Tag Archives: title

Pick Up Artist #2: Titles

What does it take for a reader to pick up your book? We’ve talked about covers (which, sadly, you don’t have much say over) but what about your title? What makes a good one?

Originality
Gardens of the Moon – You rarely see the word “gardens” in a fantasy title and the “of” not “on” the moon is also very interesting. I’d pick up this book.

Does it make you ask a question?
The Darkness That Comes Before – Before what? What kind of darkness? Are we talking about evil? Just how bad are the badies? I want to know.

Specifics
The Ruins of Ambrai – A specific place with a specific name. It suggests that another world does exist and that I should look into it.

So what makes for a bad title?

Personally, any fantasy that has the words blood, sword or empire in the title loses my interest. (What fantasy novel doesn’t have an empire with swords that spill blood?) Titles are hard. But if you can’t entice me with your title, how are you going to entice me with your writing?

Be original. Ask a question. Get specific.

I’ll be taking a break from the Pick Up Artist series to blog about Toronto’s Fan Expo and September as the New Year. Look for Pick Up Arist #3: Back of Book Descriptions shortly after.

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