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!
12 thoughts on “The book title that got the least votes, but wins”
The format and content of this post was one of the more interesting things I’ve read in a while. It took me a while to go through it, so I just kept stepping away and coming back to read as I did chores. I’m so glad I did. Can you imagine if you hadn’t opened up comments for the survey? What a huge loss that would’ve been!
Memoirs does sound more serious, and I hadn’t realized that impact. The second title combined with the right type of cheeky or pompous cover art will be even more unexpected and intriguing for the right audience.
It was a very different post, but I found it so interesting and wanted to share. Wasn’t sure if it’d work for my readers, but figured they’ll have to deal with it since it’s my blog 😛 hahaha.
Thanks for sticking through it and for the feedback! I am so glad I had a comment section on the survey or I would have a totally different (and wrong!) book. And I don’t know yet what my cover will be – working with the cover designer this week! – but my friend drew some preemptive fanart and it’s so spunky and getting me excited!
Lol, “It’s my blog. Deal with it.” It sounds like you have lots of great things happening, Amy. Getting that visual of your creation is such an exciting thing. Can’t wait to see what you’ve chosen!
Don’t get me wrong, I try to write posts my readers care about haha. But sometimes I don’t know if it will work and decide to give it a shot and see 🙂
Oh, I know exactly what you mean. You’ve got to take a shot at it. Of course, I’m saying that while I sit on a few posts that I’m just not sure about. A little super wacky.
Haha, just consider it one big experiment and see what happens 🙂
And I’m *always* for wacky <3
Love this, so interesting and insightful. Love the thought process behind the title choosing.
Thanks! I’m glad I got the feedback to make the best decision 🙂