What's In a Name? - CJ Omololu
These are some of the titles I came up with while I was writing what was ultimately titled DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. The one I used on all of my notebooks and files was Living Like This, which I never really liked, but couldn't come up with anything better. DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS was sort of a 'hail Mary' title that I threw out there the night before my agent sent the manuscript out to editors and surprise, surprise, that is the title that ended up on the actual cover.
For me, finding the perfect title is the worst part of the process. This may sound crazy, but I always feel that the right title already exists and it's my job to discover it. Until I find the one that fits just right I drive myself nuts trying on different titles and rarely being satisfied. No matter how many books I write, the process seems to be the same.
The new book that is coming out in June of 2012 went by the inspired name of UNTITLED until just before we sent it to my editor. That's what it says on the notebooks and on the word files. I put a call out on the blog, I asked everyone I'd ever met, I searched song titles, Amazon and Googled words that resonated with the themes in the book. For months I came up with nothing. Then one night, I was folding laundry and tried to zero in on what the core of the book was about and decided it was about fate and destiny. I quickly grabbed the computer and searched - actually squealing when I found that nobody in recent years had titled a book DESTINED. Huzzah! It fit, it was intriguing - it was perfect. The deal for DESTINED was announced in PW, the manuscript with the title DESTINED went to my editor and there were even people marking DESTINED as a to-read on Goodreads.
And then came my editorial letter. At the very bottom of the (six-page single-spaced) letter was once sentence telling me that another far more famous and successful author was coming out with a book called DESTINED at about the same time, so we can't use it. Let's just say it was a good thing that the kitchen knives were out of reach.
As of right now, I'm waiting for my second editorial letter, the final manuscript is due in just a few short weeks and we're calling it...UNTITLED. Everyone says that we'll find the right title soon, that there is no way it's going to press without a title, and I'm sure they're right. I hope they're right. For now, I'm open to suggestions- if you have the perfect title, let me know and I promise to put your name on the acknowledgments page.
What were some of the other book titles you considered before finding that perfect fit?