1. Kat Vinson says:

    What’s funny is it was the redundant title that made me pick up On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. I thought it really set the tone of the uniqueness of the book. 😀

  2. I have been misled by titles but I tend to not like one word titles for some reason. It kinda irritates me. I’ve no solid reason as I WHY it irritates.

    But I’ve read the books regardless if it’s a one word title or not. A good book is a good book regardless of the title. I haven’t written long enough to say I won’t use a one word title in any of my stories.

    The Association was a horror book I read back in the day that I thoroughly disliked. Could have been better but the title intrigued me.

    Then there was a title called Biohazard: Moonseed. I never finish the book because you had to be a rocket scientist to read it…literally.

    Battlefield:Earth is probably one of the best stories I’ve ever read in my life as a science fiction story. That definitely delivered. Don’t watch the movie.

    I’m reading an ARC book now called Body by Blood, a near future take on the Transhumanism movement but the title so far doesn’t seem to be linking me to the story but it’s early days yet.

    Then of course, I read a lot of romances so some of those titles are great! And what I mean by great is that they’re specific to the relationship to the story. The Greek Tycoon’s Inexperienced Mistress, The Italian Billionaire’s Defiant Bride, The Oil Magnate’s Virgin Mistress, stuff like that. With titles like those, you know what you’re getting into.

    I could go on but there’s my take.

    • Audie says:

      I tend to be the opposite, I like shorter titles.

      It helps if there’s something clever or even mysterious about the title. For a few years, I was intrigued by the anime series “Darker Then Black”, one reason being because of it’s strange and mysterious name.

      There are exceptions. Terry Pratchett usual gave his books short titles, but “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents” was an exception and also one of his best books.

      But as far as long and grandiose titles go, few top the name “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies”, though I would only suggest watching the MST3K version. For some movies, you just need the help of Servo, Crow, and Joel/MIke to get through.

  3. notleia says:

    Journalists would be used to titling according to journalism rules, which encourages actually summarizing what’s in the article. Associated Press style guidelines become second nature.

    But I’m curious what stance your Imbeciles book takes on forcible sterilization. Are they doing something different than showing “eugenics” being code for racism and ableism and pretty much every other -ism also, too?

  4. Steve Taylor says:

    And we can’t leave out Amish Vampires in Space by Kerry Nietz. That’s a title that gets noticed like a train wreck.

    I agree with you on On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. It fit the book however, as good as the series is, the humor of the first book died out as the quadrilogy progressed. I would have liked to have it continue throughout.

  5. My biggest pet peeve is making the main character’s name the title of the book. I don’t know why it bugs me. Perhaps because it strikes me as unimaginative. Yet I’ve liked some books that broke that rule. For example, “Taran Wanderer” (Lloyd Alexander) works because the addition “wanderer” engenders questions. Okay, I made an exception for my own interactive series Jack & Tollers *because* (1) it’s a series so I needed something to give it continuity, (2) the names are literarily significant, and (3) every new adventure in the series has a subtitle, like the current one: “A Festival of Heroes.”

    “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness” actually made me want to take a look, because I sensed the spoof in it and I like spoofs. I have yet to read it though… Sigh. My growing TBR list is starting to scare me.

    Honestly, I hate list titles too. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is a unique enough combination of disparate things to attract attention, but if it weren’t a classic and by an author I love, I probably never would have read it because of that title.

    Well, shucks. I’ve just given evidence that I have “title prejudice.” At least I’m not alone! 🙂

  6. sheesania says:

    Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians! I almost didn’t read it because of that crazy title. It sounds like a silly kids’ book, and it IS a silly kids’ book, but it’s also incredibly brilliant and clever. And it was responsible for introducing me to Brandon Sanderson – for that alone I’m in its eternal debt.

  7. Lela Markham says:

    I don’t really have any issues with titles, but I can attest to how hard they are to come up with. It’s similar to headline writing. That is an art form that drives tabloid marketing, but often regular news publications give it short shrift. It used to be relegated to something the guys in the print shop did based on how much room was left in the type pan before going to press. Some printers were great at headlines and some …. Now reporters write their own headlines and some of them are great and some ….

    It’s the same with book titles. Some authors perhaps should ask someone else to name their books for them. Others are amazing for different reasons. Some take cues from quoting older literature. Some go for an ironic twist. Some are laugh out loud funny. Some make you pause and go “huh?” (which is a good thing).

    I’d have thought the referenced title was a sign of laziness by the author. If it had a smack awesome cover, I might have opened it and judged by a review of the contents, but the title … were I to run across it on Amazon, say … would probably have gotten a pass.

    So titles are an important marketing tool. Writers should spend at least as much time thinking about the title as we do on the back cover blurb.

What do you think?