I awoke yesterday thinking about my book title. For ages I’ve thought about, dreamed about, knew I would call it “Welcome to the Sickhouse.” Then suddenly, I had another idea.
My story Welcome to the Sickhouse always seemed a natural title for the book. But naming your book after a story requires that the story be, if not the best, then close to it. Was it? Frankly, I’m not sure it is. Besides, the word “sick” suddenly started to make me feel, well, uh, kind of queasy. ☺
I think I have a bunch of good titles in my book, but again, were any among them the best? I’m too close to judge. And my writer friends all have their favorites – but none of them are the same story. What to do?
I decided to forget the titles and instead look inside the stories. One line. That’s all I needed. Just one line that would make a good book title.
I scanned story after story. Then, lying inside one story called Last Call, was a description of one of the main characters: a lesbian who the waitresses call JD because that is one of the two drinks she always orders. And “when she had too much to drink of either, a set of deeply recessed lines around her startling sea-green eyes, along with a surprising measure of subliminal sadness, rose abruptly to the surface.”
And there it was, my new title: “A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness”
Would you be intrigued? Would you look inside?
I need feedback. I’ve asked these same writing friends (who all have different favorite stories in my book), but only one answered, as I think the others are simply too busy writing to look at their emails. ☺
So opinions please! Welcome to the Sickhouse, or A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness? Would of either of these titles make you want to buy the book?
A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness would garner my attention. I’m so looking forward to reading it!
Thanks Patty! Should it ever get published…. 🙂
Reblogged this on s.j. powers.
“A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness” – good title. Then your first sentence has to be a mind-catcher – I read the first sentence and decide there and then whether to read on or put it back on the shelf.
Thank you so much for your feedback David! I totally agree about the first sentence, and hope I choose the right story to start the collection. 🙂
I would pick it up in a second!
Oh, and here’s another possibility for a cover, no? – http://www.flickr.com/photos/rasraster/8055584571/
Hey Rick, I like the photo! I just wish it was a little brighter 🙂
Easily done. If it’s gotta be a bar scene then this only qualifies by virtue of being a sand bar. 🙂
This next one is a bar, though probably not what you’re looking for because it’s the *outside* of a bar, and not too subliminally sad: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rasraster/2983443100/
A love this one Rick! I don’t necessarily want ‘sadness’ to be evident…I know the photo I showed in my blog showed that, but I’m rethinking….Can you send me this photo via email please? I’ll hold onto it as a real possibility. Thanks!
I was thinking of a bar scene by the way…I guess I’m just not sure what sort of cover to use. But many thanks for your feedback!
Brightened photo. Cheers, Rick
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2013 21:35:55 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Somehow your link didn’t come thru 🙂
It looks like responding to sjpowers email prevents attached files from coming through. I’ll send it to your regular email.
“A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness” intrigues me and would make me pick up the book to peruse.
Thanks so much for your feedback!
PS I like your idea of using a line from the interior.
Alanis Morrisette did so with her incredible album titled “Jagged Little Pill” – a line from within, not a song title.
From: Nancy Gronlund
Sent: Monday, June 17, 2013 9:05 AM
To: ‘s.j. powers’
Subject: RE: [New post] A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness
I like, simply, “A Surprising Measure.”
Thanks Nancy. That’s a good idea too!
I like, simply, “A Surprising Measure.”
Not knowing anything about your book makes it difficult to choose a title. But A Surprising Measure of Subliminal Sadness is very intriguing. Makes me curious to know more.
Thanks Fransi that’s exactly what I’m hoping for- intriguing enuff to take a look inside.
By the way I have a Sneak Peak section on my website where you can read the openings of some of my stories.
Oh, I will go visit and check them out. Thanks.
Well it certainly made me curious enough to open your email! I would def go with new title if I were you 🙂
Thanks for letting me know Eliz! Maybe because it’s a new title I’m liking it more than my previous title – and I’ve gone through a few in the past – but it does seem to have grabbed attention.
I would be more intrigued with the title “Last Call,” even though this title of your story was not an option.
Interesting. Thanks for your suggestion!
I’m keeping my options open. But so far the new title seems to be the fav. Now if only I’d put out several options…..oh well.
I, like Kelly, was scrolling down my FB page and saw the title to the blog. I had to stop and read more. The title certainly drew me in.
Thanks Anonymous! This is great to hear. Are you one of my FB friends, or a friend of my FB friend? Curious 🙂
I like the alliteration of the new title 🙂
You know, never thought of that:)
Thanks! And thanks for commenting!
How about Subliminal Sadness?
Maybe too much emphasis on the sadness part? But thanks, will think about it.
Don’t believe any advice I give you. It is worthless.
Pretty bitter of you Ben but if you insist…..)
Wow yes. I know that because when scrolling through my Facebook I saw the title of the blog post and was immediately intrigued to read said post. I have not read all the stories of your book but the title sure reeled me in here!
Thanks Kelly! Exactly what I’m hoping!