Coming up with a Top Notch Title

Disgusting, Man, Sick, Spew, VomitEvery now and again I come up with the perfect title for my manuscript.  It is catchy, alluring, and just revealing enough.

Then there are those times that I think I’ve pulled that off but  — no.  I have not.  That was the case with What’s Up, Chuck?  I mean, what could be better for a book on vomit?  Apparently, something that tells the reader what the book covers.  And it has to do it without sounding like an academic title.

I smiled when Taylor Norman (Chronicle Books) told me this at the retreat, because really she was super helpful.  But inside I was crying.  I hate coming up with titles.  Hate it.  Really.

More often than not I can’t come up with anything decent but I’m lucky because I do a lot of online writing.  State the obvious and do it briefly.  Or work for hire.  The contract comes with a title.

But this time I have to do it myself.  The only word I have so far is “Vomitology.”  I’m leaning towards “Vomitology – The Science of Puke,” but I haven’t allowed myself to fall in love.  It is far too early for that.

That said, I did test the title out.  How?  I Googled it.  Hmm.  This probably won’t work.  It seems to be the name of a Death Metal band.  It is also an entry in the Urban Dictionary.  The example sentence contains the name of a male body part that rhymes with Venus.  Yeah, not really the sort of thing I’d want my 8 year-old reader to find.  So I’m back to square 1.

When you think you have a spiffy title for your book, Google it.  You may not come up with a Venus or a death metal reference.  But you may find 15 other books with the same title.  What happened when I was looking for Whoosh by Chris Barton.  It is a picture book biography about the NASA scientist who invented the super soaker.  There was probably a full-page of titles — some spelled Whoosh, others Woosh.

Pukology is also a no-go.  Don’t Google it.  Just don’t.  It was disgusting and this is from the woman writing a book about barf.

Vomitus scientificus?

Ugh.  I hate coming up with titles.


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