I was looking at some of my older blog posts this past week when something jumped out at me.
A while back I wrote a blog titled, “Is your manuscript ready for submission?” It didn’t get much attention, as a matter of fact, only 5 people viewed the blog and 2 of those liked it. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. It was a great blog.
Five months later I was busy and didn’t have time to research and write a quality blog. I decided to report, “Is your manuscript ready for submission?” I made a few changes to some of the sentences, so they reflected the new time period, but other than that, the blog read word for word.
I also did one other thing; I changed the title. It was the same blog, only it’s new title was, “Edit, Edit, or Edit?” The blog did exceptionally well for someone who had been blogging less than a year. It had 99 views, 50 likes and 3 or 4 reblogs.
I shared this story to make a point. Your title really does make a difference. It’s the first thing your reader sees or hears about your book/blog/poem. Your title creates anticipation and expectation, or perhaps disinterest. Often your title determines whether or not someone reads your work.
A good title should have the following attributes:
- Informative (gives an idea of what book is about)
- Easy to say
- Not embarrassing or problematic for a person to say aloud to their friends.
Also keep in mind, that the title you start with, may not be the title you end up with. Getting the title right may be the most important book marketing decision you make. Many well-known authors have had their titles changed by publishers and editors before print. Here are a few you may recognize:
F. Scott Fitzgerald/ The Great Gatsby – Trimalchio in West Egg, On the Road to West Egg, Among Ash-heaps and Millionaires, Under the Red, White, and Blue, Gold-hatted Gatsby, or The High Bouncing Lover. I think he made the right choice 🙂
George Orwell/ 1984 – The Last Man in Europe
Ayn Rand/ Atlas Shrugged – The Strike
Harper Lee/ To Kill a Mockingbird – Atticus
Jane Austin/ Pride and Prejudice – First Impressions.
Frances Hodgson Burnett/ The Secret Garden – Mistress Mary
The title matters!!! Get it right!!!