I’ll Have a Title Soon
By The Winglings
How do you pinpoint the essence of a book in just a few words? How do you find a quick and catchy way to draw the reader in and keep them interested? The contents of a book are important, but it’s the title that makes the first impression. First impressions–as we all know–are lasting impressions. With John Wing’s manuscript, we wanted to capture the strong themes of life, aging, and the universal journey of growing up. John takes us on a tour of some of his most intimate experiences and how they’ve made him the man he is today, capturing readers’ attention with witty commentary and an almost morbid sense of humour. The book is all at once nostalgic and intuitive, and anyone who picks up the book will undoubtedly relate to its contents. With such an intrinsic book, we knew that the title had to come from within the manuscript.
First, we made a list of all the eye-catching phrases we came across. Anything that stirred some kind of emotion, we wrote down. Every curious line, every odd phrase, was added to our ever-growing list of potential titles. Seventy-six manuscript pages and a page and a half full of ideas later, we had to start the process of elimination. Which of these titles actually embodied John’s book? There were some amazing potentials, including “Like Angry Jesus,” ” Comedy, Marijuana, and Rejection” and the tantalizing, “Maybe it was a Sex Dream.” But did these titles adequately sum up the contents of the manuscript? A consensus was reached: the answer was no.
What makes a good title? We knew that one to five words was the optimal title length, and the list was shortened. We knew that the title ultimately had to reflect the work, and the list was shortened yet again (goodbye, “Like Angry Jesus”). A good title draws readers in by posing a question. It gives a hint at the contents and leaves them hungry for more. And so we decided: “I’ll Be There Soon.” Where is there? When is soon? You’d have to read the book to find out.