All writers know the extreme pressure of having to choose a book title. No matter how epic your sci fi fantasy semi-autobiographical post-apocalyptic vampire romance novel may be, if you don’t name it something somewhat catchy, ain’t NOBODY gonna read it.
The issue is, choosing a good title is like going to buy a pair of jeans: you think it will be easy and only take thirty minutes, but instead you end up sobbing and berating yourself after hours of fruitless effort.
Don’t believe me? Well then, I present to you the 15 VERY REAL stages of choosing a book title:
Stage 1: Finish writing your book and editing your manuscript. Write down the first title that comes to mind – it’s perfect, and cute, and catchy, and everyone will like it! Now on to the query letter…
Stage 2: As you’re about to send out your polished query letter, decide to Google your chosen title just to make sure no one else (or very few others) have used it before. You’re sure that all will be well because you’re so clever and original and definitely the only person who’s ever thought of this adorable turn of phrase, but better safe than sorry!
Stage 3: FOUR MILLION OTHER BOOKS HAVE THIS TITLE OMFG ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME.
Stage 4: Cry.
Stage 5: Spend hours scribbling possible titles on scraps of paper, hate all of them.
Stage 6: Find a title you don’t completely hate and yell “MWAHAHAHAH TITLE GODS I DEFY YOU!” while shaking your fist in the air.
Stage 7: Send out queries with new title, get agent*. Agent reads MS and is like, “Overall pretty good; change these things, and also the title sucks.”
Stage 8: Cry.
Stage 9: Procrastinate trying to find a new title by meticulously addressing all of agent’s edits.
Stage 10: Procrastinate trying to find a new title by knitting.
Stage 11: Procrastinate trying to find a new title by cleaning out your closet.
Stage 12: Procrastinate trying to find a new title by drinking.
Stage 13: After fortifying yourself with alcohol, go back to your scribbles, scribble more title ideas. Cry.
Stage 14: After like 12 back and forth emails with agent, finally choose a new title. Agent submits MS to editors.
Stage 15: Wait and resign yourself to the likelihood that if your book is sold that the publisher will immediately want you to change the title. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
AND SO THE WAITING HAS BEGUN. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH ALL MY WRITER PEEPS OUT THERE!
*Of course, getting an agent takes a while, but that’s an entirely different post. My agent is Sharon and she is great and despite the snark in this post I am very grateful that she told me to think up new titles because my original ones did, indeed, suck. ❤