Last week I learned that my new book proposal has been approved. No one asked for changes. Oh, except one little thing. Yep. The title, which I loved, which I’ve hoarded for years in hopes I’d find the right story to deserve it, was immediately axed.
But wait. . . Let’s not get in a huff, as I was tempted to. In fact my publisher is right. My title, Life After Love, immediately conjures a book about widowhood. When my editor explained this, my only question was why I hadn’t seen it myself. Because this is not a book about a widow or widower. Not at all.
When I said, well, okay, maybe the next time I’ll write a book about a widow, she said, not with that title. It’s such a downer.
And, you know, she was right again. So goodbye title. Because as your mother always told you, first impressions are important, and sometimes a novelist doesn’t get a second chance to impress. The reader has already set the book down and moved on to the next one in the row. She’ll never know the title had a different, subtler meaning. Subtle is not a bonus on a book cover.
I have posted about the ins and outs of titles before, as the title of this post points out. Among other mentions I’ve talked about judging a book by it’s title where I asked for your opinion about what elements matter. Titles by collaboration with publishers. And which comes first, novel or title. I might add that since my editor realizes that titles really do matter to me, she told me immediately that this one wouldn’t fly. Then she got my publisher’s promise to keep whatever title we agree on so that I can use it as I write. While that doesn’t matter to many authors, it does matter to me.
Now it’s time to put on my thinking cap, because I haven’t written word one of the novel. I’d like to begin it knowing exactly what readers will see on the cover when they pick it up next June.
So just as I did last summer, here’s a list, off the top of my head, of title ideas. You will note one similarity in all of them. I think I can tell you now that there are two important women in this story who grew up as foster sisters. There’s a lot more to the story, of course, but that’s what we’re working with here.
Here’s my starter list. I think some of these titles are just okay. One stands out for both me and my husband, and it will definitely be suggested to my editor. Several don’t appeal to me at all, but might appeal to you and your feedback will be fun to read.
The Color of Light, coming in August, was suggested by one of you, so I have great faith in your abilities.
Look over my list, tell me what you like, and give me any other suggestions that occur to you. I’ll let random.org choose one comment, and that reader will get an autographed novel from my vast storehouse of author copies.
My publisher may not like any of our suggestions, but let’s give them something to chew on. By the way, my first idea was True Sisters until I realized my friend Sandra Dallas got there first. While titles aren’t copyrighted and I would be thrilled to have my book confused with one of Sandra’s, I’m not about to repeat that one.
- Truly Sisters
- Really Truly Sisters
- Genuine Sisters
- Undeniably Sisters
- More Than Sisters
- Better Than Sisters
- Sisters Once Removed
- Blood Sisters
- Surely Sisters
- Counterfeit Sisters
- Make Believe Sisters
And that’s five minutes worth of brainstorming. Now it’s your turn. Have fun.
****Wednesday: So far More Than Sisters is leading the pack. (Nobody has chosen my favorite. Want to guess which one I’m leaning toward?)
Sisters Once Removed was chosen by one of you, and I finally realized how perfect that is for two girls who were removed from their biological parents and placed in foster care. Will admit that little twist hadn’t occurred to me when I added it. I’ll definitely add those two when I send in my list. Also several people suggested Ties That Bind. Completely appropriate for this story and a good idea, but well used by too many authors before me.
I’m still considering. I want something a bit gritty and not too sweet. Meantime I’ll let random.org choose a winner next Monday and announce it here on Tuesday. So you still have time to comment.