Book Titles

Book Titles – The Good, The Bad, & The Beautiful

I love books, but I am especially in love with book titles. The best novel titles are evocative and powerful. A great book title can also grab attention, illustrate the book’s theme, and serve as a symbol for a key character or plot point.

A few that come to mind from my own shelves include:

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 8.13.59 AMWhite Oleander by Janet Fitch (oleander is a poisonous shrub or small tree with lovely flowers; a tea made from the plant is used to kill off a character in this riveting drama)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Lisbeth is such a remarkable main character; the dragon tattoo defines her fiery and fierce nature)Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 8.13.17 AM

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (A tight, taut title, just like the writing; I love this title. It’s easy to remember and defines the book perfectly)

I’ve always been told, and research shows, that a title with 5 words or less gives the book a better chance of success. Let’s face it, a title like The Night of the Blinding, Bitter Blizzard in Break Point, Alaska (fictional title, 11 words long) is a bit of a tongue twister and difficult to remember.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 10.44.43 PMWith Center of Gravity, I was lucky. The title came to me as I was writing the book. It clearly defined Ava and Mitchell’s imbalance; a marriage teetering on the break of collapse. Throughout the novel, Ava seeks her own center of gravity, not only for herself, but for her children.

For my next novel, it’s been a bit more challenging. The book is also domestic suspense, this time, a sister betrayal story set in Brunswick, Georgia. My publishing team at Thomas Nelson has been working hard on brainstorming for the perfect fit, and recently came up with Sister Dear, which adds a chilling nod to the book’s plot.

What are your favorite book titles? What makes them great? 

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