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Monday, November 3, 2014

Sue Grimshaw: Random House: Choosing a Title/New Books/Giveaway!
Happy Holiday season to everyone – and thanks once again to Romance Books ‘4’ Us for hosting Loveswept once again.

Giveaway Alert: Comment and you may win a copy of the four books (ebooks) shown below: 4 winners will each receive one of the books! Put your email address in the text box with your comment, please. Giveaway ends 5 Nov at midnight ET.

Today’s topic, which I hope you’ll find interesting, because it is one of my favorite things to do, is choosing a title. I thought I’d share by example giving you the inside scoop of how we decide on titles for our books.

It may or may not surprise you that there is not a big mystery behind it – at all. Our main concern is that we choose titles that depict the story. Though there are other parameters we feel are necessary in the process as well like --- the titles need to be sexy, indicate a romantic story, indicate a genre and so on ---- it’s not nearly as difficult as you may think.

Let me show you a few examples -- I think sometimes images help explain things better than words, don’t you? Especially when the images are of our Loveswept romance covers

This month we have some really fun new stories –


Wild Nights by Tina Wainscott – Since the book is part of a series, The Justiss Alliance, we wanted the titles to be different but reflect a similarity for branding purposes, to be easily recognizable indicating that it is part of the series: Wild Hearts; Wild on You ; Wild Ways and now, Wild Nights – and the cover works so well with the title, don’t you agree?

For Stacey Kennedy’s next Club Sin book Freed, the title just called out to both the author and I – the story is about allowing yourself to love again and this title seemed to fit the story perfectly.


Debut Regina Cole launches her first Flirt romance in her Sinful Skin series, Draw Me In – since the hero and heroine love art and both work at a tattoo shop we thought the title was a no brainer complimenting the cover image.

A Cowboy’s Christmas Promise was a title that took a little bit of brainstorming. Maggie and I started with Mistletoe Promise but realized quickly that it was only a working title. A Cowboy’s Christmas Promise is the second book in the Whisper Creek series which includes a very strong western theme, and cowboys! Nice title revision, don’t you think – and I adore this cover:

Although I’m only highlighting a few of our November releases be sure to check out these authors stories too – I know you’ll not want to miss these heartfelt stories:
Want It by Jennifer Chance
Until You Find Me by Amber Hart
What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara
A Cursed Bloodline by Cecy Robson

Happy Romance!!

Sue Grimshaw ∙ Category Specialist & Editor at Large - Penguin | Random House Publishing Group | BBD - Loveswept, Flirt
Twitter - @SueGrimshaw or
Flirt  Loveswept
Pinterest  Google+ 


Lil said...

I can certainly see the logic in the choice of titles and branding for a series. It must be rather fun to brainstorm ideas for titles.

Have a soft spot for Loveswept. Had read some Harlequin romances friends had passed to me as a teen, but fell very hard for romances with my first purchased romance. It was Loveswept's Pepper's Way by Kay Hooper.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Sam Cheever said...

I love titles. I think my romantic suspense series, Honeybun Heat, became popular initially because the word Honeybun is in all the titles. It was fun, quirky, and implied sweet, gooey romance. LOL Thanks for sharing your title insights!

Debby said...

I can see how the title comes about. I would enjoy that part of the writing. There are some titles thought that defy logic.

debby236 at gmail dot com

Renee Vincent said...

It's funny how some titles seem to jump right off the page, while others are harder t come up with. And like Debby said, some titles just defy logic.

Thanks for stopping by today and hanging with us at RB4U! As always, it's a pleasure to read your posts, Sue.

Rose Anderson said...

I find titles tricky. Thanks for sharing your perspective on making them pop, and thanks for joining us today, Sue. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Titles can be murder. Thanks for the insight in choosing ones that fit. Great post, Sue. Thanks for joining us today. :)

Cris Anson said...

Excellent post. I agree that a title is very important. Sometimes I'll see a title on a bookstore's shelf that compels me to pick it up and read more.

The title of my first erotic romance was a no-brainer - Dance of the Seven Veils - because the heroine actually did just such a dance for the hero. But I have trouble figuring out a title for a whole series.

Polly McCrillis said...

The art makes me pick up a book off the shelf and the title makes me either put it back down or open it. Titles for my books evolve as the WIP does. I like the examples you gave, Sue. And the cover art.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Sue! Selecting titles can be tricky and just plain ol' frustrating too. My new book was easy. My holiday story--yeah, not as. But I queried many people and they agreed Holiday Disaster worked.

Sandy said...

Hi Sue,
What a fantastic way to come up with titles.

Victoria said...

I understand the need to have a good title - that and the cover art are the first things that draw me in - then the back blurb and finally, the first page. I often have trouble with titles - they can sometimes be more challenging than writing the book!

Paris said...

Loveswept titles were always keepers for me! I discovered so many new authors and still love them today. As for titles, sometimes they come before the story materializes and sometimes I'm at the end before I get a glimmer. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

Janice Seagraves said...

I go about naming a book very carefully. It has to work with the book and if there's a series it has to go with the titles that follow it.

Thank you for sharing your titles and how you go about finding them.


Berengaria Brown said...

Thank you for visiting, Sue. I suck at choosing titles, yet they're so very important.

E. Ayers said...

I find titles and blurbs difficult.Fist I write this nice long book. Then I'm supposed to narrow the whole book down to a few sentences for a blurb? But the worst is trying to whittle that down to just a few words for the title.

Thanks so much for showing us your process.

my name as it appears above
followed by at, and then my website

Barbara Donlon Bradley said...

I agree with you Sue. You do want your title to fit the story. There are times when they come to very easily and others when I feel like I have to rip them out of my head.


jbiggar said...

Hi Sue,
Thanks for the insights on how you choose titles. My question is do you check these titles against others on buying sites? Do you try to pick with keywords in mind? I know branding is important, just curious what else to look for when deciding.
Jacquie Biggar

Melissa Keir said...

I have the hardest time coming up with a title. I have ideas but they don't sound right. Any hints on how to make it easier?

I do enjoy finding some help from friends! <3

daringzoey at

Gemma Juliana said...

I enjoyed your insights, Sue. When I go book shopping, titles captivate me as much as a mystery would do. They often factor into my buying decision as long as the rest of the package does, too.

Sue said...

Hi Lil - thanks for stopping by - Kay Hooper was a fave for me too!

Sue said...

Hi Sam - I think naming conventions can't hurt!

Debby - LOL I hear ya and can think of a few :)

Renee - great to be here!!

Rose - Tina - Cris - fabulous to meet you all!

Sue said...

Hi Polly - the covers are the most fun!

Vicki - Sandy - Victoria, thanks for stopping by - Victoria, I agree - sometimes titles are just impossible!

Hi Janice & Berengaria - thanks for commenting!

Sue said...

E. Ayers - copy is a pain, we have a team that helps us with that - thank God! They have that marketing spin they put on the blurb and it works!!

Sue said...

Hi Barbara - great to see you!!

Jacquie - yes, there are buzz words - Sheikh used to be a 'hot' one - now it's billionaires, bad boy, etc.

Melissa, when you really come up empty I look at song titles - romantic song titles. Many times I delve into the book and look for scenes that mean something and then try to develop titles from there. There's not absolute answer *sigh* :)

Sue said...

Gemma - I sooooooooooooooooo agree with you! If a books title sounds dated - I'm not interested - very good point.

Sue said...

Thanks RB4U for allowing Loveswept to visit once again --
And, prizes will be sent pronto!! Many thanks,

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