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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's in a name?

Starting new books every season is always a thrill, but new books inevitably mean new titles. While some people love coming up with titles, others dread the looming deadline. But no matter how you feel about titles, you can't have a book without one. Often, our helpful authors provide title suggestions with their manuscripts, but ultimately it's up to the editor to come up with the perfect title. For me, the perfect title can often come at the most unexpected time: while I'm driving, while I'm cooking dinner, while I'm trying to fall asleep. (Clearly I'm a really effective multi-tasker...or incapable of concentrating, although I prefer to think it's the first option.)

No matter when it comes to you, creating a new title is always a challenge. After all, a title has to shoulder a lot of responsibility. It's more than just a name. A title has to effectively convey what a book is about and still be interesting and attention-grabbing. Without a strong title, would a book ever get read? It's no small feat, especially when you consider the number of books published each year. That's why every season, I'm continuously impressed by the creativity of the other editors I work with. They make coming up with new, unique, creative titles look easy (or at the very least manageable).

So, help us out. What do you think makes a good title? What grabs your attention?

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