Friday, January 20, 2012

A Rose by Any Other Name?

I suffer from a horrible affliction that haunts many writers… No, I don’t mean low to non-existent sales, although my bank account would say that is indeed a horrible affliction. What plagues my writing is coming up with good, catchy titles for my works.

And by “catchy” what I really mean is “short”.

This isn’t always the case. My upcoming eXtasy release is entitled Blood Betrayal. That’s a pretty short and fairly accurate title since it deals with vampires. Beautiful Dreamer and Seven for Seduction (shortened from a much longer title) are fairly brief and to the point, too. My contemporary erotic-romances A Middle Class Existence and Gifts Well-Timed have short titles that I feel are strong and descriptive, but I’m not always certain readers realize how truly hot these stories are, so perhaps they could be better. But some of my personal favorite titles are my—and my publishers’— longest.

My print novel Help! I’m Falling for the Vampire Next Door is still selling well, although the publisher’s webmaster informed me that I had to shorten my future titles. I guess it’s difficult listing a title over a certain number of characters on the Liquid Silver Books web site.

Long isn’t necessarily better, it seems. Long means more words for a potential reader to type into a search engine to find your book online. Long doesn’t help you promote your work online, since you can get a cramp from just typing the title, let alone the synopsis and purchase link.

But, somehow, I can’t help myself.

I mean… how more descriptive can Brandi Whyne and Her Incredibly Erotic Adventures (with Robin Manhood and His Totally Sexed-Out Space Pirates) be? Could it be catchier—uh, shorter? Hmm… I don’t know. That’s where my “writing affliction” comes into play.

I just can’t make up my mind about it—should I shorten Brandi Whyne and Her Incredibly Erotic Adventures? Would it help sales if I did? Would a shorter title attract new readers? What other title would tell readers that this is a humorous, science fiction, erotic-romance series starring a young and vivacious heroine named Brandi?

I need help—and I need it soon, because selling books is my sole income at the moment.

Since I’m afflicted with indecision (as well as “title-itis”) I’ve decided to let you, the readers, make up my mind. You can vote on what you think is the best course of action. The poll is located at the top right side of the page and will be open until the end of February. Thanks for your input and thanks for helping me get my writing career on track!

Here’s the “log line” for the series for inspiration:
What do you get when Star Wars meets Sherwood Forest? Mix in a little Pirates of the Caribbean, Fanny Hill, Futurama and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and you get Brandi Whyne and Her Incredibly Erotic Adventures (with Robin Manhood and His Totally Sexed-Out Space Pirates). With a series title that long, you know it‘s going to be filled with loads of laughs, tons of sci-fi fun and plenty of hot sex!
Poll Question: Should I change the title of my series Brandi Whyne and Her Incredibly Erotic Adventures?

Voting choices:
1. Keep the series title the way it is—it’s absolutely perfect.
2. I’d come up with a shorter title if I were you.
(Please post your title suggestions in the comments section below. If you’re terribly shy, feel free to email them to me at
3. You’re absolutely bonkers! (But in a nice way.)
4. I might have to report you to somebody. (If I only knew who!)

If you’d like to read some excerpts from Brandi Whyne… please check them out at Brandi’s very own blog: Thanks again.


Kayelle Allen said...

I had the same issue with my book At the Mercy of Her Pleasure. I ended up republishing it later, and kept the same title. You could opt for an apostrophe and drop incredibly, and get Brandi Whyne's Erotic Adventures. That's much shorter, and we all know adverbs are no no's in writing, right? Right? *crickets chirping* Hmm. Well, that's my suggestion if you want to change. Good luck on this decision!

Celine Chatillon said...

Good idea--cutting out adverbs is generally seen as "cutting the fat" and leaving a more "leaner product".

I think my idea of Brandi Whyne's story being an "over-the-top, Monty-Pythonesque, Douglas-Adams-esque, parody of space opera" goes over a lot of people's heads, so they don't appreciate the silliness of the title. But if it the title gets too "straight", will that confuse them all the more? Hmmm... that's a hard question to answer!

Anonymous said...

I like the title just fine - but I have a tiny issue with the H - Whyne as in WHiny - what you want for an erotic protagonist? Or it could be just me

Celine Chatillon said...

Actually it's "Whyne" pronounced like the beverage "Wine" or like the "wine" in "Amy Winehouse". ;)

I never thought people were reading Brandi's last name aloud as "whiny". That's a very interesting insight, Anonymous. Can I get her to change her last name at this late a date, though? Hmmm... ;)

Patti Shenberger said...

I like it. It's very catchy and draw your attention in.

Celine Chatillon said...

Thanks, Patti! I'm glad it draws your attention. That should be number one thing a title does--makes the book sound worthwhile to read. :)