Certain words and phrases tend to catch our attention. In the mornings, as I’m starting my day, I often scroll through the news on the internet to see what is going on in the world. Journalists and editors have a knack for creating attention grabbing headlines or clips. How many times do you stop in the middle of setting groceries on the check-out counter to read about the “Three Headed Baby Kidnapped by Wolves!”? I have to admit I have been known to pass over “The Rising Price of Gas” to read about that baby.
It’s that scene of the accident mentality. The one where you’ve been in a long line of traffic for the past twenty minutes and the flashing lights finally come into view and another ten minutes later you drive by the truck and Volvo with the bent fender and you think that’s it? Then you notice that you’ve slowed down too. Why? Because it’s something different, something that could be life changing, something that you don’t see every day. Oh, sure. Accidents happen every minute. You just don’t happen to see them all.
It’s the same thing for book titles. As we walk through bookstores or peruse amazon.com, certain titles stand up and grab our attention. Right now on my TBR pile I have: The Pig Did It, Swamplandia!, Second Grave On The Left, X-Rated Bloodsuckers, The Bone Garden, Confessions Of A Slacker Wife and Crash Into You. That’s just the first stack.
I love those titles. I can’t wait to read those books.
I, myself, am not so great at the attention grabbing title creation thing. To put it bluntly: I suck at it. But that’s what my friends and critique partners are there for. Because after you write that book, you want to make sure it’s going to grab someone’s attention.
As for the Chihuahua Trapped in Bathtub? That falls both under the category of attention grabbing headline and what a six year old will do after they’ve taken their bath.
Have you ever stopped to pick up a book based on the title alone? Maybe then gone on to read the back blurb or the first page and decided to buy it? What titles have caught your eye?