That’s right, I have a title for Book Four of the Osteria Chronicles. I know, this is shocking news because I normally have nothing more than a working title (something super clever like, say, “Book Four”) up until the very final drafts of a book. But this time around, I’m trying something a little different, so I needed a title ASAP.
And oddly enough, on the surface, this book was the most challenging to title.
The Tale of a Title
Because there are simply so many story lines happening in this book it wasn’t easy to pick one overriding myth such as the trials of Hercules in Book One, the voyage of the Argonauts in Book Two, or Theseus in the Minoan maze with the minotaur in Book Three. In Book Four many of the story lines from the first three books come into play as well as several new ones in order to bring about the events that lead up to Book Five (and eventually Book Six).
These new story lines include the myths of Perseus pursuing Medusa, Bellerophon’s battle against the Chimera, Helen and Paris’s and Menelaus’s love triangle, plus my own additions to add more layers and depth to the myths and overall series plot such as the titans joining together, the gods not playing nicely with each other (when do they ever), and the personal struggles of the heroes you’ve met in Books One through Three.
In other words, picking a title was no easy thing.
Thankfully, Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties (aka “Finn McSpool’s creator”), reminded me of some sage advice: Examine the themes of the book to develop your title.
Themes? What, is this high school English class? Ugh, I never did well on those theme-related essay tests.
But her advice did get me thinking about all the many things going on in the book. My initial idea was Rise of the Titans, but that really didn’t convey anything about the other story lines. The Fall of Heroes also came to mind, but there’s really no heroes crashing and burning in this book no matter how cruelly I treat my characters.
Something that did unite the many story lines, though, were bonds. The titans are bonding together. there are bonds of friendship and trust being broken, and bonds of marriage being entered into (unwisely in many cases) to name a few. And so, The Bonds of Osteria was born. Hopefully, that title doesn’t have too much of an S&M ring to it, but then again, I may lure in a new audience!
Why the Rush?
Recently I’ve been studying A LOT of book marketing and how to move forward with my career in writing (more on where that’s headed in a few weeks), and one of the tips is to have a looooonnnnngggg pre-order time period.
The pre-orders generated during this time are supposed to boost your launch day rankings which makes the online retailers’ search algorithms go all atwitter for your book. I haven’t had much success with pre-orders in the past, but those pre-orders were typically only set up six weeks out from launch day. If I get myself in gear and get Bonds up within the next couple weeks, I’ll have a six MONTH pre-launch pre-oder period.
And while you can set up a pre-order without actually having a completed manuscript to upload (called an “assetless preorder”), you do need a title to generate the book’s retail page. At least now I’ve got the first step done.
There’s Even a Cover!
Or at least a temporary one. Although you can set up an assetless preorder without a cover, I think more people would be drawn to the book’s listing if there was at least a temporary cover.
Done quickly via KDP Cover Creator (which has a surprising number of options to play with) using a photo I had downloaded for The Maze’s promo stuff, here’s what I came up with…
Despite only being a play-around/temporary cover, I do like the impression of walls at the edges (since many of the cities in Osteria are walled) and was really excited when I came across the font. This doesn’t match the covers of Books One through Three at all, but since I’m planning on making all new covers for the whole series within the next month or so, the difference in styles is fine for now.
Phew, for only wanting to announce a four-word title, this has turned into an incredibly long post! I’ll be back Saturday with whatever Finn has been up to this week, and next Wednesday I’ll have some (sort of) sad news to share. See you then!
What do you think of the title? Does it make you curious about the book? Or do you think I should go with one of the other two I came up with?
Get your copy of The Maze today….
For e-book fans and bargain hunters….
From now through the end of the month you can get The Trials of Hercules (Book One) and The Maze (Book Three) for only 99 cents each. Clicking on the books’ titles above will take you to a handy dandy site with direct links to all your favorite ebook retailers.
For those of you who love the feel of a real book, or who are perhaps looking for a great gift for a fan of epic fantasy or historical fantasy fiction….
From now through the end of the year you can get all three books in the series for only $30 (plus shipping*). That’s over $13 off the retail price!! To get this deal, just email me, let me know you’re interested, and we can proceed from there (I promise, it’s very easy and relatively painless).