Wednesday, November 3, 2021

#IWSG What's Harder: #Blurbing or #Titling ?


Welcome to the November 2021 Insecure Writer's Support Group posting where we share our writerly concerns and fears, and encourage and assist other writers with theirs. If you're a writer and want to join us the first Wednesday of every month, click on the link  for more information and to sign up.

Thanks so much to our host, Alex Cavanaugh and this month's volunteer co-hosts: Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery! 

If you're struggling with what to post about, here is the optional question: 

What's harder to do, coming up with 
your book title or writing the blurb?

Both are hard, of course, but for me, titles are harder. Coming up with an appropriate title can be agonizing, and can take months! And sometimes when you finally come up with a title you like, you may find, if not the exact title, something similar that has already been published by another author. None of us want that! So it's either back to the drawing board, or risk your book getting confused with another writer's book (I found this with my book Givin' Up the Ghost--after the fact--lesson learned). 

I write cozy mysteries, and punny titles are part of the genre. Adding the "paranormal" sub-genre aspect limits your options even further. 

Most titles in cozy mysteries use a well known saying or quote which is then modified. I don't consider myself particularly witty or clever, but I try to be consistent with my titles and that's a starting point at least. 

My original YA paranormal cozy mystery series used "ghost" in the title: Givin Up the Ghost (a take on a quote from the King James Bible, and as I said above, similar titles had already been used) and, A Guilty Ghost Surprised (a take from a Wordsworth poem). These titles aren't particularly punny and didn't fit the genre well for many reasons--they're now unpublished. 

My latest adult paranormal cozy mystery series uses "boo" in the title: 

A Scandal in Boohemia (Sherlock Holmes fans will recognize the reference) and Something Borrowed, Something Booed (a take from an old wedding saying). They took a while, but I got  there in the end. 

Which is a bigger struggle for you?
Blurbing or Titling?
What makes it harder? 


  1. That's a clever twist with "boo." I liked what you did with "A Stitch in Crime," too.

    1. Thanks Diane, as hard as it is to come up with the titles, I am pleased with these.

  2. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in struggling with titles. And I don't feel like I'm witty or clever either. But I do like your titles, so hopefully I can come up with mine too.

  3. You might struggle but your titles are catchy.

  4. The wait is worth the effort - your titles are awesome!

  5. Those were worth the hassle. Those are great titles! I'm jealous, in a good way.

  6. These are great titles, Gwen!

    Julia Quay

  7. You have great "punny titles," Gwen! I think they work. Love the covers, too. All best to you!


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