Made-up Book Titles, or, Laughing Alone in an Empty Room

Many people who announce with enthusiasm that they are writing a book come up with a title first. They may or may not realize that a publisher will likely change it. In my case, my two titles have never been changed, but it is definitely not something to get attached to. A title, as you probably realize, is super important. Just as people often pick up a book from its cover, the title can make or break the book. So don't knock yourself out trying to come up with one.

That being said, you should have a working title. You can't submit a query for a book called "Untitled". For Geography, it started out as "The Elusiveness of Everything" until I got a clue. (thank goodness). Fire in the Heart was once "Smoke From a Distant Fire" until my editor pointed out that song titles are problematic. Now I am 53,000 words into the kayak memoir and I still have no title.

So to alleviate the stress, my sister and I have been emailing each other funny titles based on our lives. I can't share them all, because hers are hers to share, but mine hint at a relationship gone wrong: "Allergic to Sunscreen: Travels to Remember" or: "Carrying Fleece Jackets Through Airports: a memoir." I haven't laughed so much in an empty room in a long time.

I realize this means nothing to you without backstory. But here's a tip if you are writing a book and are stuck, or if you just are in a bad mood. Try coming up with humorous titles to sum up events in your life. I guarantee it will be a great break in your day.