What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

What encourages you to buy a book?

This is how I choose a book when I browse the shelves at Ganesha books, my local secondhand book shop. I look at the spine and cover. If the title and art work appeals, I turn the book over and read the blurb. If I haven’t put it back on the shelf by now, I open to page one and read the opening paragraph or two. If I’m hooked, I buy the book.

Book titles matter.

Three word titles are catchy, popular and work. All of the books above have 3 word titles. Eat, Pray, Love is another perfect example. It’s catchy and thought provoking.

Longer titles work too if they tell a story or entice the reader. The three above do this.

In 2007, Rina came into our lives.

And the adventures began.

After each adventure, wonderful or disastrous, I write about it and always from Rina’s point of view. After a year, I realised a book was evolving. It needed a working title. Would I go for a three word title or something longer and catchy? I decided on Two Poofs and a Poodle. It summed up the book, was catchy and a bit irreverent. The title stuck and friends frequently asked how I was progressing with Two Poofs and a Poodle. A few asked when I was going to choose the real title. I thought I had, but their comments had me second guessing myself.

Meanwhile, the adventures piled up and so did the chapters.

I sought public opinion.

On a Facebook writers group, I asked people to tell me what they thought of my working title. Most loved it but about a few suggest using the word ‘poofs’ was derogatory and politically incorrect. As a gay man, I considered self-labelling to be acceptable, but was I wrong? This doubts niggled for years.

At the end of March 2020, stuck at home in lock-down and with Rina’s manuscript publication ready, I decide to use Publishizer to crowd fund a book publishing deal.

This is when I started doubting the working title. Was there a better title for Rina’s book? Eat, Pray, Love jumped out at me. Three words summed up that book. What three words summed up mine? I fiddled about, writing groups of three words on slips of paper. I rang friends and asked them what they thought. Eventually I settled on Abandoned, Rescued, Loved. It summarised the book and was the magical three words, but it didn’t let potential readers know it was Rina’s story. So I added a subtitle – A dog’s story and so the title Abandoned, Rescued, Loved – A dog’s story was created.

On the 4th April, the Publisher campaign was launched. The link follows. You can click on it to support me and pre-order my book. https://publishizer.com/abandoned-rescued-loved-a-dogs-story/

To encourage pre-orders I promoted madly on social media and through emails to friends. They bought, but many also questions my decision to change the title from Two Poof and a Poodle as they thought that title had greater public appeal.

So I’m left with the quandary – What is the best title for Rina’s Book?

What are your thoughts?

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