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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Blog: Brenda Novak: Do You Choose a Book by the Title, Author, or Cover?

The BastardI announced on Facebook the other day that I had a new book coming out November 1st on Kindle (and POD), a historical romance called THE BASTARD, and was immediately reprimanded by a woman for using such a terrible word. I explained that the story is about a man born in the late 1700's to a wayward marquise (illegitimately) who gave him to a farmer to raise. Although he’s had to climb up the hard way, without benefit of money or connections, he's determined to prove he's as good as anyone else, to rise to captain his own frigate one day. But when he finds a lovely French stowaway aboard The Tempest (the heroine, of course), he must decide whether to return her to the man she’s fleeing or risk everything, even his life, to keep her safe.

The woman calmed down when she realized the meaning behind the title, but it never occurred to me that people would mistake it in the first place. Maybe that’s because I read John Jakes’ THE BASTARD when I was fourteen and loved it so much (he’s probably better known for NORTH AND SOUTH, which became a TV mini-series that held me spellbound). One positive association can cancel out a lot of bad, I suppose. Or maybe I was leaning too heavily on the cover to convey its true meaning (I thought the historical feel would make it obvious).

Now I’m thinking that this is why no one else has copied John Jakes’ fabulous title. LOL They didn’t want to come under the gun from those who might misinterpret it and be offended.

Interestingly enough, I realized when I had to defend the title that this story has something in common with OF NOBLE BIRTH, my first historical romance. And that is the theme. New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Elizabeth Phillips often talks about an author’s core story. Maybe this is mine—that worth has nothing to do with birth or station in life and everything to do with heart and character. When I started writing (OF NOBLE BIRTH was my very first book, which originally sold to HarperCollins and was released in November of 1999 and is now also available for $2.99 on Kindle or any other eReader), I had only that title to go on. I didn’t know the plot or the characters, but I was certain of the title and the theme. That wasn’t the case with THE BASTARD. That book has gone through several variations of working titles from HONOR BOUND to THE MEASURE OF A MAN.

How important do you think a title is when selecting a book? Does it play a huge role in your purchases? Or do you care more about cover art or back cover copy? Or even the author? Which title do you like best (HONOR BOUND, THE MEASURE OF A MAN or THE BASTARD)? And which do you think conveys the most about the story as I've described it? Would you avoid a book called THE BASTARD, even if it was named that way because it was about a bastard son?

CONTEST: Brenda is donating one of her "For the Cure" Tee-Shirts (your choice of size) as a prize to one lucky commenter. To view the tee-shirt, visit: http://www.brendanovakforthecure.org/store/package.html
Romance Books R Us will add a tote bag as an additional gift. Contest ends midnight EST, 4 November. Put your email address in the comment box!

BIO:
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has four novels coming out this year. Three romantic suspense titles--INSIDE, IN SECONDS, IN CLOSE—published by MIRA Books will be available wherever books are sold. THE BASTARD, a historical romance, will be available for Kindle and POD November 1st. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at http://www.brendanovak.com. To date, she’s raised over $1.3 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

BLURB: The Bastard
To some men honor is just a word. . .

Jeannette Boucher, a young French beauty from a family left penniless by the revolution, must marry against her will to save them all from ruin. Her husband, a wealthy English baron, is more than twice her age. But almost immediately after the vows are spoken, she learns that the baron is impotent — and in his desire for an heir, he plans to compromise her in the worst possible way.

Determined to escape such a fate, she flees to the teeming docks of Plymouth — and stows away on one of His Majesty's frigates. But that doesn't make her safe. A woman alone is in constant danger.

But to Lieutenant Treynor, honor means everything. . .

Born a bastard to a wayward marquise, Lieutenant Crawford Treynor was given to a poor farmer to raise and was maltreated until he ran away to join the Royal Navy as a lad. He's had to climb up the hard way, without benefit of money or connections. Treynor is determined to prove he's as good as any other man and rise to captain his own frigate. But once he finds Jeannette aboard The Tempest he must decide whether to return her to the man he knows would abuse her — or risk everything, even his life, to keep her for himself.

LINKS:
http://www.brendanovak.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Brenda-Novak/120794854630624

164 comments:

Amanda Holly said...

Love the title of the book! But then again I'm always drawn to the bad boy! Although the hero isn't a bad boy I still love the sound of it!

My vote goes for the unexpected which is why I'll be putting The Bastard on my Christmas holiday reading list!

amanda@romancewriters.co.za

Patsy said...

What's wrong with the title of the book? I don't find it offensive. I usually look at the cover of the book, no really noticing the title, and if I like it, I read the back,THEN look at the title when I buy it.
mom1248(at)att(dot)net

Paris said...

I'm drawn to a strong title that helps define the book and a great cover will always make me take a second look but it's usually the intriguing blurb that sells me. I'd definitely put this on my Christmas list!

Debby said...

Titles do not bother me. I buy books based on what is inside or who the author is. A bitch is a female dog and many people forget that . Why not forget the meaning a bastard?
debby236 at gmail dot com

Liz said...

Brenda! thanks so much for adding your voice to our group!
I go with titles as long as it's supported by a strong "back cover" description.
cheers
Liz

susan said...

The titles are not as important to me but some does POP OUT more then others. I would choose a book The Bastard by title as it stands out. I read back covers and also go by authors. New authors I read the back covers and see what the book is about. The Bastard sounds like my type of book and since I have read some of yours I know it is going to be a great book. You never disappoint me. I select the Bastard for the title. susan Leech garysue@dejazzd.com

Nancy Naigle said...

