Thursday, December 2, 2010

Digital Reader Penetration Accelerates - Titles can make or break...

Digital Reader Penetration Accelerates

Interesting article about the growth of the digital market, but that was SO not where my mind went when I read the title. Am I the only one with a dirty mind here?  Probably not.

I happened to be cruising the Publisher's Weekly blog today and saw this article which was released on Monday and I'm really surprised I didn't see any commentary (snarky or otherwise) on some of the blogs I frequent. Now, I know this is an article from Publisher's Weekly so it's not likely to be about sex. But I tell ya, that's where my brain went, which shows just how vital an appropriate and catchy title can be.

The title of this article is certainly without peer because it's good and bad at the same time. But in a professional capacity, did they really want everyone to think about sex FIRST? I'm guessing no. Hell to the no!

So what makes a good title? Something that stays in your brain. That's important. And a word or phrase which is somewhat descriptive of the story. There's nothing worse than reading a story and getting to the end only to ask yourself what the heck the title had to do with the story. I hate those kinds of titles. When writing erotic romance, I've been told titles need to be kind of sexy. However, some titles that aren't explicitly sexy really do work well.

For example, Needing Harte and Commanding Acquisitions aren't overly sexual titles but damn, they are hot stories. They do fit what the stories are about - BDSM relationships with couples who are falling in love.  Great job at naming your stories ladies!

So... do you have any pet peeves about book titles? Any favorite titles? Just wondering how that digital reader penetration is going...


  1. A good cover coupled with a good title usually predicts good sales for me. Then readers take that next step toward reading the blurb and excerpt.

    My kids make fun of a local furniture store called Badcock but I saw a title in that one. ;-) And then the story fell into place. It's been my best selling book so far.

    I place a great deal of importance on titles.

    Great post, Francesca!

  2. You said "penetration" - heh heh heh heh (said in the best Beavis & Butthead impersonation).

    YES! Absolutely! Titles are VERY important and hopefully convey something about the characters, the story, the heat...

    Thanks for the shout-out re: Needing Harte, too! Though that wasn't the original title, it sings... :)

  3. I so agree about titles. I have the discussion a lot with people, especially readers, who say titles really draw their attention to a book. titles, then covers. Oh, and "penetration" will do it every time!

  4. Of course you're not the only one who went there. Penetration? Hello? LOL! I like a play on words in titles, but it isn't always sexy and I discovered ... doesn't always sell. Can you say "Divine Deception"? One of my more clever titles about a family full of secrets that ran a vineyard, but it didn't grab the reader. Titles really matter. Which brings me back to the title of the article ... I suspect that's exactly what the author wanted people to think. Made you look twice didn't it?

  5. Oh I thought sex right away with the "penetration" word. LOL. Titles are important and I spend a lot of time on them. I'm trying to come up with one for my 1-800 story. I have about 8 ideas right now. I do like play-on-words titles, and I think they should relate somehow to the story.

  6. Titles are important and should say something about the story. I think they help center the greater story message. And they definitely catch my eye as a reader.

  7. Aw, Cai beat me to it! Hurr hurr hurr...penetration. Hurr hurr hurr, ya! I think it says something about PW that they probably didn't intend to convey anything other than the most boring sense of the phrase "reader penetration". Also, since it was digital, they should make sure to wash hands before and after because, you know.

    I am so terrible at titles, and I do think they're key to catching the reader's interest. Particularly in a digital environment where, so often, your book is just one on a page with many and the reader can so easily scroll or click past without stopping!

  8. Sigh. I guess I'm the lone bird. I have a marketing mindset so the word "penetration" means something different to me in that context. I do get the entendre, but not until I read this. LOL Business mind engaged, not naughty mind.

  9. Arwen - it was the combination of penetration and accelerates which really set my mind on the path to the gutter. I just started wondering - is the digital reader going to cum as the penetration accelerates or what? LOL But I totally got the business/marketing meaning, but it was totally obscured by where my brain went.

    Thanks for stopping by all. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a dirty mind. grin... I agree that titles are pretty darn important for sales. Protect and Defend had really good sales for me - and I'm sure the title contributed to the appeal of the story. Of course, Dar Albert's awesome cover contributed a LOT too. LOL But I'll talk about that another day.