The Importance of Book Titles, Part 2: Authors Are Awesome
January 18, 2013
Last time out, we looked at the importance of giving a book a great title by stating the obvious. Those titles focused on the contents of the books. But what if you, the author, are very proud of your book? What if you, the author, are very proud of yourself? If so, why bother with modesty when you could subscribe to the "yes, I, the author, am totally awesome" school of book titling? Let's start with the "I am (something really awesome)" trope.
- I Am America (and So Can You) by Stephen Colbert. He has an exercise machine on the International Space Station named after him, so he can fairly claim to be awesome.
- I Am Better Than Your Kids by Maddox. Maddox also beat up your honor student.
- I Am The New Black by Tracy Morgan. Wait, does this mean he's pink?
- I’m Chevy Chase – And You’re Not! By Chevy Chase. And apparently, he's no longer appearing on Community because of this very attitude.
- I’m The One That I Want by Margaret Cho. Good to see she found a friend.
- I Am Ozzy. And Ozzy is indeed arglebargle AHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!CRAZY TRAIN!!!! blargleargle @$*(# SHARON! awesome.
But it's not always necessary to use the first-person gambit. One can be slightly more subtle in promoting one's total awesomeness.
- Make Love! The Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell. But only if you possess the epic chin of a B-movie/TV god.
- A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O’Reilly. With a picture of little Bill the schoolboy on the cover so you don’t get confused about the identity of said bold fresh piece.
- Shatner Rules: your guide to understanding the Shatnerverse by William Shatner. I suspect he means “Shatner rules!” rather than “these are the rules that Shatner lives by.” He doesn’t need rules because he can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome he is.
Perhaps you want to simply imply your awesomeness through extolling the virtues of the totally awesome book you've just written.
- Winner of the National Book Award by Jincy Willett. This is called aiming high.
- Publish This Book: the unbelievable true story of how I wrote, sold and published this very book by Stephen Markley. Combines the "I am awesome" trope with the "so meta it hurts" trope.
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. Pretty audacious considering that this was his first book, but unlike Winner it actually lived up to its own hype in terms of winning awards.
Maybe as an author, you possess a modicum of modesty, and you don't want to give away too much about your book. You'd rather use imagination to hook your potential reader. One great way to do this will be the topic of the next post, the OMINOUS WARNING TITLE.
If you don't read my next blog, naked mole rats will eat your spleen.