In addition to writing, I work in a public library. This gives me an opportunity to notice when certain book titles have been overused. Looking for a book called The Gift, because your friend recommended it, but you can’t remember the author? Okay, well, sure. No problem. None at all. Let’s spend the next twenty minutes reading through the descriptions of the sixteen different books we have with that title in an effort to figure out which one it is. Authors and publishers, consider yourselves put on notice. I will actively discourage readers from any new book titled The Gift.
Here are more titles on my list for recommended retirement:
Twilight – Did you know about a dozen authors thought of using this before Stephenie Meyer? Time to let it fade into darkness.
On Thin Ice – Don’t go there; too many writers already have.
Redemption – This title is beyond itself
Forever – Which is how long it will take to narrow down the search to the one you’re seeking, if you don’t remember the author’s name.
The Return – It keeps coming back into the publishing world.
Reunion – Publishers keep revisiting this title, too.
The Search – Didn’t go far enough for an original name.
The Secret – It’s enigmatic why you’d want to have your book confused with so many others of the same title.
Sanctuary – It can blend in with the crowd and never be found.
The Island – Where overused book titles go for sanctuary.
In Too Deep – But if you can find your way out, maybe you can build a new title for yourself.