Well, this isn't exactly a Trend Post, but I will be talking a little bit about trends in it. I've seen a lot of title trending going on lately, particularly an influx of novels titles "Finding (enter person's name here)". Now, I don't mean to offend anyone who's book is one of those titles, but I do think it is important to address the fact that trend titles are not going to get you more readers. In fact, it might just look like a trended title is a knock off of the original.
Titles, for me, are about as important as the book cover when I go to choose a book. A book entitled "The Rogues" is going to pike my interest a lot more than say one entitled "Ruby Red". For the record, I'm reading "Ruby Red" by Kristen Gier right now and enjoying it, but I would not have picked up the title if it had not been recommended to me by a friend. I judge books by their titles as much as I do by their covers, but I don't like to be too judgmental either, because I might miss something I would really enjoy.
However, as a writer, you really need to choose a title that works for your book. When I choose a title, I try to reflect the kind of book it's going to be. I like to think that titles such as "On a Foreign Field" promise a historical war novel, which is what it is, and that "By Blood or By Bond" makes one think of strong ties and also possibly a historical novel, which is obviously what the book is about. I love when authors actually sneak the title into the book or have the title be an obvious lead in to the book itself. Series books can get away with having perhaps not to interesting titles, because by the time you hook readers with the first book, you have loyal fans for life (unless you do something to really tick your readers off.) Of course certain genres have certain kinds of titles. You can usually tell a mystery, thriller, and a romance from their title alone, (This is kind of what I think of as 'blind taste-testing' of books). Another favorite way to title books of mine is using a line of a poem. Most of my older, never-will-be-published books had Scottish poems as their titles. I actually carried this into the title of "Freedom Come All Ye" which is a song that I feature in the book. It also has a significant meaning to the story in itself. I would imagine the person who picked it up, even without knowledge of the Scottish folk song, would think that it was a book about freedom fighters or something of that nature, which it is: a novel about a young William Wallace.
I think titles are a very personal thing, which is why I am against title trending. Don't title your book like someone else's just to get people to read it. In fact, I'm kind of against putting a character's name in the title at all unless it's a series like my eventual "Anthony Maxwell Mysteries" but that should not be the title itself. The only time I would ever do this is if I were writing a book about a historical figure. Just for an example, I could call a book about William Wallace simply "Wallace". Anyone who liked reading about Wallace would probably pick up the book to see if it was about the famous Scottish hero, I know I would. Nigel Tranter entitles one of his books, "The Young Montrose" and yes, it is about James Graham, Earl of Montrose. The title should mean something to the author, that is why I personally do not wrack my brains for a title, I let it come to me. When I can't think of one, I resort to looking through poems or quotes that remind me of my book and take a phrase or line from that.
Authors, how do you go about choosing a title for your books and what are your thoughts on title trending?