Okay...I'll sound like the goody two shoes but I'd probably not buy a book with that title unless I heard it was amazing.

I definitely look at my go-to authors first. (Brenda is one of them! Love her. So that book will be on my shelf!) Then the cover. Title is usually the last thing that gets my attention.

Hugs and happy reading~
Nancy

Desiree Holt said...

Brenda, I think I have every book you've written. They are all on my Keeper Shelf, virtual and otherwise, and give me a lot of reading pleasure. It was great meeting you at RT. You must be one of the nicest people I've ever met. And kudos to you on the success of your auction. I'll keep donating and so will my friends. It's such a worthwhile cause.

Adele Dubois said...

I'm always puzzled by people who say they're offended by a salty word in a romance novel (or cover)and fluster about sex in the storyline. Don't these folks ever watch TV? Go to the movies? Overhear conversations at the mall? You'll hear far more on the street and see more sex on cable and in the movies than anywhere else.

I like your title THE MEASURE OF A MAN very much. I do like interesting titles. THE BASTARD on the cover of an historical is self-explanatory.

Best--Adele

Sandy said...

Brenda, it takes all three; the author, the cover and the title to attract my attention. I knew exactly what your title, The Bastard, meant. Unfortunately, my husband never knew his father because he was a bastard.

Lizzie Walker said...

Brenda, hilarious post! It was fabulous meeting you at the NJ RWA conference. My NJ Chapter was and is proud to have you as a guest always.

Your workshop was one of the best in the entire two day conference and I happy to say you had my creative brain buzzing.

Now to the question of how I purchase a book. IF I do not know the author I will purchase a book in the following order:

1. Cover (I see you have cover model Sam Bond on your book; he is such a sweetie and I am glad to see he is getting very popular.)

2. Blurb on the back of the book. It has to capture me in the first two lines or I am off in lala land. I read a ton of books and I am doing my own writing so I find myself skipping a lot of books if it does not grab me right away.

3. Title. The more intriguing or comical the better. If I saw THE BASTARD on a book, I would immediately gravitate to that book.

For authors that I know and read like yourself Brenda, I just know I am going to pick up the book regardless of the cover or title and I might even skip over the blurb just because I know it's a guaranteed enjoyable read.

Great post ladies, and I can wait to read 'The Bastard' ;-)

bttrfly29@gmail.com
bttrfly29.blogspot.com

LauraP said...

Love your title, and I think it's the best fit for the story. I wouldn't buy based on title, though it would catch my eye, as do covers. I buy by authors in some cases, and when the story intrigues me the rest of the time.

Cindy A Christiansen said...

As a fellow author, I've found that title and cover art are both extremely important when readers choose a book.
What I find frustrating is that we all make such quick assumptions. They say the average attention span on the Internet is 9 seconds.
If we'd slow down, it'd be easy to see the cover and figure out the time period of The Bastard and that it's appropriate.
Are we all just looking for something to be offended by?

Michele Grabber said...

I go for title then back cover read. The front cover rarely sells me or dissuades me. I haven't read you previously, but am looking forward to it!

Lynne said...

fingershankins@yahoo.com

I think your title "the bastard" fits the book perfectly! When deciding on a book I like first the cover; then i check out the synpsis on the back!The title is the last thing I go for!

Chrisbails said...

If they are offended, let them be. You are free to choose any title that you want. It is a great title for the story.
I do choose a book by its author first, then cover, and then title. If I don't know the author then sometimes I choose by the cover. I am a total cover lover. I love covers of books.
Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
christinebails@yahoo.com

Renee Vincent said...

Hello Brenda! It is such a treat to see you here!!! And I loved your post, especially the cover model of your new release, The Bastard. We share the same cover model, Sam Bond.
See here

And yes, some titles just seem to hook me into wanting to read a book. Although I must admit, it's more the cover and the blurb that get me to click the buy link. I even go so far as to read the first paragraph of a book to get a taste for the author's voice. If she/he can intrigue me with the opening paragraph, then most times I will buy on the spot. I love a great opening line!

Thank you, Brenda, for taking time out of your VERY busy schedule to be with us. I love the charity you do and the books you write. Wishing you much continued success!

Molly Daniels said...

When buying print books, yes; the title/cover art catch my eye, especially if I've never read a particular author's work. But e-titles? I tend to make my choices based on the blurb/excerpt/interaction with the author (if we're on the same loops).

I also loved The Bastard and most of that series! Admittedly, Jakes' N&S series has been read so much the covers are falling off. I think the first one is even held together with duct tape:)

I like the sound of Honor Bound.

storimom2@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Depends on my mood. Sometimes the cover catches my eye, sometimes the title. I do have a few authors that as soon as I see them, I grab any books I don't have of theris. You happen to be on that list, Brenda, along with a few others.
Loved this cover.
Patricia
panthers.ravens@yahoo.com

Katalina Leon said...

Loved the blurb, Brenda, this books sounds wonderful. A strong title, attractive cover and talented author will get my attentions under any circumstances.
XXOO Kat

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Brenda, as a lover of historical romance, it gives me pause to think that a reader would be offended by the title. Thanks so much for visiting RBRU today and kudos on your work to fund a cure for diabetes. cindy (at) cindyspencerpape.com

Toni Noel said...

Great conflict in the The Bastard, Brenda. Can't wait to see what he decides to do.

