about?” so that your title has meaning.

    The first thing is to answer that question, even if the answer sounds plain. Then figure out how to re-state it so that it sounds exciting and makes people curious.

    On this page…

    …I’ve listed almost 30 “twists” that can help you get from “what is my book really about?” to a strong title. The list includes examples of a lot of classic books and how those authors might have arrived at their titles.

    Good luck, hope it helps! And by the way, love the clichés. 🙂

    — Saul

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