Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 276, Unique Title

6 April 2015,Writing Ideas – New Novel, part 276, Unique Title

Announcement:  Ancient Light is delayed due to the economy.  You can read more about it at http://www.ancientlight.com.  Ancient Light includes the second edition of Aegypt plus Sister of Light and Sister of Darkness.  I’ll keep you updated.

Introduction: I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. This was my 21st novel and through this blog, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel beginning with http://www.pilotlion.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-novel-part-3-girl-and-demon.html.

I’m using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I’ll keep you informed along the way.

Today’s Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select “production schedule,” you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.

The four plus one basic rules I employ when writing:

1. Don’t confuse your readers.
2. Entertain your readers.
3. Ground your readers in the writing.
4. Don’t show (or tell) everything.
5. Immerse yourself in the world of your writing.

All novels have five discrete parts:
1.  The initial scene (the beginning)
2.  The rising action
3.  The climax
4.  The falling action
5.  The dénouement

The theme statement of my 25th novel, working title, Escape, is this: a girl in a fascist island nation will do anything to escape–a young cargo shuttle pilot not following the rules crashes on the island.

I’ll make a slight digression because I’m developing advertising and publisher materials for my newest completed novel, Lilly.  Here is the cover proposal for Lilly: Enchantment and the Computer.

Cover Propsal

If you are setting a title on a work yourself or your publisher asks you for ideas (assuming you don’t have a title already), here are some ideas for developing a title.

1.  It needs to be pithy.

2.  It needs to be marketable.

3. It needs to be short, but not too simple.      

4.  It needs to be unique, but not too unique.  This is easy to check.  Pick your title and make an internet search or make a search on amazon.  If you get a thousand results for that title, your title is not unique enough.  If you get a few that are similar or even one or two that are the same–especially outside the decade–the title might be about right.  If you don’t get any results or any results that are books, you might be too unique.

The sweet spot is a few book related results.  If you get no book related results, people won’t find your novel without putting in the specific name (and/or your name)–they can’t accidentally find your novel.  In the world of the internet, accidental finds are what you can hope for.  You can set up websites, and you can advertise, but the most effective finds are accidental.  This is also why the title should represent the theme or a major idea in your novel.  For example, Aegypt my novel about Egyptian ideas and concepts.

If you get way too many results with your title, the searcher will not be able to break your novel out of the crowd–plus who wants to have a title that is so similar or overused.  Too unique is too much.  Not unique enough is too much.  There is also another consideration in looking at titles–similarity to negative works.

5.  It should not be too similar to works with negative connotations.

6.  It should encapsulate some measure of the theme.

At this point everything I’m doing with and for this work is about marketing to a publisher and building a website.

More tomorrow.

For more information, you can visit my author site http://www.ldalford.com/, and my individual novel websites:

http://www.ancientlight.com/
http://www.aegyptnovel.com/
http://www.centurionnovel.com
http://www.thesecondmission.com/
http://www.theendofhonor.com/
http://www.thefoxshonor.com
http://www.aseasonofhonor.com

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About L.D. Alford

L. D. Alford is a novelist whose writing explores with originality those cultures and societies we think we already know. His writing distinctively develops the connections between present events and history—he combines them with threads of reality that bring the past alive. L. D. Alford is familiar with technology and cultures—he is widely traveled and earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Dayton, and is a graduate of Air War College, Air Command and Staff College, and the USAF Test Pilot School. L. D. Alford is an author who combines intimate scientific and cultural knowledge into fiction worlds that breathe reality. He is the author of three historical fiction novels: Centurion, Aegypt, and The Second Mission, and three science fiction novels: The End of Honor, The Fox’s Honor, and A Season of Honor.
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