Here I am, pondering TITLES again. Blame it on this New York Times article, from today's paper, about titles with LAND in them. I'm reading Stephen King's Joyland and just finished Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield. But I hadn't noticed the title thing.
CLICK HERE to go to the article.
Be sure to read to the end: "the temptation to be on-trend is particularly acute because a title can make or break a book..."
I'm terrible with titles. I know a lot of tricks for choosing them, and even blogged about them--recently! -- here:
The article that comes with that Book Title image over there offers 5 ways to choose a title.
I'm particularly drawn to #4:
Would a reader feel cool if someone saw them reading a book with that title?
From what I know about kids, they might feel cool if their friends saw them carrying a catchily-titled book. But they certainly wouldn't read it if it were boring, beneath them, or blah.
With kids' books, titles truly aren't everything. There's
the cover, and most importantly the writing. But I know an appealing title
does a lot to move a book. I mean, how could a young reader resist How To Steal A Dog? Does a preposition in the title help? Moon Over Manifest, anyone? How about an animal AND a preposition: The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail. Once inside, the writing seals the deal.
Consider poor Stieg Larsson. Ha. Not poor in the least. But also not so great at title-picking. As reported in a memoir by Kurdo Baksi, Stieg Larsson, My Friend, his working titles were the feeble The Witch Who Dreamt of a Can of Petrol and Matches and The Exploding Castle in the Air...