Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Death of John Collins: The Death of this title?

I'm wondering if 'The Death of John Collins' is a strong title or not. I've never been completely happy with it, though it is better than the (awful, top secret) working title. It's a good title from the point of view of its relationship to the novel itself, and it's probably unique, but it's on the long side, it sounds a little bit too 'literary', and I don't think it looks great on a cover:
(slightly tweaked from last time you saw it, in response to feedback).

Here's what I'm thinking about instead;
It looks better on the cover, it's punchier, and it cuts right to the key selling point of the novel. It also has the benefit of linking better with the cover image, which I'm quite keen to keep after all this work on it. (I haven't quite finished deciding whether this one should go out under my name or a pen name - see yesterday - so I've left my name on there for now; this is subject to change without notice, though).

My worry now is this; is 'Destroyer of Time' too generic or too over-the-top? I'm repositioning the book as a less thinky, more YA-oriented sort of thing, so I'm not as worried as I would have been to have a slightly extravagant title, but it's still a concern (the fact that there's a volume of the D Gray Man manga with the same title may factor in this concern, though I don't think it's that big a deal).

Anyway, 'The Death of John Collins' or 'Destroyer of Time' - which would you be more likely to buy? Is either of them a good title?

(The reason I'm asking for so much feedback at the moment, by the way, is that I'm hoping to start launching things like Facebook fan pages and a goodreads profile at the weekend, for which I want - whether or not it's absolutely necessary - finished or at least near-finished cover images.)


  1. It's hard because you are right, "The Death of John Collins" sound very literary but pekes my interest. "The Destroyer of Time" does not. I am not however a YA but a OA and as such I would rather read literary than YA. I haven't been following you long enough to have a good feel what your book is about so I can't offer an alternate to the two. Just that you should keep looking.

  2. Why don't you combine the two: The Death of Time. It's kind of a play on words from time of death. Or even more simple: Time and Death - Death in Time. I'm just not sure about the word Destroyer. I do like the cover and whatever you decide I'm sure it will be great.

  3. 'The Death of Time' sounds a little bit too much like a fantasy epic of some sort, though I'd probably buy a book with that title.

    'Destroyer' is definitely the problem word. I'll keep thinking about it. The feedback I've had thus far has been more positive about 'The Death of John Collins' than I expected, so I may just keep that and tweak the font again, but maybe something else will come to mind.

  4. Instead of Destroyer of Time maybe use Time Killer.

    The only problem I can think of with calling it The Death of John Collins is that you may be turning people off by telling them from the start what happens to the main character. That might make some people not want to invest their time reading when they already know the outcome.

  5. I am of the opinion a title should define your book, in more way's then one. I haven't read the book, but I think it sounds like a good title. If it truly works for you, I say go with it.