Sunday, May 22, 2011

What's In a Name?

I can name that book in 3 notes words (that was for anyone old enough to remember that game show Name that Tune).

I often wonder about the title of a book. How does the title relate to the story? Man that book has a dumb title! Have you ever passed up a book based solely on it’s title?

I can say for certain that I have turned my nose up at a number of books simply because the name of the book totally put me off. Most of these titles have me shaking my head wondering who the hell thought that was a good idea for a title. They seem to be limited mostly to the HQ imprint - they have some really dumb titles. 

So that got me thinking do author’s have a working title for the book before they begin writing? Do they submit a title with the synopsis? Does the name come for the book during the process - like a bolt of lightning? Does the publisher get the final stamp of approval ? And if someone other than the author gets to chose the name - does that piss the author off?

I would think that if I was an author and had what I thought was a kick-ass name for my book, I would be majorly pissed after pouring my blood, sweat and tears into a story, if someone just arbitrarily got to change the name.

What about the character’s names in a book - ever passed up a book simply because you couldn’t stand the name of the hero/heroine? Or even the author’s name?

How about the characters names? Say the hero’s name is the same as your son or your husband’s and he’s getting his freak on…does that up the ick factor for you?

How about if the hero’s name is the same as say your ex’s name - does that turn you off from reading a book?

What if the heroine’s name is the same as yours? Does that make you want to read the book more. I don’t think I have ever run across a book where the heroine’s name was the same as mine - so I don’t know really how I would feel, but I think I’d like it?

So what’s in a name? How does the name game affect your reading enjoyment?


Julie said...

Judi, those are some great questions you should totally ask some authors!

I can't say I'm turned off by the titles because I know that the author often has no say in it. But I do feel bad for them when their title sucks. And the HQ books??? What is with those titles? Is that part of their appeal?

Nice post!

The Book Pimp Blogs said...

Maybe some day when I feel more comfortable interacting with authors, I'll get the courage to contact them personally. Right now I wouldn't want to waste their time.