Toni Noel

Tony-Paul said...

I agree the wording of a title is important. I've a novel called "Bargain with Lucifer" and was severely reprimanded by someone for writing a story about the devil. (What she actually said was that I was going to Hell for doing so.) I asked her if she'd read the book or the synopsis. No, of course not. Imagine her surprise when I told her it wasn't about the devil but a romance and the hero's name was Lucifer. (She didn't apologize, however.) As for "The Bastard," being literate enough to know the meaning of the word, the title would make me want to read it, just as it did the first in John Jakes' series.

Hales said...

I like the title. And I've seen offensive titles. Yours isn't to me in any type of way. I also love the cover it's breathtaking.

Can't wait to grab it!

mahalialevey@yahoo.com

Laura Kaye said...

Interesting story, Brenda. I do think titles are important, but I like this one. I like that its boldness and I think it says a lot about characterization and conflict. So more power to you! Oh, and I was a HUGE North and South fan myself! LOL

Enjoyed your post!

laurakayeauthor at gmail dot com

JL Walters said...

I seldom choose the book by the title but by reading the back blurb. Even covers don't bother me. I would read your book because what it's about. Interesting remark about the core story. Now I must wonder what mine is. Perhaps it's the quest for justice. The Bastard doesn't bother mea as a title.

katsrus said...

Hi Brenda. Big fan here. So excited you are here! Love your books!! A title like that would make me notice the book more. Some titles kind of just hit me. And I will buy the book. Sometimes it's the cover and also a cover might turn me off. I do try to read the burb to be fair. I do the the title The Bastard. I have to check your historicals I have not read those yet.
Sue B
katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

books4me said...

I have read a few of Brenda's suspense romances and sat on the edge of my seat, never wanting the book to end! I am not much of an historical romance reader but this book sounds pretty good AND it's written by Ms. Novak:)

I am drawn to my favorite author's and could care less what the cover looks like! BUT if it's an author I am not familar with and the back of the book/blurb is so-so, the cover can make or break it for me!

Thank you for the giveaway!

books4me67 at ymail.com

Harlie Reader said...

I love the title and some people are just too uptight. The title fits the cover, the blurb and the content of the book.

I love historical romance and some of the titles are a bit more racy but very appropriate for the genre.

Thank you for coming to RBRU.

BTW, I love your other books, too and keep up the fight for a cure for diabetes.

maw1725@gmail.com

Sara York said...

I love the title. Can't wait to read it.

Amber Skyze said...

I like the title and look forward to reading the book. It's great to see you visiting RBRU!

Booksrforever123 said...

Hey Brenda,
It's great to see you getting around to other blogs and spreading the word about diabetes in such an innocent way. lol I usually find that many books share the title with many different authors so keeping them straight sometimes becomes a problem. To actually buy a book, I read the blug on the back to see if the story premise strikes my interest, unless it is one of my favorite authors and then I might buy it just because they wrote it.
Carolyn
j-coverholser at sbcglobal dot net

Erica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WK said...

Hi Brenda! I soo want that shirt!!! As for your question for me it can be any or all or none. It really truly depends on my mood. I have bought books with a Scottish theme because I saw the "highland" something or "Scotland" something. I've bought others purely because I LOVED the cover or adored a heroes' eyes or because the price we right, others I bought without looking at anything because they were by an auto-buy author.

As for THE BASTARD. I guess for me I just knew it was historical and what it meant. So I never even thought about it.

hugs,
WendyK

Erica said...

I love the title and can't wait to pick this one up. I have always participated in your annual auction for diabetes and hope that you will have continued success. ejp737@gmail.com

Emma Paul said...

Hey it's great reading blogs by such awesome authors, I love your book covers...thanks for sharing with us!

Danielle Monsch said...

When I heard the title of your book, I immediately grasped that is was about the situation surrounding his birth, but I also thought it was a bold choice to choose that title.

Thought (and talk) provoking!

Dani AT DanielleMonsch DOT com

Jo Anne said...

I usually look for my favorite authors, Brenda, first then looking at the title and cover kind of at the same time.
There is nothing wrong with the title of your book. It is the 21st century. If someone finds it offensive then you don't want them as a reader.

REGINA ROSS said...

Hi Brenda, i love your books including your newest :)

reginamayross@gmail.com

Karen Cote said...

Hi Brenda! *waves* You know I'm a big fan of yours. You are an amazing artist as well as a genuine, caring person. I know exactly just how caring having personally received such kindness and generosity in the past from you. Hugs and second guessing your decisions will always play a part to any conscientious writer. You are such a person as evidenced by your concern in your post. It's why you are so loved.

June M. said...

I don't see anything wrong with the title of the book. Titles and book covers may help get my attention, but more so an author's name. These will usually get my attention and then I will read the blurb. If that sounds good to me, I try to find an excerpt or two to read. This book does sound good. And congrats on raising so much money and attention for diabetes.
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Robin Haseltine said...

I am so looking forward to reading this! I love historicals, and from the blurb, it sounds like it'll be a great read. And LOVE the title :)

orelukjp0 said...

I first choose a book because of an author. If I like an author, I'll buy everything they write. I have a list of approximately 50 authors that I read & collect all their stories. I also read blurb & excerpts from authors not on my list. If it sounds good, i'll buy it to try. And yes, your name is on my list and your auction is in my calendar every year.

