Thursday, 11 April 2013

What's Your Book Called?

Obviously, the first question that I am regularly asked when I tell people that I am a writer is to enquire about the book's title. The second question is usually along the lines of; "so, have you had anything published..." Neither are questions that I particularly want to hear.

Surely, telling people the title of the book should not be too hard, should it? Well, from experience I can say that this is possibly the most awkward question of all. You see, the title has a tendency to change whilst the novel is in process and sometimes it can even change mid-sentence whilst I am telling it to people!

The problem is that sometimes we do not realise how crap a title can sound until we say it out loud. Unfortunately, as writers we do not say enough things out loud. An excellent tip for perfecting dialogue is to read it back to oneself out loud. This definitely works and if the dialogue is not natural and believable, it will show. Back to the title, like I said, sometimes you do not realise how bad it is until you tell somebody.

The original title of my novel The Outback, was The Outback! However, after receiving my first few rejection letters, I began to worry that the title was not going down well with potential agents. I changed it to Into the Outback. More rejections followed, so I thought that I needed something that had a more symbolic link to the text. I started to then call it Shadows in the Outback and I even rewrote a brief piece of dialogue in one of the chapters to reference that "there are no shadows in the outback, but those that we cast ourselves."

Up until last week the working title remained Shadows in the Outback. It sounded, mysterious, clever, cool and I did not mind telling it to people. Then it came time to design my first cover. No matter how much I tried experimenting with different fonts and colour schemes, I could not get this title to work. It fit the story, it sounded good, but once I put it on the cover it just looked naff!

Where did that leave me? Well, I decided to go back and try using my previous titles on the cover to see which one worked best. As it turns out, I had been right the first time. The Outback is now my debut novel.

If you found this post interesting, why not sign up to join my blog using one of the tools on the sidebar to the right. You can also check out my two self published novels The Outback and Stealing Asia. Both are available as ebooks and paperbacks.

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