After several months of stewing over the comments I received from the agents, editors, and other readers who have read the most recent version of my first novel, I am back at work at it, giving it one more pass through before I start querying the next batch of prospective agents. I have a strong sense of where I am going with this draft, so I’m feeling confident that I can do this in a relatively short period of time (3-4 months).
Something that keeps coming up in both written and spoken comments is whether or not my novel’s title works. I’ve gotten extremely positive reactions and extremely negative reactions from those who’ve read the whole manuscript and from those who haven’t yet read it. I guess I should be happy that it has garnered any response.
Since the title is the first thing a prospective reader hears or reads or sees, along with the cover, I do think it is important to get a feel for how it is received. So . . . I’m going to ask a few simple questions and hope that many of you will take the minute or two to answer them. The more answers I have, the more helpful it will be to me as I decide whether or not to change my title.
To answer the questions, I don’t think it matters whether you know what the novel is about, only that it is realistic fiction with historical elements. But you do need to know the title, which is THE CRY OF BELLA’S VIOLIN.
Here are the questions:
- What’s your immediate reaction when you read the title? Would you pick up the book and read the blurb to find out more or not?
- Does the title make you think initially that the book’s content will be heavy or light or somewhere in between?
- Are you reminded of other books, movies, etc when you read the title and if so, which ones and do you assume that this book will in some way resemble the ones that came to mind for you?
- Anything else come to mind that you’d like to share with me about the title or your initial response to it?
I will not be hurt if you hate the title or give you extra points if you love it. I’m looking for quick, honest answers to a few questions with implications much larger than the subject seems to suggest.
Please help me out here if you have a minute. Thanks in advance!
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