Big Hooks -a marketing tool.

What is the BIG hook? Simple. A title.

Don’t believe me, read on. A few months ago, in a reader forum, I started a discussion, asking the question ‘what first grabs your attention when searching for a book in brick store?’ My thread stayed on top for weeks as readers offered their opinions.  A great cover was the overwhelming answer with a catchy title running a close second. Behind them were the back-cover blurb and the author’s name.

When I threw ‘the cyber-stores’ into the mix, a catchy title was hands down, no-doubt-about-it number one. With like a thousand new books being introduced each month in cyber-venues, your title becomes the hook that will make the buyer click, read your blurb and check out your sample pages.

A great title says a lot about the author’s creativity and his/hers capability to market their work. If you’re entering the 2017 Golden Heart and are seeking the interest of professional advocates, you definitely want to have the most awesome title.

Looking at my bookshelf, some of the titles that jump out at me are; Zeroes by Chuck Wendig, Tick Tock by James Patterson, Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase by Louise Walters, The Hello Girl by Merline Lovelace, The First Grave On The Right by our own Ruby-sister Darynda Jones and most recently The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. Each one of these titles reveals the essence of the story. And each one jumped out at me from their spine and prompted me to read the back blurb. Do not dismiss the importance of a great title.

Every now and then, on our private loop, one of the Ruby sisters cries out for title help. She shares a very short blurb and we bombard her with suggestions. Are we good at doing this? Look at our titles and you be the judge.

Today only, if you’re having trouble thinking up a grabber, the Rubies are willing to put on our thinking caps for you. Post a short blurb and we’ll help you out.  Guests, please offer a suggestion too.


Autumn Jordon is the award-winning sneaker Ruby and author of Perfect~ a fun, warm-hearted Christmas romance set in the fictional town of Black Moose, Vermont.  To join her rapidly growing newsletter and be entered into members’ only contests, visit www.autumn Jordon.comperfect

34 responses to “Big Hooks -a marketing tool.”

  1. Liz Talley says:

    Okay, I’ll play. I have a new book that I’m working on – trying to sell it before I self-pub. My initial title is Carolina Moon (which is one of Nora’s titles, too.)

    So this reunion story involves a hero who is a Hollywood talk show host. He ends up killing a child in an accident, goes off the deep end, drinks too much and the network sends him on a forced hiatus. He goes back home (to his grandfather) to figure out his life and how to absolve the guilt. The heroine is a single mother whose child is a result of date rape. The father of the child was the hero’s best friend. It’s a tale of guilt, forgiveness and healing between three old friends. My heroine dreams of being a songwriter and teaches music lessons. Takes place in fictional Moonlight, SC (Between Charleston and Hilton Head).

    Ideas for titles?

    • Thanks for starting us off today, Liz. I love your story line. I’m assuming this is targeted toward contemporary romance readers. I’m thinking Moonlight Surrender, Moonlight Tides, Tides of Guilt.

      I’ll keep thinking.

      • Liz Talley says:

        Yes, contemporary romance with a bend toward women’s fiction. It’s set around November-December so there could be a holiday theme. It won’t be a sexy romp, more serious and angsty in nature…I’m assuming. I’m only three chapters in so far.

        • If you’re leaning toward WF, maybe Tides of Guilt would be the better choice of the three suggestions I mentioned.

          • Liz, of the three characters, who does your story BELONG TO? In other words, who experiences the greatest character growth through this story journey? If this book belongs to the hero, WHISKEY MOON is very, very intriguing. Blake Snyder of SAVE THE CAT reminds us that irony is great in book titles. (FOUR CHRISTMASES, anyone?) That’s why WHISKEY LULLABY is such a powerful title.

            I love CAROLINA MOON. It speaks to your South and a hint of darkness. And there is a bit of sexy to it.

            I’m also intrigued by the music angle. Have you toyed with “sound” words such as SERENADE or ECHOES?

            Finally, since this is a reunion story, I’m thinking words like…AGAIN, SECOND CHANCE…

      • Elisa Beatty says:

        I definitely like the idea of something a little more angsty in the title…Moonlight Tides moves that way for me.

