Among the first things that catch a reader's attention is a book cover, the back page blurb, and the title. Several considerations go into selecting the perfect title. Too long and it might be forgotten. Titles need to be evergreen or at the very least adhere to contemporary rules.
For me the hardest part of selecting a title was finding one that was not already in use. The perfect title is conceived, then your hopes are dashed with a quick online search. A book in your genre was released just six months earlier with the same title.
"Titles aren't copyrighted," your inner self urged. "Go ahead and use it."
However, copyright isn't the primary consideration. Recognition is. If you use the same title as a popular book, yours will appear far, far back in the search results. There might be a coat-tail effect, where readers looking for the other book stumble across yours and decide to give it a try. But it is just as likely a possibility of a backlash when they realize your book was not the one they really wanted.
Selecting a title is even more difficult when the standalone book became a series. So here's the story behind the titles of the Dragshi Chronicles. You'll notice that the keyword shifted between the first book in the series and the rest. That's because when the titles were being selected, it seemed like every combination with "dragon" was in use. And I had to have "dragon" as that was a critical component of the story.
The Dragshi ChroniclesDragon Destiny
Dragon Destiny was chosen to reflect the hopes of Lord Branin Llewlyn of the dragshi that the trader girl Anastasia would have a destiny as half of a dragon-human pairing. Hatchlings Curse hinted at the price paid for the freedom of flight. Spoiler alert. After the curse was broken, the hatchling had to search for a mate to continue his kind. The final book of the tale of the dragshi was told in Hatchling’s Vengeance. So each of the chronicles had something related to dragon. Hatchling was chosen as the keyword as at the time there were few titles with "hatchling" in them.
In each of the chronicles, a legend or tale from the past was recounted. When Hatchling's Vengeance was completed, there seemed to be something left unsaid. I knew it wasn't another book in the series. I realized that the legends needed their own due, which meant another book. One based in the world of the dragshi, but not of the tales of Branin and the trader girl Anastasia. After they legends were written (which ended up being a collection of five novellas and short stories. I didn't want a "dragon" or a "hatchling" title because I consciously wanted something different.
The anthology needed to have separation from the Dragshi Chronicles. A reread of the stories gave the answer. The one thing each had in common was first change-- the event when the dragon soul twin awoke. Hence the title selected was First Change: Legends From the Eyrie.
Do you like your titles to relate to the storyline or just be a catchy phrase? Leave a note in the comments below. And don't forget to visit the other authors who are participating in the 52-week 52-post challenge
~till next time, Helen