UPDATE: I received the following message from Amazon KDP:
“Firequeen: Author and title indicate a different book has been submitted than what is currently for sale on the site. Please submit as new book.”
That’s right. The new title was so much livelier than The First Covenant that Kindle couldn’t comprehend them being the same novel! I think I’m onto a winner here, but it’ll mean deleting TFC from the system.
The title can make or break a novel (or blog post, etc). This is even more true for self-published novels. You need a gripping title to bring in readers and make them want your book (or blog post).
Sadly, this isn’t a how-to post. This is a what-not-to-do post.
The First Covenant
That’s the title of a fantasy novel I self-published. In technical terms; it’s dead. Currently it sits below the 1,000,000 mark in the Kindle UK rankings. I wouldn’t mind, except for the fact that my historical novel Vikingr now stands manfully around 8,000 (thanks to all of you readers, I don’t doubt!).
I’ve spent a long time trying to figure out what went wrong. Did I lose my marketing touch? Was the writing awful? Did the plot, again using technical terminology; suck?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the title is largely to blame. The First Covenant is a rather boring way to express what is (hopefully) quite an exciting tale.
So I made the decision to change my title. Often, the first one you land on won’t be up to scratch. You’ll have to walk a tightrope between those which are plain boring and titles which have already been snapped up.
In what I can only assume was a temporary fit of madness, I landed on Firequeen. If Lesson 1 here is not to use the first title which pops into your head, Lesson 2 is definitely don’t run with the second.
Firequeen sounds like the name of a poorly-drafted cartoon character, or a dodgy nightclub. I’m now stuck waiting for Amazon to approve the change (I hope they don’t) before I can reverse my folly.
At this point, anything would be an improvement. How about Queen of Flames, Burning Realm, or Lady of Vengeance?
To be honest, I don’t like any of them. It’s possible that some stories don’t lend themselves to a compelling title. In which case, it must be better to give it an irrelevant one rather than a title which perfectly expresses a story no one will ever read.
Ok, here’s a very brief how-to. You can construct a title as follows: [noun] of/in/by/etc. [noun], OR [adjective] [noun].
For example: Lord of the Rings, King of Monkeys, Death by Piano, Pancake of Doom, Lovely Bones, Perfectly Dead.
If you have any suggestions, let me know! How easy do you find it to choose a title?