And The Title Goes To…


Typewriter Pink


On Wednesday’s I like to share information I picked up on my path to publishing, marketing and publishing again. Information that I wish someone would have shared with me, back then.


And the Title Goes to…

I always have a hard time coming up with titles for my blog posts. Book titles and chapter titles are even tougher to come by. Advice however is free and flows abundantly.

The simple rule is the title should be short, easy to remember and contain a noun, a verb and maybe an adjective. Most best- selling titles have three words or less. Your sub- title should be longer and should tell the reader exactly what they will be reading.

My personal rule is to use a ‘working title’ because chances are your editor may suggest a change and the publisher yet another change. That should end the stress, right?

With my first book, I was at my wits end trying to come up with something when my brother came to me in a dream and told me what the title should be. The book is about his random road rage murder so I wasn’t about to question his suggestion.

I assumed the title for the second book would come in a dream too. It didn’t happen. The Stranger In My Recliner came from a line in the book.

Sophi Book and BBS

Titles are not copyrightable so legally you don’t have to worry about using a title that has already been used. Laws get murky when someone’s name is used in the title. If you are writing a biography and want to use the name of someone famous, check with an attorney. It is legal to use anyone’s name but there are circumstances that could land you in trouble.


Trademarked titles are a different story. James Patterson uses nursery rhymes, Three Blind Mice, Along Came a Spider etc…If you choose to use a nursery rhyme title you may find yourself needing an attorney. You may win but it will take time and money. It would be easier to come up with another title. Taylor Swift is now trade marking the titles of her songs. It is a crafty way to get around the copyright law.

Trademark symbol

It only takes a few minutes to do a Google search or an Amazon search.

There are websites that generate titles. I have yet to get a title I used from one of them but they are fun. (my fave)

Titles can be a place, a thing, an event, a name, a song title (that isn’t trademarkedJ, cliché, play on words, line from the story, ports, ships names, river names, something provocative etc…

How do you come up with your titles?

Happy Writing,





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