Oreluk0 at gmail dot com

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Brenda

I didn't actually think of the title as denoting anything other than historical illegitimacy , expecially with the rather lovely cover which I thought made the title self-explanatory. However I think you make a very valid point -sometimes it's easy to offend without meaning to, and while I agree as writers we should do our utmost not to, there will always be some people who will take something the 'wrong way' and construe a meanig that was not meant.

Both cover and title play a part in my choice of a book, but if the 'blurb' doesn't draw me in I'll probably put it down again (or click on to another one). I have to admit your blurb for 'Bastard' makes me want to read the book straight away!

Janice said...

Hi Brenda,

I don't find the title of you book offensive. I remember the Bastard, it was made into a mini series on TV. The first thing I thought of was that show, so I automatically thought your book had to be a historical novel.

Good luck with your release, it sounds really good.

Janice~

orelukjp0 said...

SORRY, email should be......

orelukjp0 at gmail dot com

Nancy said...

When I first hear of a book, the title does draw some interest, but I really want to see the cover. The cover sells me. And, because I am a voracious reader, I have too many favorite authors. If I bought a book simply because of the author, I would have MILLIONS!

Dawn Roberto said...

I love the cover and the title is great Brenda.

I love finding a cover that tells me a bit about the story before I read the blurb. :)

love2read28@gmail.com

Sheri Fredricks said...

Honestly, I look at the cover first. If I'm intrigued, then I'll turn to the back blurb. I like titles, but they're not the make-it, break-it for me.

MANY people don't think about the meaning behind words, like your encounter with the commenting reader. We happen to raise dogs and our son was called on in 3rd grade to talk about his pet. He started out, "My bitch is six years old..." I spent a half hour with him in the principal's office, explaining and defending. *sigh*

Looking forward to reading THE BASTARD.

Sarah Ballance said...

A really clever title will catch my attention, but I don't often disqualify a book based on title alone. (I'm sure there's an exception out there, LOL). And as much as I'd like to say I don't judge a book by it's cover, if I'm looking at a bunch of covers I'm naturally drawn to the books with covers that appeal to me. I probably miss out on a lot of great stories that way, but I don't have much browsing time to be thorough. =c(

I love the title THE BASTARD. It's one I'd click on just to see why the story conjured such a title. :c)

sarah at sarahballance dot com

lizjasper.com said...

Hi Brenda, I think the title of your newest does have one do a double-take, but that's okay because when you look back at the book as part of that double-take, you can clearly see that it's a good fit for an interesting story. So there! Well done!

Titles do help me choose a book to some degree. A good title gives you insight into the story.

Great, thoughtful post!

Liz Jasper
Author of UNDERDEAD (A mystery, which as you can tell from the title contains vampires and is a bit irreverent.)

Author Brynna Curry said...

Hi,

I love the title and think it fits your story perfectly. The genre should be explanation enough. Ah, but there will always be someone who might be offended by strong language (regardless of the meaning)in a title. I choose what's best for the book, always, and agree to disagree with those who don't like my choice.

As far as the importance of titles...
With ebooks, I think cover and title are the author best chance to drawn in a reader. There are a lot of choices and most of us will probably click for blurbs or excerpts if the book image looks intriguing.

For print books, I notice the cover first, then author, title is inconsequential. But the blurb has to hook me or I probably won't buy it, even if it's a big name author.

I'm adding your book to my TBR list, sounds like it will be a great read.

Brynna Curry
brynna@brynnacurry.com

L. j. Charles said...

Hi, Brenda.

First off, I love the title, Bastard. It fits and combined with the cover, tells the reader a lot about the story. I'd definitely pick it up to read the blurb.

Covers mean a lot to me. More than title. And whether I'm in a bookstore or shopping online, I almost always "Look Inside" to see if I like the author's voice. That's really important to me, too.

L. j. Charles

Jess Woslager said...

I like the title!! I judge a book by the cover, title, blurb, or whatever. I just looooove to read! Thank you for being a guess blogger!

wosyjess@gmail.com

Kathryn R. Blake said...

The Bastard as a title doesn't offend me at all, and I also knew immediately what you meant by it. Of the three choices you gave us, I think The Bastard is the best, too. And I really like the cover.

As for what influences my purchasing decisions, some authors are "automatic buys" for me. So, cover and title in that case have no influence at all on my buying decision. If I'm at a book store, and all I see are the spines of the books, an intriguing title can prompt me to pick the book up and take a longer look. A spectacular cover can actually influence my to buy a book if I like the story concept.

For electronic books, probably the title holds more influence for me over the cover, although I almost always read an excerpt or sample based on the book's description before I buy it. Another thing that can prompt me to at least download a sample is Amazon's or B&N's offered recommendations. Price can also be a factor.

If I can't find enough information available on the book store site for me to decide, but I'm still interested, I'll actually seek out the author's and publisher's site to see if I can find a sample excerpt there.

The Bastard's cover is gorgeous, and the title would intrigue me enough to pick up the book and read what it was about. The description you provided here would seal the deal for me, and I'd buy the book.

Thanks for sharing, Brenda. Enjoyed your post.

Night Owl Reviews said...

I think it might be offensive to someone not familiar with historical romance, but it makes perfect sense to historical romance readers. We are used to this core theme in our books.

With your background of also writing suspense you might find that your more suspense core readers might not understand the theme / title choice. So I think this might be situation centered.

Having something different like this could also drum up some publicity and be a good thing. Get readers talking!

Jess Woslager said...

