Picking a title

Picking a title

Admittedly, I thought I’d picked out a title a long time ago. This last week, I realized that I hated my title and it wasn’t particularly interesting. I had a couple of options, but none that I really liked. In fact, I thought it was going to be VERY hard to come up with more. Turns out that once you have a theme or a few key words it’s not that hard to generate a lot of options. 

I came up with my new title by doing a few different things.

  1. Visit Amazon.com and write down all of the best seller book titles in every category that I thought my book fit
  2. Group those titles into similar types
  3. Decide what type of book mine best fit in
  4. Better understand the underlying themes of my own book
I collected a bunch of popular titles and realized that titles come in some specific varieties. Some titles are statements, and others are names of things. For example:

Names of things

The Hunger Games, Elites of Eden, Mistborn, Partials, Renegades, The Gender Game, Divergent, The Martian, The Maze Runner, Angelfall, Elites, Cinder, The 5th Wave, The One, Champion, Prodigy, The Fire Queen, Red Queen

Statements
A Column of Fire, A Game of Thrones, Before We Were Yours, The Cuban Affair, A Handmaid’s Tale, Ready Player One, Beneath a Scarlet Sky,  Shade of a Vampire, The Book of Dust, A Wrinkle in Time, Shatter me

The classification wasn’t perfect but it helped me get a sense of what I like and what books in my categories are doing. This helped me create the following list of ideas.

Themes
Death, Life, Soul

Titles
What Life Is, Remnants of Life, Life Reset, Inhumane, Humanity, Humanity’s End, A Time to Die, Everyone Dies Alone, Beginning the End, A Transcendent Life, A Captive Life, Life’s Captive, Betrayer of Life, Betraying Life, Sanctioned Death, A Stolen Life, A Conspiracy to Live, Test Subject One, Resetting Mankind, Resetting Evolution, Evolution Reset, Emergent Life, Ending Death, The End of Death, Death’s End

When I had all of these, I started trying them with my book cover design (I’m designing my own and will post examples later). That helped a TON because it let me get a feel for them. But in the end, I didn’t like any of these and the title I’m going with came to me at Taco Bell… Yes, I know that’s not real Mexican food, but my kids LOVE it.

The title feels really obvious now that I look back at my story, but it was the last one I came up with. My book deals with a fundamental question regarding what it means to be alive or for someone to create life. One of the primary characters is named Adam and there’s scientist with a bit of a god complex. Yes, I’m talking about Genesis.

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