3.19.2006

Titles

Dear Miss Snark:

Having found the perfect title for my novel--catchy, resonant, fits the plot, all that--I looked it up on B&N and realized that an extremely similar title is already taken. But its sales rank is in the 45,000s, it was published seven years ago, and it's adult fiction rather than YA (although hers and mine are both fantasy).

What do you think? Should I find another title for querying purposes, or use the one that fits my book best? How important IS the title, anyway?

Thank you so much for this blog. It makes the search for an agent seem a lot less scary.


Miss Snark is extremely scary, make no mistake about THAT. However, after coffee, a blow out, a trip to the Lancome counter and soft lighting, she's only intimidating, not truly terrifying. Oh wait ... you weren't referring to her appearance were you?

As to titles: don't worry. Pick the one you like. It's very common for titles to be changed (so don't get your heart set on this one, ok?) and for very different books to have the same title. Thus Billy Graham's memoir, and E. Lynn Harris' hot sexy romance were both titled JUST AS I AM. I never saw the confusion in the bookstore but I'll bet it was hilarious.

8 comments:

SAND STORM said...

Even NYT best sellers can have trouble with titles.
http://www.tessgerritsen.com/blog_view.cfm?blogid=86

Stuart said...

Funny. I was about to send you an email about this very subject. :)

Now that's service.

Today's comment brought to you by the word: gxttvbp

The title that's already been taken.

Lady M said...

Miss Snark is extremely scary, make no mistake about THAT. However, after coffee, a blow out, a trip to the Lancome counter and soft lighting, she's only intimidating, not truly terrifying.

*snort*

Sheesh - I just woke up. Coffee is already spurting out my nose!

nbm said...

Neither David Mitchell nor Liam Callanan could have expected that there would be another literary novel with the title CLOUD ATLAS in the year his was published, and yet it was so. (I wonder if this had any affect on sales of either book.)

Anonymous said...

I just found out that a big-budget movie is coming out next year that has the same title as the novel I've been working on for five years. Good thing I didn't have my heart set on it. Still, I'm kind of hoping the film will disappear quickly.

Catherine said...

And from another angle - I was reshelving books in a library once when I came across a book about Mother Theresa. It had been titled 'Missionary Position'.

It had been catalogued and shelved in the 613s - along with all the other books about sexuality...

Catherine

Sarah said...

Thanks for the advice, Miss Snark! ^_^

Eileen said...

I sent my book off with what I thought was a snappy title. My agent suggested a change. When we sold it the editor changed it. Now the marketing department has changed it. When people ask me the name of my book at the moment I'm saying "I don't know- but I'll get back to you." It's best to think of the title as a work in progress.