Monday, November 7, 2011

Random Musings (2): Book Titles...Not So Original In This Day And Age

I was browsing through recent reviews on some other bloggers' sites that I follow, and I came across some titles that well, I've seen more than a few times. Let's take "Bound by Blood" for example. The first one I've ever seen before was written by Amanda Ashley.

Then I saw a BLOOD BOUND (well, it's close) on Jennifer L. Armentrout's (author of HALF-BLOOD) news feed.

So again, today, I was sifting through my news feed and saw a BOUND BY BLOOD review done by Amber at Awesomesauce Book Club.

I'll admit it, I got curious and went to Goodreads and typed in "BOUND BY BLOOD". Guess what? They gave me 3 pages worth of Bound by Bloods. Ohhhhhkay, I thought there would only be 10 or part thereof, and even I was being sarcastically exaggerating.

So now, I was thinking, why? Why would authors choose book titles that, I'm sure most people knows, are commonly used? I'm not testing anyone or posting a rhetoric; I'm honestly curious. I know everyone wants to be unique (just like everyone else. HAH. Ok, just this joke that my friends and I share), so why the cliche name?

Bound by Blood. List of clich-edness: Vampire novel? Check. Forbidden love? Check. A tortured protagonist who thinks himself/herself a monster? Check. A bloodsucking protagonist who thinks himself/herself unworthy of getting into a relationship but still ends up in one? Check. Name used a thousand times? Check. I get that the name gives off that dangerous and mysterious vibe, and fits with the vampire theme of the novel, but you do want your novel to stand out.

Standing out is important, and the first impressions are always the most crucial. And the key things that contribute to first impressions for a novel, to me, is firstly, the book cover/jacket. That one is not something which authors can control, and it is all up to your respective illustrators. So if you get an awesome one, then you can safely say, "I'm a lucky b****."

Secondly: BOOK TITLE. This is so important, so please don't screw this up. This one decides how your book is viewed, like which genre it belongs to. For example, I've just saw this book called Explorer X-alpha by L.M. Preston. Automatically the words "Kids" and "Sci-fi" flashed into my head. And since I don't read kids books, I knew immediately to steer clear. Similarly for other books, if the book title tells of a paranormal plot or the likes, I would search it up. So book titles are so important in attracting the right clientele and projecting the right sort of message.

Thirdly: An attention-grabbing synopsis. I've seen some half-assed synopsis that don't tell much about the book, and I was left thinking, "What the hell.." If you think that the book you're trying to advertise is so good that even without telling patrons what it is about, you'll still get a good patronage, then well, good luck, cause you're gonna piss off a good number of them readers. Ok, well, you'll piss me off. Not sure how other readers will take it, but "I" will surely not be taken by it. Other than that, your synopsis cannot be too overly telling. If you've already summarised the entire book, then the surprise factor would be ripped away from the readers, and it'll end up as a very lukewarm reading experience. Nothing memorable. So bottomline - don't tell too little, and don't spill too much.

I'm veering off course. So about book titles, I know titles like (ok the only one I can think about now is bound by blood, so) BOUND BY BLOOD is cool and, in a way, "hip". But now that it is over-used, the cool and hip factor isn't there anymore. If I see it, I'll just think it's another "lame" vamp novel which is as cliche as its title. I'll want to read Amanda Ashley's BOUND BY BLOOD cause I've read her first book, BOUND BY NIGHT, and really liked it, but if I see a random Bound by Blood book, I'd probably not even take time to read its blurb. No offense to any author who has a book with this title, but this is my opinion on this matter.

What do you think of this subject?
Have you ever encountered books with the same, not similar, but same titles?
What do you think makes books stand out?

I'd like to hear what you think.:)


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

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