A few weeks ago, I picked up a library book I had placed on reserve. Our library has a self-serve system that shelves the books in order by the first two letters of the patron’s last name, followed by the first two letters of the first name, and then the title.
When I picked it up, I couldn’t help but notice the title of the book NEXT to mine. “The Drunk Diet. How I lost 40 lbs. … Wasted” by Luc Carl. I actually laughed out loud. Of course, I reserved it as soon as I got home.
Former literary journal editor Teddy Norris told my writers group that titles are the first place you market your piece. “Make it something interesting,” she said. “Titles have to do something quickly for the reader.” She told us that in some poetry collection competitions, judges begin with the table of contents. If the titles are interesting, they read it. If nothing catches their eye, they move on.
A great title can mean the difference between someone selecting your book off the shelf, or the one next to it. A title that sums up the topic and is clever or intriguing will bring readers to your work.
Oh, and the name of the first book I placed on reserve? I can’t remember.