Trends in book titles

In 2016, I saw many books with Light or Air in their title. I also saw a lot of “50 shades of…”

This year I am seeing a lot with water in the title. Interesting to me. Curious as to how authors come up with their titles.

I am not a reader of Romance novels, and I no longer read (or at least I don’t review) Erotica, but I am sick to pieces of seeing “50 Shades of…” in the title.

Even if I did read Romance or still reviewed Erotica, the lack of originality in the title would turn me away from buying that book.

I’m sure the sales numbers on these books would disagree with me, but I am seriously sick of the “50 Shades” trend. And yes, I got caught up in the excitement of The 50 Shades of Gray noise. I read the first one, skimmed the second one, and barely glanced at the third one.

I did not enjoy them at all. There are WAY better stories out there than 50 Shades of Gray. The BDSM lifestyle was not portrayed accurately at all, in my opinion.

But again…the sales for those books and movies, will be in disagreement with my opinion, and that is okay.

At this point, anything with “50 shades” in its title makes it feel gimmicky to me.

How do you feel about this trend?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. T. R. Robinson
    Jan 18, 2017 @ 08:18:26

    I have never read Fifty Shades or anything similar: I never would. What I know of the book has simply been gained from social media comments.

    I do agree with you about the overuse of title words. I have always wondered why a title may not be copyrighted. It makes little sense to be able to protect the manuscript but not the title. After all it is an integral part of a book. The abuse of titles, as you have outlined, highlights the point. To copyright them would not only protect authors but would also help readers; it would do away with the the potential mistake of picking up the wrong book.

    Liked by 1 person


    • januarygray
      Jan 18, 2017 @ 08:25:13

      That’s a great idea! I wonder why they can’t be? I just wish some authors would put more effort into their titles. As you pointed out, it can get confusing for readers. I went to a book signing for John Sandford several years ago. He has a “Prey” series, and it’s like…Eyes of Prey, Rules of Prey, etc. He said that was one of his biggest mistakes making every title like that. He said he even gets confused sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person


  2. Hunter S. Jones
    Jan 17, 2017 @ 15:50:38

    Whatever happened to originality in fiction? Great post, btw & HNY!



  3. wendyunsworth
    Jan 17, 2017 @ 13:19:17

    ‘The girl’ surely has to be the next trend to bite the dust.
    The gIrl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Gone Girl
    The Girl on the Train
    The Girl with all the Gifts
    The Girl Before
    … to name but a few.
    I think this one has been done now for a while!

    Liked by 2 people


  4. Keith Hirshland
    Jan 17, 2017 @ 11:00:20

    Thought provoking post. Whenever I see a “take off” in the title that book automatically drops a notch in my estimation. I guess my feeling is if the author didn’t have enough respect for his/her work to come up with an original title why should I respect it. There are exceptions of course (aren’t there always) mostly limited to comedic works or satire.

    Coming up with a title has been one of the challenging parts of the writing process for me. Cover Me Boys, I’m Going In was much easier than Big Flies but there was some wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth about both. I had several “working titles” for my mystery novel, Big Flies (14 to be exact). In the end I pulled from the body of the work and Big Flies hit me like the proverbial “ton of bricks”.

    I am currently working on my next novel and, again, have a few ideas for a title but as of yet nothing set in stone.

    Keep up the great work January Gray!

    Liked by 1 person


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