Thursday, April 15, 2010

Titles, Titles, Titles

I just started a new book last week. I get to go back to Mirabelle Island for three more stories (5, 6,and 7 in the series) coming out in 2011 and I'm excited. They're coming out back to back, like a lot of books that are a part of a series are doing these days, so I'd like titles that tie together. Needless to say, it's driving me crazy.

The first four Mirabelle's work well, I hope. First Come Twins, Next Come Love, Then Comes Baby and Along Came a Husband, coming in June 2010. (I just got the new cover a few weeks ago in case you hadn't noticed it along the side bar.)

My editor and I have already agreed that to try and add onto those first four titles would be insane. Of course, if you've got any totally insane ideas, I'd love to hear them.

I need the titles so that I can start doing promotion. Yeah, I know. Already? For 2011? I'd like to be able to include the titles at the end of my November book. Readers will, hopefully, want to know what's coming up. And include the upcoming titles on promotion that I'm doing for the my upcoming June and November books.

The first consideration is whether or not to include Mirabelle in the title. Since it'll be a while between the 5th and 6th book, I'd kind of like to remind readers that we're going back to Mirabelle. But I have a feeling my editor will nix these ideas out of hand. Not sure why, though. In any case, a few ideas -

Moon Over Mirabelle
A Mirabelle Winter
Home Sweet Mirabelle
A Mirabelle Wedding
Once Upon a Time on Mirabelle
Once Upon a Mirabelle Winter

Can you guess that one of the stories takes place during a nice, frigid Midwestern Winter? The best part is that I get to write it this spring! Having fun with it, too.

Then I have a couple non-Mirabelle ideas that tie together.

Her Favorite Mistake (I know it's a song, but it works so well for this book)
His One and Only
Her Life, Her Love

One Heart, One Love (or One and Only)
Second Chances
Third Times a Charm

What do you think? How important is the title to you when considering buying a book? I just got word that the title for my November book will be The Moon That Night. Like it?

And, most importantly, got any great ideas?



KylieBrant said...

Helen, I like Moon over Mirabelle and I'm sure they'd go for a Mirabelle Wedding. But my favorite is Her Favorite Mistake!

Cindy Gerard said...

Titles - yikes. Always a dilemma. I struggle over them myself and I know all writers do - especially when you're working with a series and you want them to tie in so readers will recognize that it's another book in a set.
I like, THE MOON THAT NIGHT. So how about using Moon in the other titles?
Moon Over Mirabelle (I agree with Kylie)
Blame it on the Moon
Moonlight and Miracles

Good luck. I'm sure you'll come up with some winners.

And congrats on contracting for 3 more books! That totally rocks!! Especially in this publishing climate where it's getting more and more difficult to make those sales!!.

Helen Brenna said...

Kylie, oddly enough, they didn't like A Mirabelle Wedding. I tried it with my first Mirabelle book because it fit so perfectly. I'll have to ask why.

I like Blame it on the Moon, Cindy! Cute. I'm adding that to the list I send to my editor.

The Moon that Night, my November book, isn't a Mirabelle story, though. So using "Moon" in the 3 coming out in 2011 might be misleading. Hmm.

Cindy Gerard said...

Whoops. I misunderstood. I thought it was a Mirabelle story. My bad! :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Me again

How about
Her Favorite Mistake
His Only Weakness
Their One True Passion

Lori said...

As a reader, the only titles I avoid like the plague are the traditional "Harlequin" titles - you know, The Tycoon's Accidental Secretary's Mistress's Baby and so on. I know I'm missing out on some great stories, but I can't help being turned off by that type of title.

Lucky you - none of your titles are that silly :) I like Her Favorite Mistake - it sounds very HSR-like.

And looking forward to more Mirabelle stories! Awesome!

Leanne said...

I love the Mirabelle titles and Her Favorite Mistake. I love titles that give me a clue that the stories are connected. The challenge is to make them different enough that the reader won't think she's already read them! They sound wonderful!

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, Cindy, I like those. Adding them!

Lori, I don't like those titles either. Go figure that line is HQ's biggest seller!

Thanks Leanne!

Terry Odell said...