I judge a book by its cover, title, blurb, review, or author!! I just really looove to read. Thank you for being a guest blogger!!

wosyjess@gmail.com

Lisa Kessler said...

Hi Brenda -

I like your title and immediately thought it must be a historical...

Also it's short and easy to remember which always helps when I'm book shopping later on my Kindle! LOL

Thanks for the fun blog & good luck with the new release! :)

Lisa

Tabitha Shay said...

I took the title to mean exactly what it means and it doesn't offend me in the least. Titles are important and IMHO, should be a part of what the story is about. This sounds like my kind of book. Will be putting it on TBR list.
Tabs

Susan J Kohler said...

I judge a book by the cover art and title, then I read the blurb, and "about the author" and decide if I should buy it, read it in the library or ignore it--yours I would buy.
Sue

Sue Palmer Fineman said...

I love the title. In one of my books, the hero introduces himself to a room filled with people as "the bastard son of this town's two most prominent families."

You can't please everyone. It seems no matter what I write, there's always someone who doesn't like something about it.

Berengaria Brown said...

I think the title, "The Bastard" is an excellent one and very evocative of the historical era. I'm a huge fan of historical romances.
Berengaria
http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/

VenusBookluvr said...

I love the title! But I have loved the word ever since I saw the man from Snowy River and loved the way it sounded with the accent :-)
Can't wait to read the book!

Melissa Alvarez said...

Hey Brenda, Great to see you here! I look at the title, cover, and back cover blurb. If they keep my interest, I'll buy the book. While I have my gotta buy authors I also try out new authors based on those criteria.

Nay Nay said...

I like the title "The Bastard" don't change it.Sometimes the title will catch my attention first, then I look at the rest. If it's one of my favorite authors, I already know the title and am looking for it. A historical book with the title "the Bastard is self explanatory and if people get offended by a book title, they must not go to the movies or watch TV. there is way more sex, violence and language on TV than there is in even erotic romance books. so I say Blgh (giving raspberry) to those that get offended by a word like bastard. they need to grow up and stop being so prudish!

Thank you for sharing this little bit with us.

reneebennett35 at yahoo dot com

Jannine said...

Hi Brenda:
The bookcover is what catches my eye first. Then the title. If it's an author I like, I'll more than likely buy the book, but I'll give any author's book a read if it's interesting.

I want to thank you for your dedication to finding a cure for diabetes. I've been diabetic for 15years. It may not happen in my lifetime, but I'm sure this is one disease that will be cured.

Cher Green said...

I like the title, and would have immediately thought of the true meaning of the word. Especially with it classified as romance. Now thriller may have gave me other thoughts.

When I look for a book, the choice usually follows genre(what I'm in the mood for), titles can definitely grab my attention, but the deal is sealed by the back cover blurb. A nice cover is great, but can be overlooked.

I love your cover and your blurb. This is definitely something I'd have consider buying.

chergreen1@gmail.com

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

funny how illegitimate child wouldn't have offended where bastard, which means the same thing, did.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Brenda! I tend to be drawn in by the author first (if it's one I know)--and I wouldn't be put off by a title like that. It certainly isn't overtly offensive (unlike some words/titles might be). Congrats on this book--definitely looking forward to picking it up!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Mary Corrales said...

I love the title. I don't find it offensive. Then again, I like titles with punch. It's usually the cover that attracts my attention, but I buy based on the back cover blurb.

The blurb for THE BASTARD sounds just like the type of book I'd love.

Thanks again for being here with us on your release day!

catedid said...

Hi Brenda, Thanks for guest blogging today. I tend to pick my books by author and Brenda is one of my favorites. I do try to read 'new' authors' stories to broaden my 'horizons'.

Debbie said...

I choose a book by title, closely followed by the back cover blurb, then the cover. Covers don't always convey what is going on in the book, but I am not adverse to a little eye candy or beautiful countryside. The title needs to catch my attention (like The Bastard), then the story has to sound interesting or exciting, then on to the cover which is the icing, if the first two click then you've got my money. I have the authors that I read regularly but will read an unknown or someone I haven't read before if the book sounds interesting to me. I like the title The Bastard, then Honor Bound, then The Measure of a Man. I would have to say The Bastard describes it best for me, everyone knows what one is.

Dalton Diaz said...

It's a great title!

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Hi Brenda,
Great story. I too have suffered from title misinterpretations. The Bastard is a great one for the story. Good for you sticking to your guns.
Glad to see you here on RBRU!

Jill James said...

Sometimes titles will catch my attention. The Bastard is a cool title. I remember the John Jakes book. I blushed when I asked for it at the library. I was about 14 or 15 too.

I will spot author names first, some are auto-buys. Then the cover itself. I love cover art.

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Hi Brenda. It depends upon my mood to read a particular type of story. In bookstores, sometimes the cover will catch my eye, less often the title will make me pause. I have a few authors that I follow. I'll grab anything they write. You have several that have my interest peaked!
~Rose Anderson

Paty Jager said...

Sounds like a good read. When I look at a book it's the title and cover that draw me in first. Then the back cover blurb and the first pages.

451e162c-0437-11e1-90e5-000f20980440 said...

I usually use all three to deside on which book to buy. I go mostly by the author and back of the cover if it tells about the book.

Teresa Ryan
SnowBearLake@aol.com

Jenny Twist said...

I think a good title is really effective. It is the main factor in making me look at an unfamiliar author

Kari Thomas said...

