Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Self-Publishing Journey: Get Titled

One of the first conversations I had with an experienced self-publisher was the importance of reviewing my title.

My book has been titled LISTEN TO ME for two and a half years. The name has a double-meaning, given the book's subject. And on top of that, it echoes with the pain of a girl who feels like no one really cares. For all these reasons, I was pretty attached to it.

That is, until I scanned covers and titles of current top sellers and new releases in my category on Amazon. I was disappointed to discover several titles which were very close (I.e. "LIE TO ME"). Also, when I let myself scan the books like a reader I found myself drawn more to those single-word titles and the tone they implied.

I was left with the distinct impression that I'd been given good advice: I needed to change my title.

Where did that leave me? Well, there were a lot of creative aspects to consider at that point. I won't get specific because every book is different. But suffice to say, I looked at the themes, imagery (both literal and lyrically) and at the kinds of words that reflected the tone of the story.

In the end, LISTEN TO ME became SHATTERED. I was a little hesitant to commit at first, but then I was lucky enough to have a very successful self-publisher who had read my manuscript offer exactly the same word up as her suggested title.

This process took about 4-5 days all up.

Convoluted? Yes. But consider this: the very first impressions of your story come from the title. The most important and effective form of marketing is word of mouth. And what's the fist thing one reader says to another?

In my case, hopefully it's "Have you read SHATTERED?"

Your Turn: How would you feel about changing your title? What impressions do you get from the title SHATTERED?

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