What’s in a Title? by Paty Jager

Do you pick a book by the title? Do you want the title to tell you the genre of the story or what the story will be about? How about a mystery? Do you want the title to be a clue to the mystery?

These are all questions I’ve asked myself as I picked the title for the first book of my new mystery series coming out in 2019. I thought I had the perfect title… I loved it! Thought it was the essence of the story, more or less. Until I finished the book and read through it again. I felt like the title was lacking.

I loved the title. I used it as part of my trajectory in the story, or so I thought.

I sent the book to a beta reader. When he finished reading and sent me back his thoughts on the story, I told him the new title that popped into my head after I’d sent the manuscript off to him. What did he think? He said the new title fit the story better without me even explaining why I picked it.

BooYah! I now have a new title- Murder of Ravens: A Gabriel Hawke Novel.

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Because my character is a game warden I want to have animals in all the titles. I have four more story ideas penciled out and went through my list of animal names I compiled from Native American Myths and Legends books and hope my titles will fit the books I write. If they don’t, I’ll be changing them as I did with the first book.

Another clever, I think, item to this new series, is whatever animal is in the title will be somewhere on the book cover. In some cases the size of the animal may make it a good contest to have readers find the animal. 😉

So as I asked in the beginning- Do you pick a book by the title? Do you want the title to tell you the genre of the story or what the story will be about? How about a mystery? Do you want the title to be a clue to the mystery?