Thursday, March 20, 2014


You may be reading this blog because I (Krista) posted this jaw-dropping news somewhere on social media.

And let me tell you. If it were true, I wouldn't be hosting this blog today. No, I'd probably being still sitting in dumb-founded shock. Someone would also have to do CPR on my poor husband.

Or--- you may be reading this blog because someone else posted this jaw-dropping news somewhere on social media, and you're thinking.... WHAT??? Or-- YEAH!!!

Either way...

No one (that I'm aware of) is having a baby.

Unless you count manuscripts, which authors lovingly think of as "our babies."

Here is the REAL subject of this blog.


Titles draw in readers. Titles are the first thing we read, both on books in the bookstore or online book retailer or on blogs.

It's the title's job to capture the reader's attention (for books, in tandem with the cover.) A GOOD title makes readers think, "Wow, I wonder what that's about" or "Ohhhhh, I need to read THAT!"

Confession #1: I've been one of those people who has used the fact that publishers usually change book titles as an excuse to not get very creative with a title.

But we're trying to catch an agent/editor's eye too! An AMAZING title could very well help a submission rise to the top section of a slush pile. (Content will then have to be superior after that... a title can only do so much!)

Confession #2: I've also been one of those bloggers who have just slapped any ol' title on a blog post to describe what I'd written. How stupid is it, though, to spend all that time trying to craft the perfect blog post--- and then leave the title as just bleh? Especially in social media, where your dream would be that your post go viral.

Now, you might say, the title of this post is, well, inaccurate. No one is having a baby. And yes, titles should reflect to the subject matter. I think, though, in this case, it does, in a creative, slightly odd, way. The point of the post title is to underscore the importance of having a title that catches eyes and attracts attention.

Lest you think I've got this whole title thing figured out, please be aware that I DO NOT.

I HATE coming up with titles. It is not my strong suit.

This is why the title of my book proposal to Abingdon was, "A Sandwich Romance" because it was set in Sandwich, IL and was a romance. (see confession #1 above.) They renamed it "Sandwich, with a Side of Romance" which is a heap better. That said... my submission went through different channels than the slush pile, so I'm super lucky my poor title didn't hurt my chances. This, however, is not normal.

I have another full-length novel my agent has requested a GOOD title before we submit it. Right now, the title is "Mission: Jack" (a takeoff of Mission: Impossible). But eh... it's just... not the best. I debated for a while if it was super unique or super stupid. I'm leaning toward the stupid side now that time has passed. So it's on my list to retitle.

So--- I have TWO challenges for you today.

#1: Let's practice thinking of GREAT TITLES. Help me think of a title for (formerly known as) Mission: Jack! Below is a super brief (unofficial for the sake of this blog) synopsis.

While I don't promise to USE your title, (although reserve the right to if I love it and my agent gives her thumbs up!) we Alleycats will vote on which title we think is the most UNIQUE and HOOKING.... and the WINNER will get a signed copy of my first novel, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance. 
Mission Jack Synopsis:

Jenny is queen of safety and predictability. Her life is controlled by fear. But the guy she falls in love with over the Internet represents anything but.

Jack is in over his head trying to take care of his orphaned, preteen niece, and might be more than a little insane to be falling for a woman online, especially when a predictable "perfect" woman from his church is offering to be everything he could ever need.

Jenny and her best friend become convinced that Jack isn't the awesome guy he seems like, and that he's an Internet stalker. On a mission to prove they are right, they go on a road trip to Nashville, TN to call him out.

"Mission: Jack" goes exactly opposite of what they'd planned, especially when the real stalker shows up.

Jack must learn that perfection isn't always so perfect, and Jenny must learn that safety isn't measured by locks on the doors, but that trusting God is the only true way to peace.

#2: SHARE THIS BLOG post on Facebook or Twitter or both, complete with the title. Let's see just how much BUZZ a title with an eye-popping "hook" can get. Bonus points if you're past baby bearing age :-) :-) (and let me know in the comments if you shared it, I'll pick a winner out of those who share this post as well!)

Come on. I dare you.

(comments/shares must be done by end of day, Sunday, March 23rd. Winner to be announced on the following weekend edition!)

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance . She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at She is represented by fabulous agent, Rachelle Gardner.


Laura S. said...

It'll be interesting to see how many people read the title of this post then comment with congratulations without reading the actual post!

A compelling title is so important! It's the first thing I look at when I'm browsing in the bookstore and library. A strong, interesting title pulls me in far more than the book cover. So I really stress over titles, and I'm so bad at titling things, even just for blog posts. Writing titles is not my strength, but I do recognize great titles other people write!

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Unknown said...

Reality Bytes.

Do I get a prize?

Julia M. Reffner said...

I'm glad you posted this and not me. Let's just say I have a "bump" Ugh, hate it, but if I have any weight gained it will go straight to my stomach. So, um, people would probably believe it of me and then I would have to tell them, nope I just need to diet. Argghhh...ok, now that I've spilt my dirt on the blogosphere.

My first book was titled "The compound story" until I was about 3/4 into my rough draft. So yeah, I could write you a title, but it would take a couple months :)

Pepper said...

I love coming up with fun titles!! Whether they're particularly 'catchy', I'm not sure - but I love to try.

Ron's is fun!

I'll have to think about this, Krista :-)

Sally Bradley said...

Stalking Perfection.

Hmm. I may be back...

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

LOL...this was awesome! AWESOME, I SAY!

I like Sally's title! ;)

Krista Phillips said...

Sally... VERY nice!!!

Ron... HA HA HA!