do and don't

Your title will change

When you query, don’t be overly concerned about the originality or “coolness” of your title.

If your title is ill-fitting, poor, inappropriate, or already in use, your agent will have you change it. When a publisher acquires it, they’ll pick a wholly new one 99% of the time. Titles always change.

You don’t need to search Amazon for your title and let me know it’s unique.

You also don’t need to stress over your title’s quality and whether that affects my interest in the manuscript. Good titles are fun, but I ignore forgettable titles because I know they don’t matter.

Most agencies want your title in the subject line of your email. This is purely so we can distinguish your query from the 10 others that just came in.

There’s something more memorable about SUCCUBUS’S DESIRE, THE ELM TREE ON BEACH STREET, and GRAZAX AND THE FISTUBBLES compared to Jake Lee, Isanna Mbungule, and Ann Grazaradzowski — no matter how unique their names may or may not be. The title makes sorting and finding easier: that’s all.


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