I've just had word EXIT MUSIC is the title of the forthcoming Rebus book, and all the angst over this title (which perhaps only us Rankin fans have been aware of) has prompted me to think long and hard about the significance of titles. I love it when I read a book and (seldom thinking about titles, as I do) suddenly feel so stupid because the title is so subtly brilliant and fitting.

But I do suck at coming up with titles. How important are titles to you, as readers? As writers? Has a title alone ever been enough to grab you and compel you to read a book?

I'd say it's like many other things. A good title adds to the total package. A bad title can dissuade a sale, but I'm doubtful titles alone - alone! - prompt a lot of sales. What do you guys think?

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If I am browsing the crime shelf at the bookstore, then titles are very important to get me to the stage of picking the book off the shelf, reading the back, dipping in etc before deciding whether to buy it or mentally add it to my to be bought list.
Well, for me, if it's an author I'm already a fan of, title doesn't really mean much one way or another. But for new authors, someone I've never heard of, the right title will catch my interest. I might not decide to read the book, but the title at least made me pick it up.
absolutely agree Norby. Two titles that caught my attention yesterday were "Conned" and "Tenderwire"
As a reader, if it's an author I haven't read before, titles make a difference. Deciding which of an author's books on the shelf that I'm going to buy will often depend not just on the cover blurb but on the title as well.

As an author, I generally don't try to pick a title until I'm at least partway through the book. The title tends to suggest itself once I've gotten far enough into it.


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