It took me over a month to pick a title for my YA Fantasy novel, and I'm still not entirely sure it's the right one. It did help when I decided I wanted to do one-word titles, paired with the series name. I was using dictionaries to look up words I'd come up with and emailing myself lists of titles so I could wait a few days and come back to the list to see if anything caught my fancy.
Of all the things I thought would be hard, the title sure wasn't one of them. If you think about it, though, the title is usually going to be one of the first things people see, and it has to be something that will catch the reader's attention. In other words, the title is vital to the success of your book.
Part of my title-choosing process also involved having Amazon up so that when I'd think of a title, I could search to be sure it didn't already exist. Nobody wants their book mixed up with someone else's! Especially as I'm concerned about how common my name is: Shannon Lawrence. Go to Ireland and tell me how many people you can find by that name! Probably a lot. I doubt it's terribly uncommon in the U.S. either. Though I must say that a search on Amazon didn't turn up even one, so that's a relief, anyway. When I plug in my name I get Shannon Cochrane, Martin Lawrence and Molly Shannon, so it runs the gamut. As long as no other Shannon Lawrence beats me to the punch, I'm good to go. But is it a name people will remember? That's the question. I just went totally off the subject, BUT, if you think about it, my name is my title, so I'm still okay.
T is also for...
Ah, I miss typewriters. I loved the sound it made when I'd hit keys. I used to insist on doing my writing on a typewriter, even well into the computer era, but I typed too fast, and my thoughts ran even faster, so I'd get locked up keys.
While I was in this phase, though, my wonderful husband went and found me this awesome old Underwood typewriter. I've since sold it off, because it wasn't at all usable, but having that typewriter sitting there when I wrote was encouragement in itself sometimes. The problem? It smelled. And not a good smell. I finally had to find someone else who would love it and not mind the smell.
In middle school, I was still using a typewriter for my English papers. Despite the fact that my dad was a computer geek by profession, we didn't have a computer in our house until long after everyone else. The reasons for this, I imagine, are that 1. We couldn't afford it and 2. To this day, my father rarely uses the computer at home. Perhaps that's his way of not bringing work home with him. At least he was always able to get me floppy disks for school!
T is also for...
I'm not on it yet, but I think I probably should be, right? I don't understand what an author puts on Twitter of any interest. And I don't really want a personal Twitter account. I prefer to not let people know what I'm doing every hour of the day. I'm weird like that. However, I realize that's not what most people are doing, or I hope that's the case. Do you put stuff on it like what you put as a Facebook status? I rarely do that anymore, either.
Now that I'm volunteering with the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District to do their online stuff, I'll have the opportunity to check out Twitter without having a personal account to start with, because even they have a Twitter feed. No kidding!
I guess I never realized how antiquated and behind the times I was. It's not that I'm not technicaly savvy, because I'm a good trouble shooter and I pick things up quickly. I'm a private person, and I also try to spend less time on the computer. I found that I became attached to the computer once I quit to be a stay-at-home mom, and while it helped me through that initial adjustment period, I need to work on spending less time on the computer, not more! But for each of these things I add (Facebook, blog, an online forum I admin, etc.), it means more of a time commitment that involves me sitting on my butt at the computer.
So the question is, is Twitter really worth it for getting your name out there? Is it really that big a plus for an author to have a Twitter feed? I just learned about hash tags the other day, and it sounds like there are some good writing discussions you can get in on if you have the hash tags for it. That may be another reason I allow myself to make a Twitter account, but the jury's still out just yet. I felt that way about Facebook, and originally MySpace. Given, I haven't signed in to my MySpace account in probably over a year. Whoops! My point being, though, that I didn't want to have accounts there, but finally gave in, so I imagine I will wander on over to Twitter one of these days. Sigh.
I have a lot of questions today for discussion: Do your titles come easily to you? How do you know when you've found the right one? Do you ever miss typewriters or are you delighted they're gone? Do you have a Twitter account? Have you figured out how to use it to your advantage yet? What the heck to authors tweet about on a daily basis??