I love the title! I have to admit, its usually the cover that catches my attention first, and then the title. Ive seen some really great ones ---and some really bad ones. But we all dont have the same "likes" so I think that leaves the field open.

Great post, Brenda!

hugs, Kari Thomas
www.authorkari.com

Shoshanna Evers said...

I think The Bastard is a great title, and the book looks wonderful! :)

desitheblonde said...

wow the cover and t he book is still great and then i would love to read a nd blog on it
desitheblonde2msn.com

J.E. Hopkins said...

Brenda, I absolutely love the title of your book and I am looking forward to reading it. Best of luck with this.

chey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sable Hunter said...

Thanks for taking your time to come visit with us. I love your work - you are an inspiration.
Sable Hunter

Gem Sivad said...

If the title is strong enough to offend, it's also strong enough to attract. I prefer that to a title that has been used by fifty other authors already.

chey said...

HONOR BOUND, THE MEASURE OF A MAN seems to portray what the book is about more fully. When I choose a book I think of what I've been told about the book by people I know, by blurbs and excerpts. I don't pay much attention to covers and titles because for years they never really had anything to do with the book.

chey127 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I think I'm more influenced by book covers than I am titles, sometimes I just browse the covers in the book store for something that looks interesting to me. I'm probably missing out on a lot of good stuff - you've given me a lot to think about.

Diane
too.many.cats@comcast.net

Denysé said...

Having interviewed Ms. Novak for my magazine earlier this year, I know she's a wonderful, charming and witty lady... That interview was also the prelude to becoming a huge fan of her work and I've got several of her titles waiting in my piles of books... I'm always amazed at how fast people are to announce they're offended by things like book titles - and then when explained, realize they've been wrong. What's sad is that we have to even make the explanations... At any rate, MUCH success, Ms. Novak - I'm sure this is another winner - it sounds fabulous!!

Warmest wishes,
Denyse
Email

Brenda Hyde said...

I love The Bastard as a title! I think it's indeed appropriate for a historical romance. As far as buying books or not buying them for the title-- I buy more because of the blurb and I will admit to being a cover snob to a certain extent.

Thanks for the contest and such a cool post:)

wayfaringwriter at gmail dot come

Laurie Ryan said...

I am initially drawn to a cover. I admit that freely. Yours is lovely, by the way. But once I see a cover that interests me, it's the whole package that sells the book. The title becomes equi-important. The Bastard, as a historical, intrigues me. The name doesn't send me packing at ALL. :) The story blurb is what hooks me enough to buy the book, though. Hmmm. That's probably why I hate writing story blurbs. :)
Great blog, Brenda!

Laurie Ryan said...

I am initially drawn to a cover. I admit that freely. Yours is lovely, by the way. But once I see a cover that interests me, it's the whole package that sells the book. The title becomes equi-important. The Bastard, as a historical, intrigues me. The name doesn't send me packing at ALL. :) The story blurb is what hooks me enough to buy the book, though. Hmmm. That's probably why I hate writing story blurbs. :)
Great blog, Brenda!

Cara Marsi said...

Brenda, welcome.

I like The Bastard. I read the John Jakes book and loved it. I think the title is perfect for your book which sounds terrific.

The title of a book might make me pick it up at a store or check it out on Amazon, but it's the back cover blurb that sells me on the book.

Beth Grant said...

The cover is what draws my attention first, the title stirs my interest enough to read the blurb on the back. I have found if the title is bold, then more than likely I will like the plot of the story. I seem to lean towards action/adventure rather than slow/mellow love stories. Your title is an attention grabber. I'll be adding it to my 'to buy' list!

Gina/Katherine said...

I have to laugh because I remember the miniseries based on the John Jakes books (starring the yummy Andrew Stephens!) and my mother was scandalized by the title, The Bastard. We had to call it "The Illegitimate One" around her. Best of luck with your Bastard. It will definitely be on my shopping list!

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Brenda,
From what you described, The Bastard, fits your story. I don't have a problem with that title and would probably be drawn to it because it is unique. I think maybe older people find that word more offensive because it used to be shameful to be a bastard.

shadow_kohler said...

Your book sounds great! Love the cover! Thanks for sharing and it was nice to meet you!
shadowluvs2read(at)aol(dot)com

Kathy Lane said...

Beautiful cover. Yes, I'd pick it up in a store in a heartbeat. The title is perfect. Conveys exactly what your story is about. Can't wait to read it!

Juana said...

I don't choose my books by the titles I usually select the books by either the author or the excerpt/blurb.

jmesparza821(at)gmail(dot)com

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

The first factor that has me checking out a book is definitely the author. While the cover may make me take a second or even a third look, the title is also only slightly less important. While I'm reading and definitely at the end, I turn the title over in my mind to see if it makes sense once I've read the book.
I'd never buy or not buy a book based on either the cover or the title. The storyline and the author is the ultimate factor in choosing or discarding a book for me.

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

keatonkat said...

It varies SO much! Sometimes I'm looking for a particular author's work, sometimes a cover or title catches my attention and I'll go to the blurb to see what's going on.

As I prefer titles that have at least something to do with the story I have to say GO FOR IT!!

kk

Marianne Stephens said...

Wow - thanks to everyone who came and commented for Brenda's guest blog! The contest runs a few days, and the winner will be announced on this blog...and contacted privately.
Brenda, many thanks for guest blogging today!

keatonkat said...

ooops!!

jworley9@earthlink.net

kk

JaneE2059 said...

