For the next week, my not-yet-published-or-seen-by-the-outside-world novel is getting some attention. Not because it is a stellar work of fiction, not because it earned a six-figure advance (let's dream big here, seven figures!), not because Oprah hiked through two feet of snow from Chicago to Akron to find me, and not because Hollywood is fighting over it.
It's because it has no title.
With the query process upon me, I'm in a bit of a panic. I know my characters as well as I know myself. They live in a fictional version of my home town...many are named after people in my life and the story is picked right from my own brain, not a copycat of someone else's idea. Yet a good, catchy title still escapes me five years into the effort.
When I first seriously considered attempting to get published a few years ago, I started following a Randy Ingermanson's blog. I learned a lot from his book Writing Fiction for Dummies and his newsletter. So, after brooding over my title dilema, I decided to send him a question, asking how much effort an author should put into naming their work when a publisher will most likely change it anyway.
I did not expect a response, but I got one.
Randy posted my question on his blog and gave a very detailed response. Then he offered to post a contest on his blog and have his readers give title suggestions. What a wonderful opportunity - I almost had tears in my eyes. So please visit Randy's blog and take a shot at naming my novel. It'll be fun!
Oh, and I'll throw in a bonus to the Winner: Randy offered to critique the first 5 pages of the Winner's novel - Thank you, Randy! I'll add this: If the Winner posts here after the contest stating they won, I will, with permission, use their name or a verision of it, as a character name in the final book.