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Random Thoughts: Titles

The title of a book can be just as important as its cover. Sometimes it can be even more important, as it’s often the very first thing readers will see. Long before a cover or description is released out into the wild, a title will be announced.

And the title may be the only thing out there, leaving its lasting impression on potential readers for months, or even years, before the book’s release.

Even without an image, even without a description, a title can lure readers in, can tease them, can intrigue them. It can make them want to read a book without even knowing the first thing about it.

A well thought out title, one that has meaning to the story, can help to connect a reader to the book before, during and after they’ve read it. Just as a poorly thought out one will always stick in the mind of the reader as something that doesn’t quite fit. An amazing title is great, but without any meaning or connection with the story, readers will be left questioning the lack of a connection.

Whether the title is one word or several, as long as it’s memorable, interesting, relevant, it doesn’t matter. As long as, in the end, it’s a title that connects the book with its intended readers.

I’ve long been drawn in by titles. Maybe more often than by the covers. While I love book covers and have made many a purchase solely based on covers alone, it’s the titles that stick with me, that remind me of upcoming books not yet released, and not their cover art.

Most of my book purchases in the past three-and-a-half years have been exclusively online. And many are added to my pre-orders or wishlists long before covers are ever revealed. I have over fifty on my Goodreads lists right now that are probably not even close to seeing a final cover design, yet those titles stick in my mind, reminding me that those are books I can’t wait to read.

Whether a title speaks of darkness – Paint it Black, Forbidden – or sorrow – Before I Fall, Where She Went – or fear – Rot & Ruin, The Forest of Hands and Teeth – each title calls out to readers who would be most interested in discovering what’s between the pages, what each story has to offer.

Some titles are simply meant to intrigue upon first impression, offering nothing about the story within, words that mean nothing on their own. Luring readers in simply by a name. But all of which make sense as the stories unfold. Titles like Imajica, Wildefire, Everneath.

Others are self-explanatory from the outset, letting readers know what lurks within the pages. Titles like Witch Eyes, The Long Walk, The Demon’s Surrender.

And yet others create titles from nursery rhymes, poems, songs and prayers that connect to their stories, but also help to make their titles memorable. Titles such as Roses are Red, My Soul to Take, Suffer the Children.

Misnaming a book can not only fail to bring in readers, but can bring in the wrong readers. And so titling a book can be one of the most important decisions in the entire process, aside from writing it, of course. For those readers who don’t judge a book by its cover, a title can be the only chance a book has to make a good first impression.

For example, if a book’s title was Heart’s Flame but was about the cold war, true crime or a zombie apocalypse, how many actual readers of those subjects would even take a second glance? And how many fans of romance novels would be disappointed when they broke the spine only to discover a flesh-eating zombie chomping down on its latest victim?

While covers often change between hardback and paperback editions and subsequent prints, the names typically remain the same. To forever be connected with the story and forever connecting the reader to it.

Here are just a few wonderful, intriguing, memorable, exciting, enticing, amazing-sounding titles for books yet to be released that have already grabbed a spot on my “must reads” list. Some I’ve discovered and added solely based on title alone, others I would have added based upon their titles if I hadn’t already heard about them.

  • Under the Never Sky
  • Incarnate
  • Of Poseidon
  • Fracture
  • A Touch Morbid
  • Sweet Evil
  • Immortal City
  • Embers and Echoes
  • Everneath
  • Drowning Instinct
  • Born Wicked
  • Phantom Eyes
  • Dark Metropolis
  • Aetherborne
  • Unchained
  • Elegy
  • Ashen Winter
  • Dark Kiss
  • A Want So Wicked

I have put off reading books with titles I don’t connect with almost as often as I do with book covers I don’t love. I can get past both, but it takes just that much more work to lure me in.

I may have missed out on a great book or series because of this, but the reality is, there is no shortage of amazing books to read, and those with intriguing titles will get my attention much faster than those without.

So, of course I have to ask…

Do book titles pull you in?

Do you add books to your TBR based on title alone?

Have you passed on reading a book with a title that just didn’t grab you?

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