What role does a title play in the overall feel of a book? Does it pull at your heart-strings, begging you to pick it up or is the cover more important as a draw?
Since I am now in the position of weighing my options in regard to changing my title (or clinging to it with both hands), I’ve given the whole process quite a bit of thought.
There are a good amount of book titles out there that have little or no relevance to story content. Good books. Books that I’m sure had original titles, titles that fit and worked, only to be changed in order to draw more readers.
In the YA fantasy/paranormal genre they seem more prevalent. So here’s the question: Should the title represent the story? Or should the aim of a title be to draw more readers regardless of its relevance to the book?
Example: Twilight. Stephenie Meyer intended the first book of this series to be titled FORKS. It represented the town obviously, but it also represented where Bella was in her life. Stuck at various cross-roads, trying to do the right thing, make the right decisions. Put aside the fact the we are all comfortable, and there for biased to the Twilight title, and ask yourself if it really works. Does it have any real relevance to the story? It makes a great sounding book. It fits the cover nicely. It sold millions of copies.
How about Beautiful Creatures (Darkness and Chaos), a favorite series of mine, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. These books are magical and dark and delicious. They also have a different title. The original one. SIXTEEN MOONS (and Seventeen and Eighteen). Titles that fit beautifully with the storyline. But those titles aren’t the ones we see.
How about JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Pretty clear that her titles (and covers) could not be more perfectly matched to the story.
That all being said, I am assuming it’s the romantic paranormal side of YA that tends to fall to luring titles, regardless of story content. Pretty covers sell. Put a catchy title on that pretty cover and you just increased your odds of selling a book.
So, what do you think? Choose the title that fits the storyline and hope it appeals to your readers? Choose the title that grips you as the writer from the start? Or choose a title (and cover) that targets your genre regardless of relevance to the book?
I know, I know. Be savvy enough to meld them all (EXCEPT relevance, I can’t move past that). Just answer the question;)
I’m wondering about novel content today. Novel plot really and how it correlates with content. Being a fan of YA Mythology, Fantasy and recently, Paranormal Romance, I’ve wondered about the content of Urban Fantasy and how it relates to these other YA genres. I’m curious to know if readers, generally speaking, appreciate the mix of these elements in a story. For example, a paranormal romance mixed with modern-day crime or fantasy caught up in the big city drug scene. What are your thoughts?
Do they mix or distract from one another? Should the supernatural fantasy world be woven alongside the drug scene or inner city crime of say… New York city? And if they can coexist, what creates the draw? What about these two elements entices you as a reader? Is it the idea that this fantasy world could be ‘real’, or more believable if it was just outside your front door? Or is it the idea that it simply feels more relatable? Or let’s take the opposite approach. Do you hate it when these elements are woven together?