The author is the top reason for checking out a book, and next is if the plot sounds interesting. The book cover is the least important to me. I've heard that authors can't always choose their own titles, so the titles don't matter so much to me, either.

JaneE2059 said...

I'm not sure I left my E-mail address with my comment, so here it is:

JaneE2059@aol.com

I enjoy your books, Brenda!

JaneE2059 said...

Brenda--Best of luck with your fight to find a cure for diabetes. I'm a diabetic, and my dad was before me. I hope your son is doing well.

JaneE2059@aol.com

Jacqueline Paige said...

I can't see the title of a book being an issue for me. The cover grabs me as I stroll by the author name has me pick it up (even if I don't know the name sometimes) and then the blurb is what sells it for me.

And then there's the other side of me that might just walk up to the nearest clerk and ask if The Bastard is out yet...

:)
Great to have you here, Brenda!!!

PhyllisC said...

I assumed, by the title of the book, that it was about someone of illegitimate birth. But then, the historical genre is my favorite and I think because I read a lot it made me think of that. (I should probably mention that the title does not offend me.)

I choose to buy and read a story based on the back copy, then the author, but a cover sometimes catches my eye and makes me pick up the book. But really doesn't have a part in my final decision to purchase the book.

I love Brenda books. And I admire her for all the time and effort she puts into her auction with what I am sure is already a very busy life.

Thanks for visiting us.

orelukjp0 said...

I just wanted to comment about the lady who had a problem with the name of your book. If she knew you were an author, a romance author, how could she not realize that the title referred to a child born out of wedlock to a nobleman. And that it was a common term. I am amazed at what people will object to. Thankfully I am a strong supporter of the " if you don't like it, don't look at or read it."
Can't wait to pick up my copy.

orelukjp0 at gmail dot com

Adelle Laudan said...

I'd probably buy the book because of its' title. Cover art does sway me as well.
You can't please everyone some days.
I wish you many sales and great success.

Cynthya said...

I really don't pay much attention to either the title or the cover art. For me, it's all about the author.

I wouldn't avoid a book called The Bastard and I don't find the title offensive. The blurb sounds great, by the way. The only problem I have with titles is if it's one that is so generic I can't remember if I've read the book already.

(not entering contest)

diannehartsock said...

Since your first book was 'Of Noble Birth', 'The Bastard' seems to fit right in. I would probably buy the book based on the back blurb, though. Sounds like a fascinating story.
Thanks for visiting!
diannewrites2(at)hotmail(dot)com

Brenda said...

Thanks, Amanda. So glad you like the title. Some have taken exception to it--until I explain the meaning. LOL Glad it will be on your Xmas list. It's only $2.99, so a steal of a price!

Brenda said...

Wow--I'm sorry that I was traveling to a speaking engagement for most of the day and am getting to this late. Looks like you are a lively crowd. Thanks for all the wonderful feedback!

Brenda said...

Thanks, Patsy and Paris! I like the title myself--and I LOVE the cover. Don't you think it's beautiful?

Brenda said...

My editor actually said she LOVED the title. That made me feel better. :-)

Brenda said...

Hi Nancy--

Thanks for your feedback. I think in the historical context it takes the edge off the title, no?

Great to see you here!

Brenda said...

Desiree, what a nice note. Thank you so much. It was fabulous meeting you at RT, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for the support you've given my auction.

Brenda said...

Hi Adele--

I took THE MEASURE OF A MAN from a country music song. It's a great song--but THE BASTARD just fit the story better, you know?

Brenda said...

Hmmm...maybe I should've asked you awesome ladies to judge the back cover copy. LOL You guys are GOOD!

Brenda said...

How sad for your husband, Sandy. I'm sorry. I like themes where people have to overcome great odds, and that's definitely part of this book.

Brenda said...

Thank you, Lizzie. The New Jersey conference was amazing. You guys are a class act. So glad I could come.

Thanks for your comments, and thanks for your support of my work. You bring up a great point--author brand. It so important, isn't it?

Brenda said...

Good question, Cindy. Sifting is something we all do and some do it too quickly--like ME. I forwarded an email to someone yesterday without reading the whole thing. I saw one line that I knew would please them and saved the email to read more carefully when I finished my book (which was due today). When I went back and read the email more carefully, I realized it contained some stuff that would offend the person I forwarded it to. Oi! I feel so bad. Lesson learned, eh?

Brenda said...

Michele--

Thanks for being willing to give one of my books a try. Do you like romantic suspense? Or are you more interested in the historicals?

Brenda said...

Chrisbails, I'm so like you. I LOVE covers!!

Brenda said...

Thanks, Renee, for your nice note. I didn't realize the cover was Sam Bond. He is amazing, isn't he? Glad I now know his name.

Brenda said...

Molly, a fellow John Jakes fan. I've been surprised by how many people don't know who he is. In a way that's good, since I ripped off his title. LOL

Brenda said...

Thanks so much, Patricia. I'm flattered to be on your auto-buy list. I hope you like the latest books. I've had four books come out in a short time but won't have a release until next September.

Brenda said...

Okay, I should've read further. There is a lot of John Jakes fans here. Yeah! I'm not alone (I was feeling pretty old--LOL).

Brenda said...

Tony-Paul, how funny about that woman taking exception to Lucifer. I don't understand why some people have to take that kind of thing so far. LOL

Brenda said...

