10 Jun 2012

A rose by any other name...

Last week I posted a review entitled 'Friends with Kids' it was about the film of the same name.  This post got the least amount of views of any of my previous posts EVER!

I could try an analyse this based on the content, but we aren't talking about those who read it and decided not to comment but why people didn't even read it or click on the page to get some idea about what it was about. I'm not complaining, just curious as to why. I think it was the post title.

You see, when I first read about a new film coming out starring current can-do-no-wrong actress Kristen Wiig I was curious, when I saw that it was called 'Friends with Kids', I let out a long groan. I most definitely did not want to see a film about friends with kids. Mainly, because as a single thirty-something without kids, I already have friends with kids. I wasn't sure exactly which angle they were going to take, whether it would be childless couples envying their friends or whether it would be couples with children envying their childless friends. Either way, it is common knowledge that we always think the grass is greener on the other side at times, regardless of what side we are on.

I received a comment from Annalisa who said she was put off from seeing the film based on the title too, and after reading my review is happy that she didn't see it. Well, at least that's how I interpreted her comment! lol

It got me to wondering how important names are in attracting people to your product. Particularly in the case of books. I read a post during the A to Z challenge about book covers and design and whether they were that important, and whether it is the cover that makes you pick up the book. I think the cover can be quite important but comes in second after the title.

When I go to a book shop, I will scan the spines and see what jumps out at me...fancy italic font is usually passed over as its harder to read quickly when scanning, really long titles again can be missed unless there is a single word emphasised (maybe in a larger font) to grab your attention. But generally, I think that the title should be no more than 4-5 words. I am saying all this as a reader as I don't know the industry's view on this.  But what has me thinking is whether it is beneficial to be as obvious as in 'Friends with Kids' or a better idea to be more ambiguous, thus the reader goes..'huh?!' , takes the book off the shelf and views the second important thing (the cover) and then decides whether it has peeked their interest enough to have the synopsis read.

I think that ambiguity is the way to go, especially if your book cover is kick ass and will gain their attention. The only examples I can think of when it is better to have a clue in the title is with biography's. I think in general that a title does have that power, many a book I have dismissed based on the title alone and I am sure I have missed out on reading a great many books.

My question to you is...if you are a writer, how do you come up with your book title? and at what stage? Do you put much thought into it or is it inspired? Would you consider changing your book title if it would mean more people would read it? If you're not a writer, do you think book titles are important? 

12 comments:

  1. Lol - that's exactly what I meant!!

    As for titles, I think books are copying the magazine trend to name stories as though they're articles in Closer!

    My titles come as part of the package - title, plot, characters and their names, first line and last line all pop into my head - I don't think I could start writing without each of them. Although I have struggled with one title recently and I'm still not completely happy with it.

    As a reader, I've definitely picked books on title alone before - The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and Snake being two!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! Maybe.

      I think titles are hard, and I am glad that you say they are, or at least they should be - its like naming a child. haha

      That sounds interesting, but I guess that's the point - was it good? or disappointing? or somewhere in between?

      Delete
  2. I am a reader not a writer. I read the the back cover, if still not sure then read the first page. I don't really go by the title too much as they are often misleading and so it therefore takes me ages to decide whether to buy or not to buy.I nearly always prefer the book to the film though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! Its easy to pick books for you, my method is to make sure its nice and thick and preferably heavy, if it mentions that it scans over several years and is saga-esque with a bit of history thrown in then I know that I am on to winner that you will like. :)

      Delete
  3. Book titles are one of my least favourite tasks in writing! I'm terrible at them...I'm glad my agent is more helpful. I don't think a title would put a publisher off, they are very experienced at writing them, if the book is right. But a good title makes a book stand out at a book shop, so they are absolutely important. 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' made me instantly curios, for example, and turned out to be a lovely book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that if you are going to name your book in such a curious way then you have to make sure that it is up to it :)

      I have loved reading your blog about getting published as it has opened my eyes to things I would never have considered. Thank you.

      Delete
  4. Been living in video game land which is why I've not been reading blogs! Bad friend!!

    I'm not a writer (well, not a published one anyway), but I tend to buy books based on my favorite authors. I rely heavily on bookclubs and often don't even pay attention to the cover. Sometimes I will get a book by an unknown author (at least to me), based on the description of the story. If I go to a bookshop, it's for a particular book, and again, cover is irrelevant. Just my two cents!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bad, bad friend!! lol

      You will be one day :D I dont have that many favourite authors and never did as a child either. I like to mix it up a bit and I am always keen to give things a chance. I always read the synopsis but have been misled a few times.

      Thank you for your two cents keebs, did you want change! ;) hahaha

      Delete
  5. Oh, and I know what you mean...my letter to my 14 year old self was the hardest and yet most revealing thing I have ever done, and barely anybody looked at it (even despite your wonderful link!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a brilliant post, one that I know I could never write. It is totally their loss for not reading it, and I hereby recommend it again!

      Delete
    2. Hell, I don't even care about my 14 year old self, why on earth would others?!?!

      Delete
  6. Just little something for your work... Pop over to collect... http://troghead.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/another-award-yay.html#axzz1xWDpPrnu

    Hope you like it.

    ReplyDelete

I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Spill the beans...

Popular Posts