My love of query trends is well-documented, and people are often asking me what I see a lot of (whether they want to avoid or capitalize on trends depends on the person). One thing I’m prepared to declare official: the absolute most common titles include the words GATHERING and RISING. I always joke about how the ultimate title is THE SISTERHOOD OF THE CLUB CODE, but I think we’re going to have to change that to THE GATHERING OF THE SISTERHOOD OF THE CLUB CODE RISING.
Anyway, here’s an early You Tell Me since we’re going to be celebrating America’s birthday tomorrow (stay awesome, USA!): You Tell Me a million dollar book title, something that will send people scurrying to the bookstores. And heck, let’s just go ahead and make it a contest. It doesn’t have to be a parody like THE GATHERING OF THE SISTERHOOD OF THE CLUB CODE RISING, it could be something more straightforward like THE HOMEBOY PHONE (I’d buy that in a second) or THE BLACK SWAN (that one is taken, but is extremely awesome).
The winner (chosen at my sole and completely irrational discretion) will get their own query critique, and, of course, the bragging rights that come with winning a contest on a random blog.
Let the games begin!
If I Did It (You Would All Be Dead Now) by Tom Marvolo Riddle
Screwing the Bank
Can I submit more than one?
Chanterelle Billow Crest (ennui of a chef involved in the Manhattan project)
The Eighth Day of the Week (a self help book about time management)
Rumors of the Iron Eagle (memoirs of a US/USSR double agent)
The Invisible Piñata (a romance between a US border guard and an illegal alien)
Toll on the Wire Rode (political satire about internet censorship)
Christopher M. Park says
Hmm, a million dollar idea… based on two other million dollar ideas… how about HARRY POTTER’S SECRET?
John Levitt says
“How To Tell If They’re Secretly Gay.”
“How To Tell If You’re Secretly Gay.”
Here’s a few…
“The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape”
“The Final 48, or The Five People I’m Going To Meet In Hell”
“How To Kill A Consultant”
The Pickle Jar
A Crack In the Pavement
“Clue Number 32 – Cold Vomit”
“Nancy Drew Her Semi-Automatic”
“A Smoked Cheese Pig and a Whole Lot of Nothing”
“A Pair of Dice in Paradise”
She Uses a Machete to Cut Through Red Tape
Borrowing from the great band, Cake.
Purgatory: It’s Okay
Jack Be Nimble
After I Killed My Sister, I Ate A Small Piece of Cherry Chip Cake
I’ve just developed a crush on Brian.
Just give people what they want:
“Make Millions by Sitting on Your Ass”
“Get Rich by Playing Video Games”
Something like that. 😉
Alien Hookers of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
And one I’m actually playing around with:
Happy Cheerful Goth Kids: The Musical
I briefly considered changing the title of my most recently completed novel to (drumroll, please) …
…because I thought it sounded kind of cool, but it doesn’t actually suit the book.
Related to The Black Swan, a friend of mine often berates me for an insightful observation I once made on the banks of a river…
Swans are Bastards
It’s just that me and swans don’t see eye-to-eye. I intend to write a book exposing their evil one day.
Katie Alender says
“Spice: A Tale of Two Spouses”
Okay, I don’t know if it’s a million dollars’ worth of title. How about:
“The Men of Greater Influence”
Standing Still In Time
Learning to Break Free
The Secret to Nothing
The Pilot’s Daughter
Waiting for the Moon to Rise
Doodles on Napkins
Yesterday and Forever
Geesh, I’m bad at titles….
“A Surfeit of Tap Dancing Ski Divas”
(a mystery, of course!)
(could be mystery, could be sf, could be horror)
“To Dream in Multidimensional Colors”
(now that *has* to be a Lovecraftian pastiche!)
The Year of Sweaty Glands
My Six Ex-Wives
Of course it’s a fantasy.
My best real titles (not entries)
– the football movie: Black Sunday
– teen slasher movie: Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowlerama
– war: War of the Rats
– humor: The Tail of the Giant Rat of Sumatra; a Hemlock Stones mystery.
Threading the Mallet
Life Sucks, Then You Die: A Love Story
The Year of Saving Bertram from the Secret Code of the Rising and the Gathering
Therese Walsh says
Here are 5:
Smudge: A Ghost Story
The Death of God
and one from my son:
Mediterranean Peanuts from the Black Lagoon
I can’t edit my last comment/entry. I wanted to change the titles, but whatever. I’ll just put some here. I probably have too many. Oh well.
Behind Bars: The Paris Hilton Story
(oh no, that one probably IS going to become a book. gag me.)
The Moon Is Down( I know, I know – already taken.)
Nutcracker (has great possibilities.)
Snow Silent Tomb
by Colleen Rowan Kosinski
Also: The Soul Jar
Both of titles are possibilities for a fictional book I am writing about people in comas.
Colleen Rowan Kosinski
I saw this spray painted on an overpass decades ago and it stuck with me. Always thought it would be a great book title.
When I Said ‘I Do’ (by Hillary Clinton)
Your Guide to Getting Laid—
when you want, how you want, and by whom you want
tirra lirra says
10 Ways to Skip Taxes and Avoid the Slammer
The Perfect Book for People Who Aren’t
subtitle: No…you aren’t.
Phil Mickelson says
Why I Hate Tiger Woods
The Bed We Made…Ill-Fated Decisions of Our Gvernment and the Price You’ll Have to Pay
She Never Has to Know
The Gorgon Memoirs
The Gospel According to Cavendish
Oy, “M” Theory!
The Moonshiner’s Sonata
Crystal Jordan says
Contests, woot! I can’t resist!
Ennui: French For Life Sucks And Then You Die
The Accidental King-maker
Rising Sisterhood: A Series of Unfortunate Club Gatherings About The Code of The Magical Pants
This is great! I wish I logged on earlier.
My entries are:
1) The Dream Thief
2) Feathers, Moons, and a Wish for Huyana
3) Tick Tock
4) Random Stings
How many can we do? And when is this contest over?
OOps, Dream Thief is already a book. Sorry—
Tick Tock is also a title–sorry again. But Yay for me, because I love Dean Koontz and just ordered it off Amazon.
I’ll stop now. Good luck to everyone!
If You Say Nothing’s Wrong, I’ll Believe You
(Great gift for your bride-to-be)
Have an agent; just entering for fun says
How To Make Your Literary Agent A Million Bucks (And Make Yourself A Few Dollars In The Process)
The Death Wish of Mickey O’Shannon
Not In My Backyard – A Self-Help Guide To Keeping Your Yard Squirrel-Free
Here’s one I’ve used:
The Evening and the Night
earl scott says
How to Live Like Donald Trump Without Looking Like Him
Back Fat and Unwaxed Lips
Endless Vicissitudes: A Handbook to Your Teenager
Okay, last one!
“An Inconvenient Sleuth”
2) A Vivacious Man
3) Nirvana Lemmings
4) The Flying Pig Boutique
6) Of Inkwell Eyes and Gothic Mandibles
7) Jukebox of Humiliations
8) The Peanut Butter and Jelly Demon
Under the Bleachers
by Seymore Butz
Heidi the Hick says
(Okay, try #3. Darn kids keep using my computer)
Crushed By The Weight Of A Hundred Thousand Words
(because I’m really feeling that way)
or The Hundred Thousand Word Conspiracy Code