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Sort of in Defense of Silly Titles

 
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What do you think of overwrought titles?
I hate them
50%
 50%  [ 17 ]
I love them
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Sometimes they're OK
11%
 11%  [ 4 ]
It depends
26%
 26%  [ 9 ]
They're "spankable"
8%
 8%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 34

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Anne Marble



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Sort of in Defense of Silly Titles Reply with quote

Note: Edited to add a poll (once I finally figured out how to make it work Laughing )

Today, I was shopping for ebooks at the eHarlequin site, and some of the titles really got on my nerves. Just how many billionaires are royal princes are having surprise babies with virginal secretaries? Sheesh. On top of that, the titles start to blend together. And they turn off a lot of readers.

But while I like to complain about silly titles, I don't always hate him. I have more of a love/hate relationship with them. Sure, the titles are goofy, but at least they often tell you what the book is about. If you hate amnesia or secret babies, the titles can help you avoid books about secret babies with amnesia (or whatever). If you like royalty books, you'll buy a book with a title like The Illegitimate Prince's Baby. (Although shouldn't that be The Prince's Illegitimate Baby?... Razz )

Also, when they aren't generic, these titles can be eye-catching. I'll take a wild title over a generic one. For example, here's a recent Silhouette Desire title that caught my eye: Jealousy and a Jeweled Proposition. At first, I rolled my eyes. But then ... isn't it at least memorable? And it manages to be memorable and tell you something about the book, all without using words like Billionaire and Mistress.

So where do you stand on goofy titles? And generic titles? Do you find that sometimes a title that should drive you nuts somehow works? Or do you avoid buying these books because you find the titles stupid or embarrassing or even insulting?

And what's the line that divides an overwrought title that works over one that is just too too much? Jealousy and a Jeweled Proposition kind of works for me in its own way, but Big Spankable Asses is just too much. What is your dividing line for titles, and is it ever enough to keep you from buying a book you otherwise wanted? Have you ever written to complain to publishers about really bad titles?
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1549

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was tempted to vote "I love them" just because they are such prime fodder for mocking. But really, I can't stand how generic they are, and I think they may contribute to the stories becoming more generic too. Moreover, they're not always even accurate, which you'd think would be the LEAST you could expect.
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Anne Marble



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
I was tempted to vote "I love them" just because they are such prime fodder for mocking. But really, I can't stand how generic they are, and I think they may contribute to the stories becoming more generic too. Moreover, they're not always even accurate, which you'd think would be the LEAST you could expect.


Yeah. A "mistress" is not a woman dating/having sex with/whatevering an unmarried man. Rolling Eyes Sheesh. But I guess "The Tycoon's Hidden Mistress" it sells more titles than "The Obnoxious Greek Guy Shacks Up with a Pretty English Girl."

I would buy The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire's Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride, though. Very Happy
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anne Marble wrote:


I would buy The Unfeasibly Tall Greek Billionaire's Blackmailed Martyr-Complex Secretary Mistress Bride, though. Very Happy


But as you know, that particular title's available for free:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1474
Location: America

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hate them.

Didn't realize how much I did until I remember the titles of Jillian Hunter's regencies, Kresley Cole's paranormals, the new Harlequin Presents-esque titles H/S has been "christening" some of their Harlequin Historicals with, and the coming HP's.

It's just too much and the titles sound like they come from a book title's generator. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO a title needs to be reasonably related to the book's content. I have found that often, the overwrought nonsense titles are not. For example, I own a Kasey Michaels Silhouette book that's pretty good. Its title is Bachelor on the Prowl, which has nothing to do with the contents of the book. The hero is not "on the prowl" trolling for women, which is why he's attractive.

On the other hand, I've actually rated books a little higher than their actual content merits if they have clever titles, like The Apostrophe Thief. Very, very boring book, but excellent title.
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Cyl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 130
Location: Mississippi

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even pick up the book to browse through it when the title is stupid. For me, maybe the saying should be "don't judge a book by it's title"
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 947

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removed b/c of photoshop dreams with the same concept

Last edited by Nana on Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NoirFemme wrote:
Hate them.

Didn't realize how much I did until I remember the titles of Jillian Hunter's regencies, Kresley Cole's paranormals, the new Harlequin Presents-esque titles H/S has been "christening" some of their Harlequin Historicals with, and the coming HP's.

It's just too much and the titles sound like they come from a book title's generator. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes


+IHS+

I've just bought my first Kresley Cole. The title wasn't so bad: No Rest for the Wicked.

Unless the title is insupportably "spankable," I find I can bear it. However, the cover on the Cole embarrassed me so much that I waited until a woman was behind the cash register before I paid for it . . . and even then I had trouble meeting her eyes. Embarassed Laughing
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Kristie(J)



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1122
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

two words

Hate Them

three more words

With A Passion

Quote:
H/S has been "christening" some of their Harlequin Historicals with


I've noticed that too! Harlequin is even starting to screw with the Historical line with titles that apply to my above 5 words
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1474
Location: America

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:


I've just bought my first Kresley Cole. The title wasn't so bad: No Rest for the Wicked.


"No Rest for the Wicked" is alright, but "Dark Needs at Night's Edge"? or "Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night"?
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can NEVER remember romance titles, and a BIG part of the problem is that they are not only over the top, stupid, but they are interchangeable. I think not only does such titles encourage contempt for romances and may indicate that the business does not hold its readers in high esteem, but I suspect that books could sell more with better titles; however, seeing that usually things like this are tracked and researched by the publishing companies, I'm probably wrong.

I think Jennifer Crusie's old titles are the best. "Bet Me," "Welcome to Temptation" and others help me remember what the book is about. I would also nominate "Lord Perfect" and "Miss Impossible" for good titles, but then both of these women are top writers in every criteria.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NoirFemme wrote:
Schola wrote:


I've just bought my first Kresley Cole. The title wasn't so bad: No Rest for the Wicked.


"No Rest for the Wicked" is alright, but "Dark Needs at Night's Edge"? or "Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night"?


Laughing Well, at least they're memorable!

Seriously, I find I don't mind them. I'd be more red-faced if I were buying, say, 3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys (or whatever that title was!).

Cole's titles are a bit ridiculous, but it's the cover art--with the bare chested models lending innuendo to the titles--which has the real power to embarrass me. Embarassed
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Audrey



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 194
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bookstore has online inventory, so if the book's not on the shelf I ask them to go in the back and get it for me. I wish some of them weren't so embarrassing. I don't mind asking for say, The Lady In Question by Victoria Alexander, but really hate asking "Do you have um, Master of Ecstasy by um, Nina Bangs?" This doesn't stop me of course. I'm old so mock me at your peril.

I've just added Electra Galaxy's Mr. Interstellar Feller by Candace Sams to my July TBB list just because of the title.
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