Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The truth about titles

Last week, 'anonymous' posted this comment in relation to my post on book covers.

Could you come up with more interesting titles for the books. Most of the time they are variations on the same 5 words.

I've been asked the title question many times and every time I do a library talk and divulge the truth about Mills and Boon titles, people are genuinely surprised.

Listen up, people.

I don't choose the titles of my books.

Yes, I have a working title (something that absolutely must encapsulate the book for me) but when I sell the book to M&B, they choose the title.

Why?

Because M&B have a very savvy marketing team, along with very smart editors, who know what sells.

'Hooks' sell: bride, baby, millionaire, billionaire, tycoon, wedding, bridesmaid, rancher, family...
These are just a few and yes, you'll see them recycled in different forms on different books because that's what sells.

And if my book sells well, I'm pleased, my editor is pleased, the company is pleased.

So now you know. :)

Besides, if you're anything like me, it's not about the title or the cover, it's the words on the pages that count.

6 comments:

Lacey Devlin said...

I know I was surprised the first time I was told you didn't choose your own titles and I have to say I quite like the variations in the Romance/Tender line's titles. There have been a lot of pleasant surprises lately.

Nicola Marsh said...

I love the newer titles, Lacey!

Anonymous said...

I was so happy that you made my comment your post. I have been a reader of romance --both Harlequin and historical fiction-- for the last 35years. I love the genre and the stories. But I feel both titles and covers are very unimaginative-- unlike the books themselves. Finally historical fiction covers have turned elegant in recent times with beautiful women in period costumes. Since publishers are more interested in bottom line I am glad they are getting another point of view from at least one other customer. Thank you!!

Lois said...

Your saying that you don't come up with the titles or covers and that they come up with what they believe sells isn't new for me. . . so all I can really add is with those few keywords, I'm always amazed on the many different variations they come up with! LOL

Lois

Nicola Marsh said...

You're welcome, Anonymous. I enjoy comments that make me think :)

And you're right, some of those historical covers are gorgeous now.

And I'm thrilled to hear you've been reading Harlequin romance for 35 years. Fabulous!

Nicola Marsh said...

I'm impressed by that too, Lois. I reckon they must have a HUGE data base to stock all the ones already used.
Would make for interesting viewing!