Thursday, April 10, 2008

What's In A Name

In my last post, I talked about book covers. Today I’m going to discuss the actual title of the first volume. Again you’d think that would be addressed early on in the process. But like the cover art, the title of a book can have a huge impact in its sales—at least initially. You have to consider the age of the target audience, the genre, and other books that are out. An unusual title can stand out, but if it’s too long it can be hard for readers to remember. A shorter title can be good, but does it say enough to hook a prospective reader.

I’ve always loved the Farworld series title and my publisher did too. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been used much in fiction—although the website is taken by a tech company of some kind. (The official website will be at, but it will be awhile before that goes up.)

The working title of Book 1 was “City Under the Water”, which was originally what I called the place where the Water elementals lived. That title quickly changed to “Farworld—Water”, as each of the first four books deal with finding a different elemental group. The thing is, the more we talked about it, the less my publisher like that title. The problem is that “Water”, by itself, doesn’t have much kick to it.

The publisher liked “The Water Elemental.” But to me that made the book sound like it is actually about a water elemental as opposed to searching for their city and their help. After getting quite a bit of feedback (including some great thoughts from the Green Dragon gang over at I talked to the publisher about going another direction.

Awhile back I had decided to change the name of the elementals’ home to Water Keep. We all really liked this as a title. It’s something you can repeat in future books Fore Keep, Air Keep, etc. It’s cool for people who know that a keep is like a castle and for people who don’t, it’s mysterious enough that hopefully they’ll want to know more. It goes great with the cover art, and yet it’s simple enough that people can remember it. And best of all, when I did an Amazon search for it, nothing showed up.

So unless something changes, Farworld—Water Keep it is.

By the way, tomorrow I get to see a more detailed sketch of the cover art, before Brandon does the actual artwork. Can’t wait.


Brian said...

Awesome! I love the new name. You're right, it does kinda pop! I can't wait to see the cover too. By the way, we're doing a WASL (refer to my new post) practice paper at school. We are supposed to say a person we think should do a speech for the 7th graders and persuade them. I did mine on you. My other choice, the one my partner did was some kind of priest person, but since I am Jewish, I thought that that might be tough. Just thought you might be interested to know.

Rose City Reader said...

Best of luck to you on your new project!

Brian said...


Rachelle said...

I like your title and your book sounds fantastic. I can't wait to read it. I don't know why it's so hard to think of titles, but that has always plagued me--then I've heard so many stories of publisher's changing the title that I decided I shouldn't stress so much over it. :)

DesLily said...

Off the subject :.. I have seen a number of authors offering autographed book plates on their website, for those who are not close to any of their tours... You might want to consider this, it seems like a good way to attract even more people???

Park Avenue Princess said...

I actually LOVE the name! And I can't wait to see the new cover art.

You know what I was told lately speaking of "What's in a name"? I need a penname. And I was told that AMY is too plain. This is for one of the sites I review for, can you help me? Any ideas? I was talking to another author recently (who I'm friends with on myspace and I love his horror stuff...I bet you would too) gave me the suggestion of Ciel Blue...

Now I have NO idea...I've gotten suggestions such as

Nauti Minx lol and
Scarlett Kisses

So...I KNOW you want to say SOMETHING! OR better yet, I could email you?

Email me?


Kylee said...

I like the title. Having "Keep" in all the tiles will make the series feel like a series.