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Writers Workshop > Suggestions for Book Cover needed (And Title?)

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message 1: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments I’m finalizing a novella about a touchy, possibly unfamiliar subject to most people on goodreads. I’m stuck on what kind of cover would be appropriate (I’m still brainstorming on an appropriate title.) The novella is based on three true stories.

Overview: The theme is subjugation of women. The MC, Toni, receives a phone call from her brother. He tells her his wife has given birth, but doesn’t mention sex of the child. Toni rushes to the maternity hospital, finds out the child is a girl, and the sister-in-law is unhappy it wasn’t a boy.
Toni is flabbergasted, but envious of her little niece who is born in the mid-seventies and wouldn’t be subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) like Toni was in the sixties.

After the niece’s story ends, Toni tells her own story, which takes about two-thirds of the novella. The story is set in both Kenya and United States. It’s an excruciating story of how she went through the initiation in the backwoods of Kenya, and its aftermath. She finds relief in Northern California.

The last story is based on two complaints of abandonment by two older husbands (one in Kenya and another in California.) The story is narrated through one husband’s wife who decides to exercise her sexual power, and explains the reasons why.

I finalize the novella by tying the stories together through a prologue.
Any suggestions appreciated.


message 2: by Genevieve (new)

Genevieve Montcombroux | 66 comments A young Kenyan woman's head profile silhouetted on a sunset sky.


message 3: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Jun 28, 2018 01:43PM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Wanjiru,

I deleted the link to your book. I am also deleting a comment with a link in it.

Good luck on finding a great title and cover this way. To me, this is like letting strangers name your baby.

ADDED: Also, I moved this topic to the Workshop. Where you had it is an area where only mods are allowed to post. Please be more careful.


message 4: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Dwayne wrote: "Wanjiru,

I deleted the link to your book. I am also deleting a comment with a link in it.

Good luck on finding a great title and cover this way. To me, this is like letting strangers name your b..."


Sorry for the infraction. I tried to post without a book title and it wouldn't let me. This maybe because, as you point out, I posted in the wrong section. This is a learning experience for me. In time I'll know what mods and SIA are.

About the "baby," if I'm wishy-washy about something, it helps me zero-in on what I want if I brainstorm.


message 5: by W. (new)

W. Boutwell | 157 comments fgm of which I am familiar with in Kenya (which people group?) has certainly not been explored. The mc is a person caught between and within cultures. Perhaps that is your cover... her dual burdens...a halved or doubled image with icons of each society in background


message 6: by A. J. Deschene (new)

A. J. Deschene (ajdeschene) | 58 comments Wanjiru:
Book titles, eh? I understand the struggle of coming up with the right title and cover for novels, especially ones you've worked so hard on for such a long time. Usually I can't even make up my mind on character names. Most of my characters have been through at least five in the past two years.

That being said, I'd love to help you on narrowing down what types of titles you could choose. So, here's a few I though of based on the theme and story you've put forth.

"Voice of Reason"
"Let Voices be Heard"
"Let Your Voice be Heard"
"This is Life, Accept It"
or maybe just "Accept It"
"Life as it Should Be"
"The Power We Were Given"
"Right of Life"
"Right of Speech"
"Right of a Voice"
"Voices Ring"
"Voices Ring Free"
"Sound of Freedom" although I think that one sounds a bit cliche.
"Miracle of Speech" or words, or voice.
"It Shouldn't be Hard"
"Not Meant to be This Way"
"They Way it Should Be"


These are just a few ideas and, as you can see, I focused a lot of the words "voice" and "speech". Again, there's no way I could know exactly what you're going for, but I hope some of these ideas can trigger some spark of imagination or brainstorming. Remember, the ultimate decision is up to you, and no one can make it for you. So, good luck!

Mr. Blue


message 7: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments Brainstorming / input is a good idea. "Forks" was retitled "Twilight."