Thanks so much, SueB! I really appreciate the support!

Brenda said...

LauraP, I think I tend to buy according to author, too. I remember buying anything with Sidney Sheldon's name on it when I was in junior high and first came across BLOODLINES.

Brenda said...

Books4me--

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you've enjoyed my suspense novels. I think INSIDE, the beginning of this new trilogy, is one of my best, if you haven't tried it.

Brenda said...

Thanks, Karen & Regina. You guys are awesome!

Brenda said...

Wow, this is one of the best visits I've ever had on a blog. What a friendly crowd. Thanks to all who have commented that I may have missed. I've read every comment and enjoyed them all. I appreciate the support you guys have given to my fundraising, too. That's why the T-shirt was designed with an army of gray ribbons--to represent every one of you.

Brenda said...

Robin, I hope you love it! Let me know what you think!

Brenda said...

Thanks, Brynna, for giving THE BASTARD a try. Let me know what you think!

Brenda said...

NightOwlReviews, you make some GREAT points! I think you're right. Some of my suspense readers will definitely assume the negative connotation (with good reason). LOL

Brenda said...

Venus, that's one of my favorite movies. I LOVE the part where he goes over that cliff. Gives me chills just to think about it!

Brenda said...

Gem, you also make a good point. I guess it will get people to at least take notice!

Brenda said...

Thank you, Denyse. You did a great interview. Thanks for supporting me and my work.

Nickie Asher said...

Great post. I notice the cover first and then the author when browsing books.

Eva said...

Almost always the author is the draw, though title and cover will sometimes have a strong pull also.

Great stories, Brenda - Thanks very much!

PhyllisC said...

I just realized as I read all the comments that I forgot to leave my email address on my previous post.

pnc07 (at) aol (dot) com


Thanks again Brenda for visiting! You are the bomb!! LOL

Tina Donahue said...

Your new romance sounds wonderful, Brenda. :)

Michelle said...

Book sounds great. As far as offending people there is just no way not to. Some people are offended by everything even the insinuation of something improper. The main things that make me buy a book are the blurb & excerpt, I will buy a book from a favorite author just because of the author. Title & covers might catch my eye, but don't really effect my choices much other than I may enjoy some more than others, I have some books that have really odd covers or strange names but the books themselves were terrific and made it to the keeper shelf.

shadow31071 (at) suddenlink (dot) net

Sheri Fredricks said...

I posted a comment earlier and totally spaced on leaving my contact info!

Sherifredricks@charter.net

Thank you!!

terrndeb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
terrndeb said...

I love the title and will be putting this book on my wish list for Christmas.

terrndeb@yahoo.com

P McCrillis said...

Cover art draws my eye first, then the title. I avoid syrupy titles. An article in RWA's monthly publication stated that an author sells more books than either art or title.

The title of you book is perfect for the story. A reader familiar with historical romances would immediately know that the context of the word. Don't change it!

Thank you for an excellent article.

kaisquared said...

Brenda, I am looking forward to reading The Bastard. If a book is not already on my autobuy list due to the author (AKA Brenda, SEP, Lori Foster, Xtina, Sunny, Rocki, etc), I look at the whole package.... title, cover and backcover information. To paraphrase a famous quote, "Don't let the bas***** get you down!"


emmasmom AT wi DOT rr DOT com

Fran Lee said...

I firmly believe that all three must be equally hot...if even one of the three is not right on, I usually pass over the book. I am a very picky reader. Of course, if the author is on my auto-buy list, I don't bother to look at covers or read synopsis...as long as that book meets my needs between the covers (pun intended)I will overlook the rest. Great post!

Tammy Dennings Maggy said...

Brenda, when I first read the title of your book, I immediately remembered the John Jakes book. Then a few sentences later, you mention it and I smiled again. I loved that entire series. I chose that book at first because of the title, and then kept reading them because of the author. Maybe it's because I am a "potty mouth" that those words don't bother me one bit.

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

Love the titles of books, but it is usually it's a combo of title & author & blurb. I've read several books through the years where the title had absolutely nothing to do with the story, and left me wondering what was the point in the title?
But your book catches the point in the blurb alone, and I have already added it to my buy list..*S*
Thank you for the great post!

Darcy
pommawolf @hotmail.com

Sapphire Phelan said...

For me so many factors lead to picking up a book. But that's me.

Brenda said...

Interestingly enough, I also have a book out this month called A FAMILY BY CHRISTMAS that is part of Harlequin's new heartwarming series. They took one of my older Superromances and stripped out any allusion to sex or violence (and, of course, every hint of profanity). It's very sweet now. I'll be interested to see how it does.

Brenda said...

Thank you, Darci! I hope you enjoy it! :-)

Brenda said...

Tammy, another John Jakes fan. Yeah!!! Wasn't that series amazing?

Brenda said...

LOL Fran!

Brenda said...

Great quote, Kaisquared. So good to see you here. You've always been a great support. THANK YOU!

Brenda said...

I do think it's perfect for the story, but will probably change the title. I just realize that it will might get stuck in spam filters when I try to send out my newsletter, etc. I hadn't thought of that very practical problem when I started this. Bummer! Well, how does HONOR BOUND sound?

Brenda said...

You're right, Michelle. There's just no way to please everyone. It's a hard lesson for someone who's as much of a pleaser as I am to learn--but I think it's a necessary part of my maturation! LOL

Sandy said...

Thank you, Brenda. I think it's sad,too, that he never met his father.

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