Titles and Contests …by Susan Lute

Two items for discussion today, before I go out into this beautiful day for my last birthday present – an excursion to the Street of Dreams with family. My question: does a title sell the book? And before we get into it, I’ll agree right up front a good title can pique a reader’s interest, like The Wrong Brother, Chaos Bites, or Lady of Devices. But I also have to say, there are a lot of titles that don’t lure me into picking up the book. The cover might. The back cover blurb, possibly. What I feel like reading at the time has a strong impact on which book I decide to read next. And of course if a favored author has a new release I’ve been waiting for – that trumps all.

But let’s talk titles for the moment. I wrote this story. It’s about a doctor who has everything she could want. Almost. Something happens to knock her off her comfortable road, and things just get worse from there. I wanted to know what she would do, and how she would handle the new direction her life was taking. Here’s the blurb:

Dr. Dana Murphy has everything a physician can want. Everything except the one thing she can’t get back. Her baby girl. When she’s diagnosed with a degenerative condition that threatens the career she loves, and her husband discovers a teenage daughter he didn’t know he had, the comfortable life she’s made begins to crumble. As she scrambles to scotch tape it all back together, her crazy mother and sister come to stay, and Dana finds herself on the brink of losing everything she holds dear.

Our experiment, and your assignment today (should you choose to take it) is this: which title would entice you to pick up this book? Fall From Perfection. The Broken Road. Finding Dr. Dana.I’ve put up copies of the covers so you can see how it would look in the real world. Everyone who casts a vote will be tossed into the beaded bag for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate. Of course I have my favorite, and I’ve been asking folks for days, but I’m interested in what you think.

Second order of business: The London Affair finaled in the International Digital Awards. Yay! I’ve wondered for a long time how many contests there are for self-published books, and where to find them. I figure you have the same burning question, so here goes.

2013 INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL AWARDS Keep checking their website for important dates and guidelines. I’ll also try to keep you up to date.

2013 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY)  is accepting entries for books with 2012 or 2013 copyrights, or released between August 1, 2011 and March 15, 2013. Early bird submissions dates are July 10 through October 13, 2012. See their website to get more details.

2014 EPIC’s eBook Awards(formerly known as EPPIE) will be accepting entries from 12:01 AM Central Time US (CST) June 1, 2013 to 10:00 PM CST July 15, 2013.

Surprisingly this is all I could find. If you know of any eBook contests not listed here, let us know and we’ll add them to our list. And don’t forget to vote on the title.


About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on August 13, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Fall From Perfection is still my favorite but The Broken Road is intriguing. Flip a coin.


  2. Hi Susan,

    Here’s my two cents.

    The Broken Road is definitely the one that jumps out at me. It speaks of a wounded heart, a direction taken that isn’t working out, and a conflict that I will want to see resolved. The title also tells me that action, tension, and love will happen. I also like the juxtaposition of “broken” with what appears to be an almost perfect front door/home on the cover.

    The other two titles turn me off for these reasons (though of course I would read it under any title because it’s a Susan Lute book!)

    Fall From Perfection — I’ve never liked perfect people, or people who think/need perfection. So, having that word in the title just makes me not want to try it.

    Finding Dr. Dana–Sounds too much like other “Finding….” books. Self-absorbed and likely heavy on psychological introspection and short on action, interaction, or tension.


    • Hi Maggie 🙂 I’ve always had a thing about picking just the right title, and I always have a working title, but I was talking to my daughter-in-law the other day, and she said she didn’t like titles that gave away the story. I found that intriguing. And your interpretation is right on 🙂


  3. Congratulations, Su, on the final! Why am I not surprised?

    As to your question, The Broken Road sounds more contemporary to me, so I’d be more inclined to pick that up. And I love, love, LOVE the cover!!


  4. I would have to say Fall from Perfection is the one that draws my interest and makes me wonder who & why.


  5. Su – thanks for the shout out on The Wrong Brother. Since it is my biggest seller something about that book – price, cover or title appeals to readers. Maybe it is a combination


  6. Hi, Su! The title, “The Broken Road,” appeals to me. Not necessarily because it best describes this story, but because I like the title. LOL! But you’re right about a favored author’s new release–that does trump all. If the book says Susan Lute on it, it goes on my wish list. 🙂

    And congrats on finaling in the International Digital Awards!


    • Hi Genie, {blush} thanks for the shout out. Interesting enough, yesterday I got in a conversation about titles and how they shouldn’t give away the story, just be intriguing enough to pull the reader in. That was a light bulb moment for me.


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