Monday, December 6, 2010

Title Tips by Linda Kozar

Ever have a hard time coming up with a title? This Manuscript Monday, Linda Kozar is here to share her tips for nailing down the perfect one. Enjoy!

By Linda P. Kozar © 2010

Kings and Queens have them. So do politicians. Men and women in the military salute those who have them. Your boss has one, and maybe you do too. Whether you sit on a throne or a tractor, titles are important. And the same is true of book titles. A good title should attract an editor’s eye the same way it would attract a reader’s. If an editor likes your title, it is more likely they will look at your proposal with an open mind and an attitude of expectation. They will want to like your work. A good title also tells a publishing house a lot about your creativity. It’s up to you to keep their interest beyond that uber title with a dazzling story to match it.

A good title is like a good opening and should:

Attract the reader’s attention, be memorable, appropriate to the content, be interesting or evocative, represent your work, be identifiable with your brand and most importantly, be exciting!

A good title can:

Be a popular expression or a play on words, come from an existing work, be a person’s name. reflect your setting, be possessive, put forth an association of ideas, represent an event or activity, repeat a memorable line from a story, have rhythm, be simple.

Suggestions to “Work” Your Title:

1. Pray and ask God to give you title ideas!
2. What is the book’s genre?
3. Add “ing”: “Chasing Rainbows”
4. Keep the title short and sweet.
5. Make it descriptive –The Great Gatsby was originally called “Trimalchio in West Egg”
6. Ask yourself, “if someone is typing keywords in a search engine, what other things
would come up next to mine?” Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy
Women of Faith
7. Be open to changing your title if the publisher wants you to—don’t lose a sale by being
8. Describe the book briefly—a title is a little window into the world of your story
9. Reduce your story to the lowest common denominator and that could be your title
10. Look into your heart—you’re the writer!
11. Ask advice from a close friend or critique partner who has read the manuscript
12. Use metaphors and similes “Quiet As A Whisper”
13. Find a phrase that jumps out “Soylent Green is people!”
14. Is there one character that stands out? Try that character’s name.
15. Write down a long list and rearrange the words. Cross some off.
16. Run your titles by other writers, friends, family—anyone who can be objective.


Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Howard/Simon & Schuster) and author of Misfortune Cookies(2008), Just Desserts (2011) (Barbour Publishing). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, and four previous writing awards, is founder/president of Writers On The Storm, a local ACFW chapter. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 22 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Member of: RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas


"Just Desserts," Barbour Publishing, 2011.

When Lovita Mae Horton wins a trip for two to attend a cooking school in Paris, she invites her best friend Sue Jan Pritchard along. Their joy is short-lived however, when they find out the trip is to Paris, Texas! Sue Jan has family there—Aunt Lila and Cousin Pouncey, but discovers her eccentric Cousin Pouncey has just passed away. When Sue’s Jan’s unique antique platinum engagement ring goes missing, they suspect she lost it when saying her last goodbyes. With her wedding only a few months away, Lovita, Sue Jan and Aunt Lila decide to unearth the ring on their own, but instead dig up the dirt on an international ring of art thieves intent on brushing them off for good.