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Hidden Mythics II Update #2 – Still in Need of a Title

Some books name themselves. Zap Dragon and Discarded Dragons certainly did and it was incredibly nice to have a title early on. Other books, however, remain elusive. If I’m being totally honest, I still don’t love the title Mystery of the Golden Shells but I had to make a decision and this was the best I had at that point.

Just like with book covers, the title is important. Readers make assumptions and connections whether they want to or not. Walk into a bookstore sometime and just look over the covers on the recently released shelves, the ones where the genres are mixed. Before picking any of them up, you can probably guess what genre 90% of them are by the cover art and titles alone. That’s super intentional.

Quaking SoulI learned with The Adventure just how important cover art is. (Note to Self, Go Lime Green). When the book gets set on the shelf, it all but disappears. I thought I’d learned the lesson with Quaking Soul, and it does pop with the golden aspen leaf on the cover, but I still needed to learn the title and genre part. I’ve tested this. If I ask someone what genre they think Quaking Soul is before they pick it up, I get everything from Romance to Women’s Fiction to Fantasy to Historical Fiction to Question Mark “I have no idea.”

Although the cover’s beautiful, it lacks both the artwork that subtly hints at magic or myth and the title to clinch the deal. I picked Quaking Soul because the main character is a tree nymph of a quaking aspen grove. She is in essence the soul of the aspen grove. It makes sense once read – I think – but does not help in selling the book to readers who like the urban fantasy genre.

Moving forward, I’d like to avoid that mistake with the sequel. Unfortunately, I’m hitting a brick wall on a proper title. Something will come to me…eventually.



P.S. The professional edit on Zap Dragon is underway and going smoothly! It’ll probably be done the beginning of June 🙂

10 thoughts on “Hidden Mythics II Update #2 – Still in Need of a Title”

  1. Oh my, I know all too well the struggle of having to name a book! 😅 Sometimes the right title comes to you immediately (like I feel it did for my WIP, The Last Water Dragon). Other times it never feels quite right, but you have a deadline to meet, so you stick with the one you liked best in the writing phase (as was the case for the short story I submitted to an anthology, “Song of the Sea Witch”). I hope the right title comes to you soon! 😉

    As for book cover design, the advice I hear most often is to look up bestseller pages for your book’s genre (like on Amazon) and take note of common elements among the covers to understand reader expectations. You’ll also want to make sure your books follow a similar trend so readers know they’re part of the same series. Hope that advice helps! Good luck! 🙂

    1. That’s great advice, Naomi! I’ll have to check out the bestseller stuff. I have a feeling this title is going to elude me for a while but so did Quaking Soul, so something will fit…eventually 😬🙂

  2. Oohh, book titles. I hate having to create them. I have to admit I do like the title Quaking Soul, but get how it doesn’t exactly scream fantasy. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of fantasy books for all reading levels seem to be getting longer. They also tend to be a little poetic, which looks lovely, but, being a reviewer and having to type out 50 characters for a single book title, they do seem a little overly long. Personally, I love the shorter titles because, after finishing the book, I love that shivery feeling of “How perfect is that title?!” Good luck picking one!

    1. New fantasy books do tend to have really long titles! I played around with something longer for QS but honestly felt like I was just trying to copy the current trend and finally decided to go with something that felt right for the book. Hopefully I’ll figure out a title that’ll fit book II like QS does book I and also something more fantasy-esque…no big deal, right?! 🙂🤞

  3. I haven’t read the book either, but dad’s suggestion is good as a title for a book I would like to read, because of the title. I was, once upon a time in an era far away, part of a book title team for teen books. The magic question was “if a teen saw the title would they want to read it? rather than being descriptive like the word “mystery”, it should be mysterious or have a sense of mystery leading to one’s thought “I need to discover what is in this book”. Sounds fun, sounds like an adventure.
    You realize I’m throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks…but it’s colorful mud.

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