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All Things Writing & Publishing > Choosing names for titles

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 Alex ~They/them~ ~Annabeth Chase and Alex Fierro are the best~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments What do you guys do to brainstorm ideas to choose the names for the titles? making a title is one of the hard parts. I having trouble of choosing a really good name for my new book that I'm thinking of writing. Well I got one name for the book, I'm not sure if it's good or not, but I'm unable to pick a name for a book that's inside the book. I'm writing about characters going into another story.


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I actually pick a short title that will both reflect the general theme of my new novel and will also catch the attention of potential readers. If the novel is to be part of a series, then I will try to find a title that has some commonality with the titles of the other novels in the series.


message 3: by Alex (last edited Oct 02, 2016 12:55AM) (new)

Alex (asato) Michel wrote: "I actually pick a short title that will both reflect the general theme of my new novel and will also catch the attention of potential readers. If the novel is to be part of a series, then I will tr..."

mine changed as I wrote the story. i also look at the titles in the genre that i'm targeting. at first it was "Divesuit"; then it was "2028: Towards the Great Unity (大同)"; then it was "2028: The Spy and the Hacker"; then finally i settled on "Spy vs Hacker", which is more action-oriented rather than static. also, quite a few thrillers and my story fits into the technothriller sub-genre of thriller often have "spy" in the title. so the title would most likely change after you've finished writing.

your question is also about figuring out a title for another book within your story. well, the process is very similar to coming up with a character name. i usually have an idea of what the character is supposed to be like and then do research to find a name with a meaning that fits the character. if the story world is an academic world, then you'd research academic titles. if it's a fantasy world, then look up old fantasy titles. for example, the actual title for Gulliver's Travels was "Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships". You could also look to the various world mythologies for inspiration.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13743 comments Kavy, you can share what you have in mind and probably receive a fair amount of responses how it comes across.
Not sure you necessarily need a title 'that's inside the book'


message 5: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2151 comments Don't really have a specific mold, but it's always something that describes the story. Think of the blurb you have to write describing the book. Then condense it down to just a few words. That is your title.

But know your genre, and use words that try to capture what it is readers are looking for. In Science fiction, especially in military or space opera, people are looking for sweeping conflicts, so you usually see titles that reflect that kind of action and drama.


 Alex ~They/them~ ~Annabeth Chase and Alex Fierro are the best~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments ok, so here are the ideas for my new book, that I have so far:


The Main Character, she is a bookworm, and her real life has been rough so far, her mom left her when she was younger, and her dad is barely home, and she only has two best friends, who are also bookworms, and they all have share a favorite book, which is a fantasy setting, which they bond over, they became friends because of that book, and that book is the one that brought them all close to each other, and they all want so badly to escape the real world and live in that book's world. Then one day, they all go to school, then after school, they all go to the Main Character's house and hang out in her room. Then while they are hanging out in her room, a porthole suddenly appears right next to the Main character and her best friends sucking them all in, then the characters appear in that book's world. And the Main characters' favorite book characters comes by and they all have fun for a while. But there is also danger lurking nearby, and there are some villains out there and the main characters are trapped in that book and the only way to get out of that book is to help the book characters defeat the villains and stuff, and then after they help the book characters defeat the villains that they are able to get out of that book but they take the book characters with them and stuff. And then along the way the Main character and the book character falls in love.


message 7: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Do you have a name for the book's world? As long as it isn't The Wizarding World of. . . , or something already publishes (Camp Half Blood), you could use the world they end up in as a working title.


message 8: by Codex (last edited Oct 02, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Codex Regius (codex_regius) | 26 comments Keep it concise and easy to remember. Writing novels set in the Roman Empire, we preferred brief titles in Latin, for instance: Corpus Sacrum, Opus Gemini. Since we are publishing in two languages, it relieves us from translating our own titles.


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13743 comments Maybe: Hard to reach, impossible to return ?


