Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Wave of the Future or Flash in the Pan?

More and more, I'm seeing stuff that isn't the title in the title of books.  The other morning, I saw 'TITLE: A gripping psychological thriller you do not want to miss' as the title of a book.  


This annoys me greatly, as I have said before.  However, I'm beginning to wonder if readers are so used to this, as well as being so 'short attention span theater' these days, that I'm missing the boat.


Although, at this point, the word gripping really rubs me the wrong way.  If everything is gripping, is anything really gripping?  Nowadays, I'm all like "Oh, yeah... :eyeroll: ...a gripping psychological thriller... ri-ight."

But is this something I should be doing?  I don't mean the gripping thing.  But the adding a descriptive puff after the title.  

Dying Embers: A Flaming Good Suspense with Arson and Murder and a slight tinge of romance
Accidental Death: A Small Town Revenge-filled Romp in the Snow
Wish in One Hand: A Suspense-filled Urban Fantasy with Snarky Genies

Would that really sell more books?  I always figured I said everything that needed to be said in the blurb.  Along with a... pardon me... gripping title and cover.  And, you know, the general GENRE listing.  :heavy sigh:

Maybe it isn't enough anymore.  Maybe readers really don't want to take the time to read a blurb anymore.  Maybe they'd be more inclined to read the blurb if they already saw it what it was in the title.  

Project Hermes: A Thrilling Political Suspense with Techno and Medical Stuff
Blink of an I: A dark, yet suspenseful and thrilling glimpse into the future
Unequal: A dark, thought-provoking suspenseful dystopian with medical stuff

Meh.  I'm really loathe to do this.  It might be the wave of the future.  I hope it's just a flash in the pan.  Because if I have to do this, you saw up there what might happen.  

I have a tough enough time coming up with blurbs and taglines.  You want short title descriptors, too?  


  1. Some self-proclaimed SEO marketing guru declared this to be a "best practice" for authors. I'm of the eye-roll school when I see so-called titles like that. I figure the book is going to be poorly written and/or a lack-luster story, and a desperate writer. Keep on scrollin'...

    My one exception to this rule would be something along these lines, when clarification is needed:

    The Dandy Don, A Dark Mafia Romance

    as oppsed to

    The Dandy Don, A Mafia RomCom.

    I could probably tell if I stopped to read the blurb, but that addition to the title might make me go check out the blurb in the first place.

    And personally, I think your add-ons are pretty funny but I really hope this "trend" is just a flash in the pan. If I start seeing in on best-selling authors' novels, then I might have to rethink my position.

    Thought-provoking post this morning. Now I need more coffee. 😂

  2. I hope it's just a burp. I wouldn't bother to read fiction with promo-subtitles. It looks shoddy.