Thursday, February 15, 2007

What’s in a name?

This morning I came across the title of a new book by an author I have never read before. The book is How to Abduct a Highland Lord by Karen Hawkins. The title immediately struck my fancy so this afternoon I went out and purchased the book. I haven’t had time to start it yet, but on my walk home I started thinking about the various authors who now reside on my “auto-buy” list that I first picked up on a whim because a great title caught my eye.

This method of choosing new authors isn’t new to me. I started reading Julia Quinn after I came across The Viscount Who Loved Me and found the title amusing. Eloisa James is another author now on my auto-buy list after Duchess in Love caught my eye one day.

For some reason, I haven’t yet had many conversations over book titles with people. There is talk a plenty about whether or not someone will buy a book with a “trashy” cover, but no one I know has ever rejected a new book for a bad title.

And does anyone else get excited when one of their favorite authors has a really great book title? Some of my personal favorites are Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Side of the Moon and the upcoming Devil May Cry, Eloisa James’s Much Ado About You (I’m a sucker for a Shakespeare reference), Kresley Cole’s No Rest for the Wicked, and one of the classics – Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

So for my very first blog, I leave these questions to you lovely readers:
Will a good title induce you to try an author you’ve never read before?
Will a bad title turn you off from a book?
And what are your favorite book titles?


Janga said...

Hi, Kat!

I like your title. :)

I notice titles. In my own writing, the title comes early in the process. I always feel more in control once I have a title.

As for bad titles, I won't say I will never buy a book with a title like the Billionaire Sheik's Secret Love Child, but it would have to be written by one of my top ten authors to induce me to suffer to that degree. I love titles with word play and allusions. You mentioned EJ's Essex titles. Candice Hern's Merry Widows titles are also terrific. SEP has some wonderful titles too.

Lindsey said...

Yay, Kat! Love your blog!

Though - in a very roundabout way - my interest in romance can probably be credited to titles & though I love a really clever title, it really doesn't affect my interest in purchasing the book - but then that's not really how I buy books. A lot of romances have pretty ho-hum titles anyway. Or cheesy titles. I'm with you & Janga in liking JQ, Eloisa (Pleasure for Pleasure is my favorite!), and Candice Hern's titles.

I have no talent for titles myself, so my WIP remains nameless. I suppose I'll have to beg all my friends for help once I get to that point.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Kat!

I like any title that is catchy enough for me to remember and not too generic sounding. There are certain words that are used too often that they blend into one another when used. "Moon" is one of them. "Magic" is another. "Night" is yet another.

As for the pop culture reference titles with a twist, its a fine line. I LOVE Candice Hern's play on tim pan alley songs for her Merry Widows since they are old enough. I like YOU ONLY LOVE ONCE (play on the Bond film) cause it tickle my funny bone as a Bond fan. I didnt care for HER MASTER AND COMMANDER or JUDE'S LAW

kalyko13 said...

Hey Kat... ^^

I often buy new authors on the strength of recommendations, but there are times, when I'm out in bookstores (my husband *hates* that BTW *grin*) and just looking around, if a title catches my eye then I'll read the blurb on the back. If that appeals as well, then I will buy it. Sometimes I end up reading only that one book, but often I end up with a new favourite: and with over 1400 keepers, you can tell I have a few favourites! Part of the reason the dh's reaction.

As far as titles that appeal to me? Hmmm, I don't really know if I know what it is that grabs me.
A good play on words, yep, but I think most of it is something that's out of the ordinary. BUT if the title doesn't match with the blurb, then I don't think much of it. The two have to go together for me. [Hmm, maybe I know more about it than I thought, eh?]

As far as bad titles, that's harder to say. Something really trite; just about anything with Sheikh, prince, princess will do it, unless like Janga, it's by an author that I already know and like.

Michael Connelly has some excellent titles ~ they really stand out (eg. Concrete Blonde; The Black Echo) ~ as does Katie MacAlister; most of hers just crack me up!
The Corset Diaries (contemporary)
You Slay Me (paranormal)
The Trouble With Harry (historical)
Improper English

Anyway, I've probably taken up enough of your blog space...*grin*

Welcome to the world of cyber logging.

Kat said...

Thanks for commenting ladies, and don't worry about taking up too much blog space - the more talk the merrier :)

I agree, The Corset Diaries is a great title, definitely caught my eye. Katie MacAlister ususally has pretty great titles.

And Janga, I totally agree - it would have to be a fave author for me to pick up a book with a title like Billionaire Sheik's Secret Love Child or one's I've seen like Who's My Baby's Daddy? Those just weird me out.

Anonymous said...

I must say that I'm a bit fond of the MaryJanice Davidson titles
Undead and Unwed, Sleeping with the fishes, and so on.

They really match the tone of the books


Marg said...

Welcome to blogging Kat!

Romancefanreader said...

Hi Kat! Love your blog!!

Titles are important to catch the eye as cover pictures do. However... recently I read Karen Ranney's "Autumn in Scotland" and that title is deceiving. I was about to pass it up...but then decided the back cover story looked good so I bought it. Glad I did!
It was a good book with a title that did not reflect the excellent quality of the story, nor the passionate love between the hero and heroine.

I especially like Candice's Merry Widows title...I'll read practically anything with a widow in it!

I'll be talking to you on Candice's board!

Ranurgis said...

I'm more or less like Janga--that I go more by author than by title.

I recently bought, but have not read "Hero Worship" because the title and the price both caught my fancy, and of course, so did the blurb. The guy on the cover isn't a bad selling point either.

Some titles do put me off. I'm not very interested in the vampire stories, though I don't mind werewolves if there doesn't seem to be too much blood and gore. But I'm not really too fond of paranormals though I'm waiting to read Elizabeth Guest's "Night Life" which has a very interesting premise of Pharaohs reborn as vampires. She has also written as Suzanne Simmons/Simms Guntrum over the years. This is the first under her "new" name.

Lami said...

Hi Kat
I will usually pick up a book with a title that catches my eye. I have three of Kathy Love's vampire books "Fangs For the Memories", Fangs But No Fangs", and "I Only Have Fangs For You" and I got them because of the irreverant titles and their very bright covers.

Chantal said...

Good question. Actually, the title doesn't effect book buying for me.
I admit that the look of the cover does though. I'm a total cover snob.