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 www.readfarworld.com, 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 Librarything.com) 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.