A Book by Any Other Name – Titles

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Another Sunday. A hot one here in Kentucky. Humidity level is at that point where if you walk outside you get real humid and start sweating before you take two steps. I’m one of those people who isn’t all that fond of refrigerator air all summer, but it doesn’t feel half bad this week. I used to work at an insurance claims office and they kept the air so cold in there that getting into my car that had been sitting out in the sunny parking lot all day felt good for at least five minutes at the end of the workday. That nice extra warm heat. Here at the house if we keep the thermostat high enough that I only have to wear a sweater and not drag around a blanket, then Darrell’s sweating and complaining. I was going to say if we set it cool enough for him, but then I decided we probably have never set it that low. There would be icicles hanging off my ears if we cranked the thermostat down that low. How about you guys? Do you have a variance of heat or cold tolerance in your house or where you work?

Thank all of you who responded to my newsletter. I’ve got you entered in the drawings for July, but even better I enjoyed hearing from you. Writing can be a lonely endeavor. Even writing a blog. I talked last Wednesday about addressing my journal to Dear Nemo (or nobody). I appreciate my signed in followers who give me hope that I am writing to someone now. To those of you who haven’t gotten back with me about signing up for the book giveaway, you still have plenty of time to enter the drawings before next Sunday and then on until August. So send me an e-mail from my website, http://www.annhgabhart.com/.

I promised several weeks ago to do a post about titles. I work hard to get the right title for my books and often don’t name the books until after “the end” has been written. I like having a title that is catchy and that suits the story and that might be interesting enough to make a person who has never read any of my books pick this one up and give it a look-over.

What makes you decide to pluck a book off the shelf or check one out on the internet? Titles are that first eye catcher along with the cover. Cover art makes a tremendous impact on the casual book browser. The back copy or blurb might be second most important, but that doesn’t always convince me. I read the copy, but it doesn’t tell enough most of the time for me to make a sure decision. And I have to admit I don’t always read the recommendations. I’ve done a few recommendations, and I hope that what I wrote helped some readers give the books I recommended a second look. But I still don’t often read them. I do sometimes scan bits of reviews.

But one of the first impressions a book makes is through the title. That title can catch a reader’s eye. I’ve had some good titles and some I wasn’t all that crazy about. The publishers changed the titles of the first two books I published. Mine weren’t eye-catching enough for the historical romance market at the time back in the early eighties. A Kentucke Dream became A Forbidden Yearning. Shadows over the Heartland became A Divided Heart. I wasn’t too excited about either title, but I was extra excited about the books being published, so that was great.

Then with my young people’s books, I thought I came up with good titles usually. I liked Bridge to Courage, Wish Come True, and Secrets to Tell. And the Hollyhill titles fit the books. The publishers came up with The Outsider. I would have probably rejected it out of hand because of the famous young people’s book, The Outsiders. But it is a good title for the book and lends itself to more titles such as the new book, The Believer. Then the third one for 2010 is The Seeker. Who knows what book four will be. I’ll have to think The something. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll head off in a new directions with the titles.
What are some of your favorite titles? Gone with the Wind has to be in there along with To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ll have to think on titles this week while I’m trying to do the rest of my housecleaning. I painted my kitchen and then the kitchen ceiling. What a job! My neck is still telling me about it. And I have definitely decided that the rest of the ceilings look just fine. At least right now. Walls I can handle, but no more ceilings for a while.Hope you’re planning lots of fun things for July. Maybe even checking out a new book called The Believer at the end of the month. 😉 Have some fun and enjoy.