May 14, 2011


Now that Blogger seems to be back up and running, I can make yesterday's post.

Many things change in the process of a book going from manuscript to published novel. Often, as far as I've seen, the most common thing to change for a first-time author is the title. You know why this is? Titles are hard. I mean, as much as your first chapter needs to draw the reader in, your title is essential in making your book stand out from the countless others on the shelf or in the online store. It needs to speak to the consumer, be catchy, but not obviously commercial. Tell part of the story without giving it away. Be relevant without being an encumbrance.

Locked Within was always a placeholder title for my book. I knew it was likely going to have to change, but I needed a way to give the book an identity while I wrote it. Otherwise it was just "book." Now, I am the guy who named his first dog "Puppy," but this just wasn't going to cut it. So I took the title from the lyrics of a song called Locked Within the Crystal Ball:

When I'm working on a book, music is very important to me, so it was natural to choose a title from a song that resonated with a lot of the themes I had in mind while writing this one. Still, I know there's a better title out there somewhere. One that will simply scream that the book needs to be read. I can't wait to find it.


  1. I actually blogged about the challenge of finding a title, and I'm still not positive I've got it quite right. It is definitely hard.

  2. Ugh, don't even get me started on titles. You're right - they're so hard!

  3. It's funny- for me, the title almost comes to me first! It gives me something to rally around, a focal point. What would be awfully hard for me, then, is if some publisher wanted to change my title! Also, at a recent workshop, the speaker said that the majority of best sellers have titles of 4 words or less!

  4. check out: There, you can plug in some important grammar from your manuscript and it randomly fits them together. I was actually surprised at the results. I wonder how many big authors came up with their title this way?

  5. Shannon: If you figure out the best way to pick one, let me know!

    Talli: Especially when nothing in the book immediately jumps out.

    Melissa: I can be that way with some character names. I tend to pick ones that either have some meaning or a particular sound that matches their character.

    Write2Live: Hmm, all I managed to get were oddly structured titles with bad grammar. Think I need more practice with it.

  6. I agree that a title gives you something to hold on to, gives your work an entity.
    The You tube clip is interesting...a touch of the Eurovision about the song, dare I say!