Titles: What’s in a name?

Everything has a name, doesn’t it? Who thought up all the names of things in the world? Aside from Adam who probably named trees, flowers, and animals. But who thinks up all the names of things we see each day? Like streets? Or colors? I would really love to meet the person who thought up Puce (per Wikipedia-Puce is the French word for flea. The color is said to be the color of the bloodstains remaining on linen or bedsheets, even after being laundered, from a flea’s droppings or after a flea has been crushed.) so maybe it was a Frenchman from the 17th century.

But for books, it is called a title, and they are sort of important. Many times titles are the brainchild of the publishing company who is going to publish it. In the case of self-published books, the author has full control over what their work will be known as.

Now the question remains, what is important about a title? Well, it’s sort of like, YOUR name. When I get introduced, my name becomes Kim Smith author of An Unexpected Performance. So the title is like a part of your name once the book is out there. Also, the title may tell what the book is about. For instance, my little booklet, Ten Tips for Getting Your Book Written tells the reader all they need to know about what resides between the covers.

I like titles that tell me something. I mean, if I pick up a book and the title simply says Beloved, how do I know what it is about? It may be a Christian book about the church which is often referred to as Christ’s beloved. Or it may be a historical romance or it may just be a book about a dog named Beloved. Either way, the title is not descriptive enough to tell me what it is about. Now with a title like that, I will have to resort to other means, and that will be the back cover blurb.

But that is a blog post for another day.

Feel free to tell me what you think about titles.

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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