I hate having to come up with titles. And then if they're connected too tightly, I (and readers, too, I think) start getting them confused. I've got When Danger Calls out now, and the sequel will come out in 2011 and it'll be Where Danger Hides. I'm already seeing confusion.

Keri Ford said...

I like the Once Upon a Time titles. they seem to play of the kid's nusery rythm like your first come series.

Once Upon A Moon
On A Dark and Stary Night
In A Love Far Far Away

Kathleen Eagle said...

Titles! Big headache! Just when you think you have the perfect title, you have to come up with something else. I have to remind myself every time that it's all about marketing, and that Harlequin knows how to market Romance.

So I love THE MOON THAT NIGHT. It's romantic, evocative, and not the same old, same old. Love it!

Moon Over Mirabelle, not so much. It reminds me of the Moons Over My Hammy--is that a Denny's or Perkins breakfast? I'm sorry. My mind works in mysterious ways.

I'm usually not big on the His and Hers because there are so many of them, but I really like HER FAVORITE MISTAKE. I love to use song titles. Strike up a tune in my head and I'm reaching for the book.

Helen Brenna said...

Terry, I think you're right. Thanks. Will have to keep that in mind.

Oh, Keri! Hadn't thought of that. Maybe I can sell my editor on that concept!

Helen Brenna said...

Kathy, I'm always reminding myself that HQ knows what they're doing with the title thing. I don't. I just send them a bunch of options and sometimes they go with them. Like the Mirabelle books.

A lot of Superromances have had literal titles, and I think they're stepping away from that. The senior editor wanted to try something different with my November book because of a scene I described in the Art Fact Sheet. And she came up with THE MOON THAT NIGHT. She was going for exactly what you mentioned. Something evocative! So yay! I like it, too.

Helen Brenna said...

Now that I think about it, I should've talked about the AFS and how publishers go about deciding on titles. Another post, another day.

Christie Ridgway said...

A Mirabelle Miracle?

Or something frosty or icy?

One Snowy Night then you could do Two Somethings and Three Something Elses. Yeah, big help am I.

I'm terrible at creating titles but like really clever ones and am attracted to books that have them.

Helen Brenna said...

Christie, I hate coming up with titles. It's the only part I really dislike about writing a book. Most of the time whatever I come up with sounds silly. I think part of that is because it's not coming with a cover. The cover ties everything together.

Michele Hauf said...

I'm so awful at titles. I like the 'moon' theme as well, and love Moon Over Mirabelle, and The Moon That Night. Very evocative. Congrats on your upcoming releases!

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks, Michele! Moon does go well with paranormals!

Paula R said...

YAY, we're going back to Mirabelle. I have been missing them. You know, I was reading a book recently set on an island, and Mirabelle jumped to mind. Can't wait to read ACaH in June.

Titles are tough. I really like the ones Cindy came up with. If I saw those titles, I would totally buy the book.

I am sort of an odd duck in the sense that I buy books based on title rather than cover or what the backcover copy says, etc. If the title doesn't grab me, I don't buy the book. I actually had a discussion about this with my students today.

That said, I am no good at giving books titles. Here goes (you might bust a gasket...LOL!!!)

A Mirabelle Homecoming
A Mirabelle Christmas
Holiday at Mirabelle Inn

See, told ya.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Laurie said...

Come Love Me

Along Came Love

Love Found Me

Love Came to Mirabelle

Come Love Me Again

At Last Love

Love Me

Come Back to Me

Helen Brenna said...

So you're a title girl, eh, Paula? I have this feeling I'm more drawn to titles than covers. Like the word plays.

And thank you, Laurie! I have more to add to my list!

Andria Bramlett said...

Well, i confess that this topic has been nattering about in my head for two days.

Miracle on Mirabelle
Say, Say my playmate...
remember those catchy hand slapping chants we girls of a "certain" age used to do in grade school...that is what is rolling around in my mind after reading the list of your titles, which by the way, I find is extremly important when I am purchasing a book. i like your titles immenslely.

Say, Say my playmate, will you come out and play with me...

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes (so & so)pushing a baby carriage

The point is catchy and eye grabbing too, right?

good luck, cant't wait for the next title to be released!