A silhouette similar to "Little Bee" and with a headscarf, chin up, head back.
Title: "A Will of Her Own"
A good title but already out there: "The Infidel" - applies to the person speaking out against a horrible tradition. So, "The Heretic" with the same cover.


message 8: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Thank you so much for the great suggestions. They are very helpful.


message 9: by A. J. Deschene (new)

A. J. Deschene (ajdeschene) | 58 comments Wanjiru wrote: "Thank you so much for the great suggestions. They are very helpful."

Not a problem. Good luck with the publishers!


message 10: by Felix (new)

Felix Schrodinger | 138 comments Perhaps that is your cover... her dual burdens...a halved or doubled image with icons of each society in background

and a possible title 'The Unkindest Cut'.


message 11: by Haru (last edited Jul 03, 2018 07:42PM) (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Wow, I'm getting depressed just by reading those summaries. True stories? *shudders* For the cover I'd go for something very dark and cold, hard and straight lines, black and white and maybe rusty red, silver or scalpel gray, definitely not a bit of softness, heat or sunshine there. That's the feeling it gave me.


message 12: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Haru wrote: "Wow, I'm getting depressed just by reading those summaries. True stories? *shudders* For the cover I'd go for something very dark and cold, hard and straight lines, black and white and maybe rusty ..."

I hear you. It's a tough subject. So far I'm leaning toward giving the synopsis to the cover person, give him/her some pointers and let the person suggest a cover design. For titles, so far these are the ones I have jotted down:
(1) Sexual Pleasure Snatchers Sub-title: Based on true stories
(2) Secret Joy Snatchers
(3) Creepy Joy Snatchers
(4) Sexual Abuse of a Different Kind
(5) Sexual Abuse in the name of Culture (or Custom, or tradition)
(6) When Parents Become (Turn?) Predators; Sub-title: Female Genital Mutilation

Any of the above seem appropriate?


message 13: by M.L. (last edited Jul 05, 2018 10:07AM) (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments It is hard to say. I think your idea of asking the cover artist to suggest something is good. However, if the cover is too graphic, hopeless, etc., I think it will turn people away. At one time people who were arrest for drunk driving were shown graphic images of accidents. The thought being that if they saw what could happen it would deter them. It didn't work. In fact, it had the opposite effect and people just shut it out.


message 14: by Max (new)

Max Rudd | 8 comments Is there a phrase or comment by any of the main characters that would make a compelling title? Something that would tug the readers heart strings when they get to it in the story?


message 15: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Max wrote: "Is there a phrase or comment by any of the main characters that would make a compelling title? Something that would tug the readers heart strings when they get to it in the story?"

"When Parents Become Predators"

Then let the blurb nudge the reader to open the book.

What do you think?


message 16: by Max (new)

Max Rudd | 8 comments Wanjiru wrote: "Max wrote: "Is there a phrase or comment by any of the main characters that would make a compelling title? Something that would tug the readers heart strings when they get to it in the story?"
"Wh..."


Hmm. It's certainly an eye catching title, but - having re-read your brief at the top - I don't think it fits quite right.

Having 'When' as the first word (and this may just be a UK thing) automatically makes me think of some car crash documentary on abusive parents. Whereas you description conveys a piece with more depth than that.


message 17: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments The truth is I have no clue. I'm just flailing my brain. Ordinarily, I think of titles, and go through several, while drafting a manuscript. By the time I finish, my title emerges. But it didn't happen in this case. This an incidental ms while writing my main one. Oh well.


message 18: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments To be honest, I don't wring my brain with titles anymore. I mean, most titles and names in the world aren't awe-inspiring. Famous computer brand is named like a fruit. Burger King for a place that serves burgers isn't awesome either, nor is McDonald's.

It took me ages to come up with my novel series' name. I think it was the last thing I wrote of it. And guess what? It wasn't because it's an awesome name; I just stuck a name there because it needed one.

On the other hand, how about naming it: "Toni's (insert adjective)Story"?


message 19: by Wanjiru (new)

Wanjiru Warama (wanjiruwarama) | 204 comments Your comments make a lot of sense. Thank you.


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