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Friday, July 16, 2010

Waddaya Wanna Call It?

by Raelene Gorlinsky

I'm looking for ideas and suggestions. I'm conducting a reader focus group at our RomantiCon convention in October. The topic will be book titles - specifically, romance fiction titles.

A reader focus group is not for us to provide information to readers - it is for readers to tell us their opinions. So we can ask questions, but we don't express opinions ourselves or try to "lead" the discussion to a presupposed conclusion. The goal is to solicit reader ideas and suggestions and opinions that will be helpful to our editors and authors.

So what would you ask readers about book titles and how or if titles affect their purchase/reading decisions? Besides the generic "What words do you like or not like in a romance title?" and "What title words are you tired of, feel are overused?" Please, give me some ideas of questions to ask.

8 comments:

Francesca Hawley said...

Ah - I thought you were looking for a title for the workshop. Grin. I was going to suggest mangling Shakespeare
"Would a rose by any other name STILL smell as sweet?"

Do you enjoy puns in titles? Quotes?
Song titles?

Suzi McGowen said...

What were the titles of the last X number of books you bought?

What did you like or dislike about those titles?

Rena Marks said...

Do you purchase books according to the titles?
Do you prefer shorter titles? A couple words as opposed to an entire phrase?
Do you enjoy when the titles tie in a few words directly from the story?
Do you enjoy erotic titles? Do they feel more scintillating? Or do you try to hide what you're reading?

Christina Auret said...

Do you find the use of tags like Sheik, baby, marriage etc. in titles useful, annoying or irrelevant?

Kate Sterling said...

"Do you find the use of tags like Sheik, baby, marriage etc. in titles useful, annoying or irrelevant?"

Oh, please, if there is a god in the universe, PLEASE smite "The Ruthless Billionaire Italian Sheik's Pregnant Virgin Mistress's Secret Baby Love Child Marraige Bargain".

I've passed on many a Harlequin I would have otherwise bought because I was too embarrassed to carry such a stupid title to the counter.

Now, back to business - do font styles influence your decision in any way? (They do mine on occasion.)

Wynter Daniels said...

Do you like titles that reflect the genre - for example - "Undercover Something" for a romantic suspense or "Lassoing Someone" for a Western?

Are you turned off by character names in titles?

Katalina Leon said...

I would love to see erotic/romance titles become as unique as the subject matter. The words we are forced to work with in titles are repetitive and dated. If a reader is buying from the erotic/romance genre, they don't need to told that in he title. That thinking is a holdover from the book shelf recognition days when the genres were mixed on the same shelf. It's time to move on.
XXOO Kat

Christina Auret said...

I've passed on many a Harlequin I would have otherwise bought because I was too embarrassed to carry such a stupid title to the counter.

I feel that way too. That is why I suggested the question. Just how many sales are the losing because of these titles?