 Alex ~They/them~ ~Annabeth Chase and Alex Fierro are the best~ (percybluefood) | 145 comments M.L. wrote: "Do you have a name for the book's world? As long as it isn't The Wizarding World of. . . , or something already publishes (Camp Half Blood), you could use the world they end up in as a working title."

Not yet, but I think it's some magical world, I haven't really thought much about that book that's inside the book.


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Codex wrote: "Writing novels set in the Roman Empire, we preferred concise titles in Latin: Corpus Sacrum, Opus Gemini. Since we are publishing in two languages, it relieves us from translating our own titles."

Latin is a good root language to create titles from as a lot of english words are derived from latin--greek as well. in addition, it gives your names a level of sophistication and believability.

you might get these two books (which i own) as references: Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms and Bioscientific Terminology.


message 12: by Codex (last edited Oct 02, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Codex Regius (codex_regius) | 26 comments OTOH, some readers complain about these looooong and hard-to-remember Roman personal names ...


message 13: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Ƙανу Jαcкѕση Ƒυℓℓвυѕтєя ~I had made it clean just across the street with my new wings~ wrote: "M.L. wrote: "Do you have a name for the book's world? As long as it isn't The Wizarding World of. . . , or something already publishes (Camp Half Blood), you could use the world they end up in as a..."

MC names are good, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl, Eragon
What the MC does or their title works, The Thief Lord, The Lightning Thief, The Magician's Apprentice, Inkheart

How they get there, The Bridge to Terabithia, A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in The Door

And the place itself, Narnia, Fablehaven

You have a nice synopsis, it's very complete. I like the idea of the characters needing to help the book people defeat the villains. You might think of why they go there when it's all three of them. Whatever title you come up with will work!


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9719 comments I usually pick the title as something that describes one particular event or character in the book that also summarises a major aspect of the book. I also try to pick a title that, if someone types it in, won't end up very low on the Amazon search engine. My first two titles were disastrous. One of them, "Troubles", ended up with any book vaguely related to trouble that had sold more was ahead of mine. It took four pages before anything with the "s" turned up. If nothing else, you need a title that, if some potential purchaser has heard of it, your book will get somewhere significant on the Amazon search list.


message 15: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 0 comments It depends on your genre, who you'll be marketing against, so to speak. For example, you will use a cheesy title when writing a romance that has a Harlequin-type trope, because that's the pond you'll be swimming in with all those similar books. Same for a thriller, or espionage.

I'd use the name of the magical world in your book as the title. If it'll be a series, then this becomes the series title. Each book can then have the MC's name and the main issue, like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. Sounds to me your book will be YA, so best to stick to that kind of title to not drown out in that market


message 16: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I like M.L.'s advice.

Well thought out.

Kavy. Very nice synopsis. My mind however immediately went to why the porthole should open for your MC and friends. Accident or the intent of someone on the other side ...

I love your idea. It is rich with possibility.

Cheers Graeme


message 17: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 32 comments Adventures of a Bookworm or something like that. It sounds like a YA book.

I usually type the name I'm thinking of using in a search on Amazon to see if it's already been used. For one of my books, I came across a phrase as I was writing and used it for the title.


message 18: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13743 comments D. wrote: "I usually type the name I'm thinking of using in a search on Amazon to see if it's already been used."

Me too..


message 19: by E.M. (new)

E.M. Thomas | 86 comments There's also the consideration of how your title will play into Amazon's algorithm. I would highly recommend doing some research about that, because even a relatively minor tweak to the title can have drastic effects as to how Amazon treats it within search results. This assumes, of course, that you are primarily utilizing Amazon.


message 20: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) E.M. wrote: "There's also the consideration of how your title will play into Amazon's algorithm. I would highly recommend doing some research about that, because even a relatively minor tweak to the title can h..."

excellent points. I'll have to remember them. i think i'll put together an FAQ for the group.


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