What’s in a name?

As a designer, we’re taught that image is everything, and there’s no doubt that the cover is *very* important (in fact my friends in school know that one of my greatest fears is getting a bad cover. I have nightmares, I swear!) But there’s another element of the first impression. The title.

Titles might be one of my favorite parts of books. With a love of words, I’d put a good title up there with a good cover. A good title not only intrigues me, but it gives me the first taste of the book’s style. The Name of the Wind is a very different book than The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or You Suck. So I’m curious, what are some of your favorite titles (not books, necessarily, or covers, just titles)?

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6 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY is one book title I couldn’t get out of my head until I read it.

  2. Read the book, that is. Yes. That. 😀

  3. shanasilver says:

    I do think names are so, so important. When I was querying, all the agents commented favorably on my title, which I’d put in the subject of the email. A few said they read my query before others because they liked the title so much. My agent has heard similar comments from editors now that it’s on sub. The title is “THE ART OF SELLING MY SISTER” for what it’s worth.
    As for titles that work, I love these:
    -An Abundance of Katherines
    -The Truth about Forever
    -Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature
    -I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
    -The Year of Secret Assignments
    -Wicked Lovely
    -Prophecy of the Sisters
    I tend to be drawn toward longer titles. Usually one word titles don’t hook me without knowing more about the premise. I think it’s because in NYC, all the swanky lounges try to be trendy with one word titles, and so it often feels overdone to me. But I can see people not from NYC being hooked by these.

  4. veschwab says:

    Oh, that’s a very nice one. Lovely rhythm and wonderfully intriguing! I give it a 9.5! Haha, and I knew what you meant 🙂

  5. veschwab says:

    Oh, I love your title. And I’m the Russian judge :p
    I also love your list, especially Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature, and Wicked Lovely, and well…most of them.
    Very interesting observation about one-word titles. I think that’s a case where the cover has to pull more weight to make up the difference.

  6. jmeadows says:

    One of my all time favorite titles is THE RAGING QUIET. (Sherryl Jordan.) It’s a lovely book, but the title drew me first.

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