Friday, August 17, 2007

Book Proposal- The Title Page

Seems easy, right. I mean- write a title on a page and you're done. Well, not so fast there buckeroo (or buckeroo-ette). There are several things you need to consider for this, the shortest page of your book. If you've been reading my blog, you know that when I am making myself crazy over making important decisions, I ask my Peeps (that's "people" to you not-as-cool-as-I-am folks). That way, I can spread the craziness around. And you're welcome, by the way. So here's what you need to think about;

The Title - You only have a few words to convey what your book will be about. What do you want the reader to know before even opening the book? What will they find in your book? What can they expect from your book? And now, how do you say that in a word or three? For my book, Breaking the Code, made the final cut. After polling family and friends, The Codebreaker's Daughter, did not.

To Subtitle or Not to Subtitle - Does your title say it all? Does it say enough? Can it stand alone or does it need a little something more? Does it speak to your intended audience? Your subtitle is like the filling inside a lemon jelly donut. You look on the outside and see that plump, sugar-covered donut and think, "Yeah, that looks pretty good." But then you bite into it and say, "Ah, so that's what this donut is all about. I want more...gimmee more!" For my book-Breaking the Code, just didn't say it all. Code could refer to lots of things. People could pick it up in a bookstore thinking they were getting a book on code-breaking. And that is not what the book is about. So I added a subtitle, A Daughter's Journey.

What's in a Name? A book could be written on deciding upon a name. If you're like most people, you have a first, middle and last name. If you're female, you likely have a maiden name. And there are cultures in which you may use a part of your mother's maiden name. Add those together and you have a miriad of choices. My case is a bit different as the book I wrote contains letters my father wrote during the war- so, much of it is technically written by him. So I will have him on the title page as one of the authors. Because of that I decided to use my hyphenated maiden-married name. Fisher-Alaniz is not easy to remember but the Fisher links me to my father's name, giving the potential book buyer, yet another clue from the cover of my book.

I should have starred (*) and double (**), triple (***) starred everything everything I wrote here because it will likely all change. The agent or publisher may think my ideas and decisions are crap and change them all. But that's the name of the game. All you can do at this point is to make decisions that make sense and will get their attention. And if they decide to change everything, just nod and blame all previous decisions on your Peeps.

Next Time: Goin' Against the Flow to Create an Eye-Catching Cover


April said...

Hello, I just wanted to check out your blog as you looked at and commented on mine. Thank you for that, by the way. I like your blog. I shall add it to my google reader. :)


Karen L. Alaniz said...

You are welcome. I enjoyed yours too. I don't know what a google reader is, but if it means you'll be back, it must be a good thing. See you soon.


WritingAllNight said...

I need to get google reader, but I'm challenged. Going to add you to my blogroll when I get off my tush.

It's fun to read, I can't wait to read your book when it comes out, too. I can wave it at people and say "I know Her!!!"

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Just don't hit anybody when you wave it...ok? OK so now I gotta find out what google-reader is! More work for me...thanks a lot...


Jennifer said...

I like the title: "Bob's Book"

Simple and good. Not real explanatory but it'll be so good who cares. If you go with Bob's Book you don't even have to give me credit -- I'm just that cool :)

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Oooh I knew it. You are my super-coolest friend ever! -Bob