What’s in a name?

March 16, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Names are important things. Names allow us to identify ourselves, other people and things. They are so important. And they are equally important in a book. Especially in the name, or title, of the book itself.

But naming a book can be damned hard! Especially when it comes to finding something unique.

When I named my debut novel The Heir, my publisher frowned. ‘That’s not a good title,’ she said. ‘It’s too generic.’ She was right, so we made the three books all part of the Verindon trilogy to give it a unique angle. (By the way, you can still review The Heir on Amazon. I’m extending the deadline to the end of this month. Check out this blog for more details.)

I had incredible struggles naming my latest manuscript, which I originally wrote in 1998. While I was writing it I couldn’t think of any title that fit. It was three years later, long after I’d shelved the first draft, that I thought of the title How Far Forgive.

Now, in looking at it, I’m wondering if it’s the best title for the book.

This book is certainly different; I’ve only read one other book that bears any similarity to it at all. That one is called Picking Up the Pieces, so I can’t use that (it’s a great title for it too). And therein lies another problem in all this – not only do I need to find a good title for my book I need to find something that hasn’t been used in a similar way (or preferably at all) by someone else in their book.

So I’m stuck trying to work out if my current manuscript needs a better or more descriptive title. In brief, it’s the story of a girl who is a victim of a violent crime and then must find a way to reassemble her life afterwards and forgive the assailants, as she finds it difficult to move on without doing that.

Are you an author? How do you come up with the titles of your books? Are you a reader? What are some of the best book titles you’ve ever seen? Let me know in the comments.


Facebook Comments