By Pamela Smit
There is always a sense of foreboding, whenever the topic of choosing a book’s title is raised. Why do writers often struggle with the title? Is it because of the knowledge that if a title isn’t ‘catchy’ enough to attract a reader’s eye, then their manuscript may be doomed to gather dust in the obscure recesses of some publisher’s archives? Ninety percent of the probability of success or failure can hinge on the title the author chooses for their work. There is also the concern that the chosen title should convey clearly and accurately, what the work is about.
A good method of getting the right handle on a title is to jot down a paragraph which summarises what the book is about. It is then possible to itemise all the verbs, and nouns that are written down, searching for potential word combinations derived from the nouns and verbs. A book title may be found this way, if not, brainstorming more ideas using synonyms may be useful. Phrasing words together is another possibility if a title still does not suggest itself. In any case, bear in mind that the publisher may still change the final title. Keeping this in mind, helps the writer to not become obsessed with having the ‘perfect’ title.
Awareness of the genre’ and understanding what kind of feeling is portrayed is important to title selection. The title needs to clearly communicate to the readers exactly how the book is portrayed. Making lists of books on any of the numerous internet sites with the same genre’, is useful in selecting a title, as is writing words, that relate to the book regarding the setting and characters used in the plot. Verbs that capture action in the storyline are important. Any word that conjures up feelings or images relating to the book’s storyline should also be recorded. Having selected potential word combinations and possible titles, set them aside for a time. During this time allow the subconscious to filter ideas and possibilities. Examining the list with “fresh eyes” subsequently, will help achieve the desired title. The author should also research the selected title to confirm that it has not already been used.
A title should match the tone of the book and whether it conveys the correct genre’. The author should also “know” their potential audience and understand the words and phrases that catch the eye and imagination of the reader.
Neither should the importance of the blurb be underestimated. The blurb must entice the browsing reader to buy the book. It is the book’s sales pitch. The blurb has to persuade the reader to buy your book as opposed to the other titles available nearby. For these reasons, several considerations need to be taken into account when writing the blurb. Appealing phrases, written in a coherent and exciting way aimed at capturing the reader’s imagination, are essential. The author must tantalize and tease with language that resonates with readers of the genre’. In a few words and phrases, the author has to build a summary and overview of his work sufficient to entice the customer to buy the book.
The author may even resort to hyperboles for extra emphasis. For example “The mission is incredible. The consequences of failure are unimaginable. The ending is unthinkable.” (Matthew Reilly, “Six Sacred Stones.”) The over exaggeration of words and phrases as a deliberate writing device, can bring additional life to the writer’s plot.
The ability to condense informative information into a short amount of space requires practice and skill. From time to time, editors or possible publishers may write the blurb. Authors usually have been working on their book for some years, the editor or publisher can bring a fresh perspective to the book. Favourable comments from other authors can sometimes be included in the blurb to re-enforce the reader’s introduction to the story. This added credibility hopefully entices readers to grab the book and open their wallets! In some blurbs the ability to use catchy phrases, and incorporate the narrative with an air of mystery and intrigue, will help to engage potential readers. Reading the blurb, potential buyers should begin to empathise with the characters and the setting and want to find out more. An ideal length blurb is around 100-250 words; any longer and the reader may lose interest or they get sufficient detail to obviate their purchase of the book. It is important therefore, not to disclose too much of the plot.
Potential readers and purchasers automatically turn to the back of the book to read the blurb. The blurb can be thought of as the book’s negligee, it entices, promising delights to come, without being too revealing. Reading the blurb should be ‘eye candy’ or the savouring of ‘melt in your mouth’ chocolate. Using action verbs and minimising adjectives and nouns helps to reinforce the sense of conflict and tension inherent in the story. Think of it as ‘baking a cake’, all the ingredients must be present for the recipe to succeed. If the author does not give a summary of the central plot or theme of the book, the effectiveness of the blurb to generate sales, will be compromised. A well written blurb is like the eternal ‘Pandora’s Box’; a sense of mystery, purpose and intrigue inviting the buyer to test the waters for themselves.
If you would like a blurb written for your book please contact me. My website address is http://wordscribe.weebly.com.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Its-All-in-the-Title-and-the-Blurb!&id=7167011]
- The Donkey That Roared – One Title Too Many The book was about escaping to the good life in...
- How to Find an Endless Supply of Best-Selling Ideas for Your Nonfiction Book Title Follow the method in this article to analyze best-selling book...
Category: Novel Writing