I finally announced the official title for World for the Broken this past week, and today, I thought I’d explain why I changed the title, to begin with.
Originally, World for the Broken was called After.
It was simple and easy to remember. It fit with the post-apocalyptic theme as well as the themes of coping and resilience.
But then the After series by Anna Todd hit it big. Then, it became controversial and absolutely blew up.
And I knew my novel would be buried under the avalanche of posts about her books.
I wen’t back and forth on whether to change my title or not. I toyed with the idea of keeping the title simply to have it show up in the same searches, but the people looking for her books (contemporary romance, possibly YA)…probably aren’t looking for a visceral, intensely dark post-apocalyptic romance.
Then, when I came up with World for the Broken, I fell in love with it. This title stands out quite a bit more. Obviously, it still fits the post-apocalyptic narrative.
And I’m so glad I changed it.
I had a similar thing happen with Salt and Silver. Not exactly the same, because the title wasn’t exactly the same. And the other book has yet to be released.
But I want my books to be unique, just like any other author.
So, here are a few quick tricks for making sure you have a good title for your book.
First of all, get feedback.
Just like every other aspect of writing, working in a vacuum without any outside influence isn’t the best idea. You need more eyes on your work and more opinions than just your own.
If you have a few potential titles in mind, don’t be afraid to ask other writers or perhaps book club members for their opinion. They know books. Of course, it’s best if they know the genre you’re working in, but ask away.
Second, think about which one embodies your book best. Genre, themes, and all.
Abandon catchy and trendy for just a second and dare to twist words around for effect. Words are so versatile. Double meanings abound. Maybe use a contradictory double meaning to your benefit, if both meanings fit your book.
Swap words around. Try synonyms. Try different variations of whatever you’ve come up with.
Okay. It’s time to go back for the catchy, trendy shit. Consider it briefly. After all, trends are trendy for a reason. People like them. And they work. Look at titles within your genre. Is there a pattern that tends to pop up a lot?
There are a lot of books out there that are “blank of blank” (City of Ember, Crown of Conspiracy, House of Night). Lots of book titles lately have just been a list of three things in the book, often with the first two obviously fitting together but the third being “random.”
Do those formats fit your book? If they do, use the shit out of them.
They obviously work.
Now, the advice lots of writers hate when it comes to the actual book, itself. Cut unnecessary words. For the love of everything good, there’s a reason book titles aren’t usually a full paragraph. It’s too hard to remember and no one wants to type a 14 word title into a search bar to pull up a book they heard about and were sorta interested in but wanted to look it up to learn more about it.
There’s a good chance that’ll drive away buyers that were on the fence.
Last but certainly not least, type it into amazon or google. Make sure there aren’t an absolute fuck ton of results. If there are, I don’t care how good your title is…you probably need to change it.
If a couple hundred things come up, your brand new book is not going to be at the top of the results. Not without a shit load of work on search engine optimization, a ton of build up before launch, and probably some paid ads.
I didn’t think about it when I titled my novella, Annabelle, and it DOES NOT show up unless it’s typed in with my first and last name.
Because…well, you know. Ghosty-possession movies or something. Some doll. I don’t know. Lol. I don’t watch horror movies often, so I haven’t watched them.
Picking a title is hard. I know.
But it’s important. Which means it’s worth doing it well.
Now, to hold myself accountable for the past week…
I’ve been alternating between knocking out some more edits on Where Darkness Leads and writing my new novel. I think I wrote about…3,000 words? So, nowhere near as much as I wanted to. That was only two good writing sessions.
But I have to keep editing so I can get these other books out. Lol.
I also sketched a quick map for the new story, made a gif and a trailer for The Gem of Meruna. I’ll be unveiling the trailer soon. I already posted the non-looped video from the gif.
All in all, not a bad week.
For now though, I’m exhausted. Work was…well, exhausting. Lol. It’s time for me to sign off and get some sleep.
Keep reading. Keep writing.