What’s in a Name … uh, Title? by Darla Luke

(Please forgive me if I’ve talked about this topic before … If I have, it’s worth revisiting :-)) Titles that authors dream up have always fascinated me. They can immediately capture a my interest or imagination (along with artwork and/or cover). If it’s captivating, like Don’t Say a Word by the talented Barbara Freethy, I’ll read the description and excerpt. Judging by it’s place on the USA Today list (it’s up from last week!), I’m not alone.

Titles draw the eye, and if intriguing enough, make a reader pick it up to see what it might be about. There’s a title that has haunted me since I heard it: Something Secret This Way Comes. OOOoooh! So lyrical! Despite some mixed reviews, I’m definitely going to read it.

How about Knight and Stay – a play on night and day I’m sure. And Don’t Hate the Player or Falling Into You?

Note what some of these titles have in common … they were on the USA Today Top 150 Best-Selling Books list last week, if not still on here as of this blog today.

Here are the self-published books that made the USA Today Top 150 Best-Selling Books list through the week ending Sunday 5-19-13*:

Don’t Say A Word by Barbara Freethy (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #12 (last week #26) $0.99

The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #27 (last week #15) $0.99

Rock With Me by Kristen Proby (Self-published via CreateSpace). This week #40 (last week #27) $12.00

Lost and Found by Nicole Williams (Self-published via CreateSpace). This week #57 (last week #180) $3.99

Real by Katy Evans (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #72 (last week, not on the list) $3.99

Beauty from Pain by Georgia Cates (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #81 (last week, not on the list) $3.99

The Billionaire’s Obsession by J. S. Scott (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #93 (last week #99)

Promise Me Darkness by Paige Weaver (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #109 (last week #71) $0.99

Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services). This week #128 (last week #64) $3.99

*I’m human and make mistakes (a shock to my friends, I’m sure!). If there’s a book on this week’s list that I missed, please let me know. If I misspelled/mistyped an author’s name or book title, I’m extremely sorry.

Darla Luke

You can find me on Twitter @writer_at_work, “Like” my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/darlaluke, or visit my website: http://www.darlaluke.com

About Darla Luke

Darla Luke spent her childhood making up stories in her head, when she wasn't devouring every book she could get her hands on. If someone would have told her she'd be a writer when she grew up, she would have laughed herself silly. Now, writing is her passion, and she loves telling stories (especially ghost stories) and believes they all should have a happy ending.

Posted on May 24, 2013, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great post, Darla! Really made me think about titles, especially for an unpubbed like me who’s trying to generate interest. . ..


  2. Hmm. I agree that the right title can get a lot of interest but I’m not sure the reasons those books are on the bestseller lists is mostly because of their title. Some of those titles are not new, I’ve seen them throughout the years and some don’t really tell me anything. I think my perspective is a bit different since I now look at titles through the eyes of an acquiring and publishing editor. That being said, I recognize catchy titles but cannot, for the life of me, CREATE one. I’m in awe of those that have plucked some of the beauties we see around the publishing industry. For example, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series – the earlier books like Dead Witch Walking, The Good, the Bad and the Undead, The Outlaw Demon Wails, For a Few Demons More and Every Which Way But Dead. Those are just grand and I wish I’d come up with them. 🙂


    • Cassie – great point! I didn’t mean to imply that the title was why it was on the list, but that it probably played a part in it, capturing potential readers but we know that a great title doesn’t make a great read.

      Oh, yes! The whole reason I picked up the first Hallows book – Dead Witch Walking – was because of the great title. Of course, it takes more than a catchy title to make me buy a book … it has to have a great premise also. But without a title, the only other thing a reader has to go on is the cover, and we all know that the cover sometimes doesn’t even come close to portraying what the story is about :-).


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