Thursday, November 1, 2012

EVER Title Contest

Today we have a fun mini contest, brought to you by Ever by Jessa Russo

You painstakingly edit all 80,000 words of your novel, but what about the words plastered across the cover? I think we can all agree that we DO judge books by their covers, and that includes the title. A good title (or a bad one) can make a big difference in whether or not your book attracts readers (or agents and editors). It's your first chance to set the tone for the novel and display your voice.

So, don't forget to ask your critique partners and beta readers for feedback on your title! 

To play, enter your title in comments on this blog post by midnight CST 11/7. You can use a title for a finished novel or WIP in any stage of development. In your comment, please also include your genre. A good title for romance and a good title for horror are different. :) (Example: EVER, YA paranormal romance). 

On 11/8, I'll post the titles and Jessa Russo and I will pick our favorite titles. They'll also be a place where you can vote for your favorite. The prizes are a free copy of EVER and a query critique by Jessa Russo. In addition to being an author, Jessa is also YA/NA acquisitions editor for Curiosity Quills Press, so her query critique is gold!

Later this week, I'll be posting "The Great Title Post," with all my tips on how to pick a great title.

I'll start with my analysis of the title, EVER.

Seventeen-year-old Ever's love life has been on hold for the past two years. She's secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he's completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn't help that he's dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever's life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

"EVER" gets my title seal of approval. It's the MC's first name of course, but it's also reminiscent of "forever" a concept which fits well with romance, especially romance with a ghost. Although reminiscent of the word "forever", "EVER" is much snappier and much less sappy and cliched than using "forever" itself. Imagine how different it would be if she called the book "Forever Love" or similar. You want the reader to think "forever love" but it should be more subtle, like she did with "EVER".

The word "EVER" is also a pretty word. It's fun to say. It feels dramatic and epic and has that great "V" sound.

Good titles don't have to be short, but they often are. Unless you're going for something creative and quirky like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, short and simple is a good bet. Short and simple is especially good for when you are going for dramatic and mysterious, which fits with EVER.

Kudos to Jessa Russo on a great title!


  1. So many titles, I could list them all. Okay, okay. I'll be good and pick one. ^_~

    Dark One's Mistress, Fantasy

  2. Elysian Fields, Adult Urban Fantasy

  3. I'll go with my new WIP since so many of you have seen the other I've been peddling around to agents and contests.

    TENDERWOOD, YA, Dark Romantic Fantasy

  4. The Grave Clothes Laundress, YA Paranormal by Talynn Lynn

    My current WIP for NaNo:)

  5. My WIP
    YA Contemporary/Fairy Tale Retell (Little Mermaid)


  6. TENDRIL, YA Neo-Gothic Rapunzel retelling

  7. Ooh! Can I play? Shattered Secrets, a YA Thriller & Urban Fantasy

  8. FYI - I don't want to win, I just want to play. ;-)

  9. John Wayne Marshall's So Called "Sex Life" YA a comedic autobiography by John Marshall.

  10. Sibylline Nights, NA contemporary fantasy.

  11. Journey Through a Dark Forest: Lyuba and Ivan in the Age of Anxiety, historical fiction/family saga

  12. Heirs of War, Crown of Flames
    NA Fantasy (second book in the Heirs of War series)

  13. Branded - NA Contemporary Dystopian... maybe? I just wanna play, I've already got Jessa's book :-)

  14. I'll play, but I already have EVER. :)

    Stricken (The War Scrolls: Book One), NA Urban Fantasy

  15. Kentucky Rain (YA coming of age)
    WIP by Debra Elliott

  16. I'm jumping in! lol! Though I too have already read EVER. :-)

    DIVIDE, a YA mash-up of a fairytale redux and a gothic horror. (Yes, really.)

    But I may change the name to DARK SIDE. We'll see!

    Great titles everyone! I love them all and I'm so glad you're participating!

  17. The World Beyond the Window (YA Dystopic)

    The Other Side of the Mirror (YA Paranormal)

  18. Once in Limberlost (YA Speculative Fiction)

    Ignite (YA Urban Fantasy)