This blog is for those 18 and older.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Book By Any Other Name?

As Shakespeare says, “What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.” So would a book by any other name be as good? YES. The question lies in whether it would sell. How important is a title to a romance reader buying a book?

As for myself, when it’s time to find a new book to read, I start with my favorite authors. If they have a new one out, I buy it. I don’t read the title or the back cover. But what about when I look for a new author to try, then the title matters . . . somewhat. Okay, maybe it’s really the cover that catches my eye.

However, there are a few titles that have drawn me in over the years because they were different. WHITNEY, MY LOVE by Judith McNaught caught my attention, as did Jennifer Ashley’s THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE. Another romance I read simply because I thought the title was clever was Angie Fox’s THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER. But I have to admit, these are few and far between.

I guess the title matters for me when it gives me an idea about what the book is about. For example, if I’m in a Scottish mood (which happens a lot), my eye naturally travels to titles with the word “highland” in them. If a swashbuckling adventure is more my wish, then of course I look for “pirate” or “sea.” There are many other words in titles that give us an immediate impression: demon, cowboy, bite, warrior, wolf, knight, just to name a few.

So does the title really matter? Will you buy one book over another because of the title? Does the title influence your decision to read the book? Does it call you to pick it up and read the back cover? Let me know.


  1. It does matter to me because I too pick up books with interesting titles (or covers) when I'm trying to find new authors.

    I'm like you with my favorites, though. They're auto-buys no matter the cover or title.

  2. I love a good pirate novel, but they're hard to find nowdays! I'm a purist - I don't read the back cover or any blurbs about the book. I like to be totally surprised!

  3. Hi Lexi,

    Isn't it funny how our favorite authors are auto-buys (love the term BTW), yet somehow we found their first book. I love to find just the right medieval or that funny contemporary depending on my mood :-)

  4. Wow Laura! You don't read the back? So you just judge if you might be interested by title and cover alone? I don't think I've heard of someone doing that before. I wonder if other people like to be surprised that way. Have you ever been disappointed?