The book I'm currently reading for my book club is The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society . I'm loving it, but the thing I find funny is that when I first saw this book in a bookshop window, I swore I would never read it.
I was walking home one evening from our favourite Thai place around the corner with E and my son and part of our ritual is to stop and look in the window of our favourite bookshop Mary Who?
A small mountain of the Guernsey book had pride of place and Andrew said very disparagingly, 'That looks like the sort book you'd read, Mum.'
'Never!' I protested hotly.
But when I discovered it was the next book for my reading group (made up of women I used to teach with and whose tastes closely match mine) I discovered just how fickle I am, because I was suddenly intrigued by the title and eager to read it. Of course, comments by others about "couldn't put it down" helped.
But it also confirmed a few points about titles and target readers.
Many people are surprised when I tell them that we have very little say in the titles of our books. This is because the titles are so important at hooking readers and we authors often don't have a clue.
Although I'm proud to say that two of my bestselling books had titles I chose. These were Outback with the Boss (reprinted this year in Her Outback Boss) and Having the Boss's Babies.
On the other hand, In the Heart of the Outback was a book I loved. My publisher chose the title and I was quite happy with it at the time, but it didn't sell as well because the title didn't have enough hooks.
So it's a tricky business the titling of books, especially in series romance where the books are only on the shelves for such a short time.