Monday, June 26, 2006

Hint to publishers: maybe some books don't need titles

I bought some new CDs for my iPod the other day, and as I was browsing titles, it struck me how often new bands and artists self-title their first albums.

Why don't novelists do that? Wouldn't that be a great way to build name recognition? Then instead of saying, "I loved Finding Hope by Brenda What's-her-name," people would say, "I loved that Brenda Coulter book. Are there any more Brenda Coulter books available?"

Sure, everyone talks about "the latest Stephen King book", but he had to get big before we started doing that. Why shouldn't authors start out drawing attention to their own names instead of obsessing over book titles that rarely stick in readers' minds, anyway? My e-friend Tony Hines' first book, Waking Lazarus, has just come out, and everyone keeps calling it "Walking Lazarus." Wouldn't Tony and his readers be better off if we just called it "the T. L. Hines book"? Titles aren't copyrightable, anyway, which means Tony couldn't stop a smart-alek like me from calling my next romance novel Waking Lazarus.

Book titles shouldn't be more important or memorable than the authors' names. Maybe the book business should follow the example of the music industry and start trotting out some self-titled novels.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll pop back over to iTunes and buy the latest Counting Crows CD. I forget what it's called, but I know they released a new one this month....

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6 comments:

Katie Hart said...

Hmm, maybe authors are saving their self-titled release for when everyone's begging them to write their autobiography.

Shelley said...

I would love to have people calling my books by my name instead of the title - of course I have to get some written and published first...lol

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm with Shelley....Hey, when's the new Brenda Coulter book coming out?

Brenda Coulter said...

No idea, Bonnie. I'm still working on selling it. But you're a peach for asking.
<3<3<3

Nah, Katie, an autobiography should be titled something catchy--even though everyone will end up calling it "the [author's name] autobiography."

TL Hines said...

Brenda - If you want to call your next romance "Waking Lazarus," you have my blessing.

Heck, if you want to call it "The TL Hines book," you have my blessing for that as well. I'll grant you usage rights. :)

Brenda Coulter said...

Tony, you are a class act.
;-)