Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with politics. Let’s not go there 🙂
If you don’t follow me on other social media, you missed out on a survey to vote on the title of my short story. (I’m sorry, I actually planned on posting it here, because you’re some of my greatest fans, but I suddenly had an unplanned deadline of 24 hours, so…)
And wouldn’t you know it, the title that got fewer votes wins.
How’s that possible you ask? In short:
If you ever plan on surveying your reader base, having an open comment section can make it take more of your time, but that time may be important.
If I only had the multiple choice options, here’s what I would have seen:
The image on the left is a “Select All” question of which titles the reader might purchase. The image on the right is the “Select One” question of which title I should name my book.
Either way, that light blue color is definitely not the “winner.” I would obviously name my story off the dark blue title. Right?
But I’d made the decision to ask the voters to plead their cause. “Why that book? Why NOT the others?” and that’s where things got interesting.
First off, I found out the Yellow title – which off the bat was actually winning the “race” – a voter informed me that title was very similar to a title of a different story. Mine sounded like a spin-off. So I deleted that option right away. (Thanks voter!)
So what were the two competing titles, you ask?
Dark blue: Memoir of a Murderer
Light blue: I Know You Like a Murder
How did I Know You Like a Murder win without winning?
Reason #1: The response of those who chose I Know You Like a Murder
You probably knew this was one of the reasons. Check it out!
To sum up, the readers who voted for I Know You Like a Murder got it! It made them think. They’re my type of reader. “Quirky, personality, weird, unusual”, they get the vibe of my story. If you voted for this title, this may be the story you’re looking for 🙂
But there was another reason that pushed me to choosing I Know You Like a Murder.
Reason #2: The response of those who chose Memoir of a Murderer
Maybe you didn’t see that one coming. But first off, those who picked this title were looking for a deep internal look at a murderer. And my story isn’t that story – though that’d be a great story for someone 🙂
More than that though, their responses about I Know You Like a Murder and why they didn’t vote for it, just made me want to pick it even more.
- My protagonist is definitely patronizing
- Doesn’t that “I’m not sure about buying it because I don’t want people to think I like murder comment” just make you want to name the title that?
- “Odd.” Uhmm, yeah. If everyone thought the title was odd and wouldn’t buy it, sure, I’d want to take that into consideration. But the fact it’s odd reaches a niche audience that we’ve already seen want odd, and that’s what I’m going for, so this just confirms that THIS reader isn’t MY reader. And that’s fine 🙂
- My protagonist is definitely presumptuous, and this is hilarious.
- “I don’t like murder.” Uhmm, yes you do, in the first sentence of your response you said you found it intriguing 😉 hehe once again, doesn’t this just make you want to name it I Know You Like a Murder?
The responses showed me that if I named the story Memoir of a Murderer, more readers might pick it up, but they’d be the wrong readers. They’d start reading and hate the story and I’d have missed my audience.
But if I named my book I Know You Like a Murder, it’ll be a smaller audience, but it’d be the right audience, that audience looking for a story like mine, that would like a story like mine. It’s my niche, my tribe, my people who get me 😉
Do You Like Murder [Mysteries or Writing]?
And so, that’s how it was determined that my story will be titled I Know You Like a Murder.
- Sound interesting? Stay tuned to get your hands on it.
Sound horrible? Mehh okay, it’s not for you. Sound off in the comments below – don’t worry, we’re still buds 🙂
Think I made the right choice, or wrong choice?
And hey, are you interested in writing Memoir of a Murderer, because it sounds like a cool story that people want to read 🙂 Have at it!
Used bookstores. The elitist book-lover’s nook.
Libraries or Barnes N Noble or (God forbid) Amazon is for novices. Used bookstores are the bibliophile’s home of choice. The smell of the books, the cats roaming the stacks, the treasure hunt for some undiscovered antique or classic. It takes dedication.
I too love the atmosphere of a nice used bookstore. It’s exciting to seek out local book haunts.
So what’s my beef with used bookstores?
Authors receive no cut from the sale of used books. I’m a fan of authors. I want them to succeed and keep doing what they’re doing. I love them so much I plan on being one as soon as I’m able. So despite the wonderful atmosphere of a local used bookstore, I can’t regulary purchase books there without a shred of guilt.
Authors should be paid for their work. That is why I try to buy books new. If I love a book, I recommend it to a friend, or even gift it. Of course I still check out a used bookstore and give an unknown book a try – but I suggest making it a point to buy new books every now and again – support the system. The world needs more readers – so used bookstores are great to introduce unknown books to prospective fans. But readers should support their authors – especially the most-loved ones, but authors in general as well.
Note: Yes, I am aware that the astute reader will recognize this as a veiled plea for you to one day give me money 🙂
What say you?
Do you prefer online shopping, barnes n noble, libraries, or used bookstores? Why?