    • For whatever reason (maybe I’ve been listening to more country music lately) the first title that came to mind was WHISKEY MOON. I like the idea of having moon or moonlight in the title. Maybe something else will come to me after I’ve had coffee. 😉

    • Vivi Andrews says:

      I like Echoes of Moonlight – that one has that achy feeling to me. You could also throw “Midnight” into the mix since it can have a darkest-before-the-dawn connotation.

  2. I’ve been playing around with a contemporary series set around a small town in Colorado. I’m currently calling it the Aspen Falls series. The working titles for the three books I’m working on are:

    Convincing Carly
    Claiming Emma
    Chasing Jess

    The verbs give you an idea of the storylines. I’m not tied to those, and contemporary romance is kind of new ground for me (though I read a lot of it).

    In convincing Carly, the heroine is looking to escape her life (which, of course, has gone down the toilet) and flees to Aspen Falls, where she recently inherited her grandmother’s lakeside cabin. It needs a lot of work, but she doesn’t know that at first. The hero wants that cabin, and sees it as the way to create a stable life for his young son following a divorce. He has fond memories of Carly’s grandmother who lived there, and it’s next door to his parents’ home, so he sees it as ideal. And he’s a handy type, so he’ll be able to fix it up as required. So, they both see the cabin as a new start to the life they want, but hero needs to convince heroine that she doesn’t want to take on the repairs, and doesn’t want to stay in town…

    • You definitely show the stories’ essence in the three titles. However, I think you’re wanting more and different. Staying with a two word title really restricts us, doesn’t it?

      Engaging Carly
      Engaging Emma
      Engaging Jess

      Aspen Swaying
      Aspen Find
      Aspen Engagement

      Coming up with great titles is hard work. I’m thinking.

    • Honestly, Anne Marie, I like these titles. Feels very contemp romance, and with just two words you’re showing us a great deal about plot and character. Well done! But I’ll keep thinking…

  3. Okay, I’m going to ask for help too.

    I’m working on a novella that is a follow up to Perfect (Christmas Story). It’s the story of Elizabeth’s and Bob’s return home to Black Moose, Vermont. It’s more of Elizabeth’s story as she recalls moments of her life as the plane she is on is having difficulties. She is seated next to a young soldier who makes her realize how lucky she has been to have found love. It is set on New Year’s Eve. The working title is Perfect Timing. I hate it. Of course Perfect must be in the title.

  4. Liz Talley says:

    Not sure if this will end up under the right comment.

    Anne Marie – why not go with The Fixer Upper and capitalize on the HGTV show that people LOVE. You’ve got that vibe going and that would be smart marketing. Everyone that searches for Fixer Upper might get a peak at your book 🙂

    Then you could use similar titles for the others.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I love that!!!!!

      What other HGTV titles would work for other books in the series?

      • I like the idea of “The Fixer Upper” (especially since the heroine is also feeling a bit broken and wanting to “fix” herself or reinvent herself), and the other books are going to be about revitalizing the town, but they’re not necessarily about HGTV type stuff, you know. So I’m not sure. Hmmm… Definitely got me thinking!

        • Anne, If you’re thinking along these lines, check out HGTV past and present shows, I know they have a few that deal with neighborhood revitalizing neighbors. I.e. Curb Appeal.

        • Vivi Andrews says:

          I love The Fixer Upper! I would totally grab that book. 🙂

          • Liz Talley says:

            Me, too! I once saw Bella Andre speak and she talked about naming one of her books after a Taylor Swift song just because it would get some accidental hits.

            And I like Curb Appeal, too. That would be great for a makeover story. If you don’t use them, AM, I might. Lol!

          • I’m definitely considering these titles! I’m waiting to see what kind of contemporary voice I have, since this is my first stab at a contemporary series, and these titles definitely sound like fun, flirty type books. 😉

  5. We have so many visitors on-line with us and views, so I know we’re all thinking hard. Titles are hard.


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