Help Decide My Next Book Title!

Share

My latest book is in publishing, and we’re trying to nail down its title. We had a title chosen previously; we got some feedback; now we’re changing it.

Now we’re close again. But we could use your help. Which of these would you be more likely to pull off the shelf and take a closer look at it?

In the end it’ll be a combination of the title and subtitle, like for example, Our Astonishing Savior: How Jesus’ Greatness Still Stuns His Followers and Stump His Critics.* We’re interested in your opinion on both, so there are two questions here.

Book Main Title

Coming Soon
Which of these main titles would you be more likely to pull off the shelf for a closer look?
Which of these main titles would you be more likely to pull off the shelf for a closer look?
Which of these main titles would you be more likely to pull off the shelf for a closer look?

Book Subtitle

The book is about the greatness of Jesus’ character (among other things); hence the choice between those two words.

Coming Soon
Which of these subtitles would most likely lead you to pull the book off the shelf for a closer look?
Which of these subtitles would most likely lead you to pull the book off the shelf for a closer look?
Which of these subtitles would most likely lead you to pull the book off the shelf for a closer look?

 

Please use the comments box for further ideas or feedback. Thanks!

 

*That pairing  isn’t my favorite; I got it by a coin toss. The ordering of these options was by coin toss, too.

Image Credit(s): Max Pixel.

12 Responses

  1. I believe there is a mistake in the four subtitle options. There are two pairs of identical options. I assume that you meant to have two options with the “Still Stuns” wording, and two with the “Keeps on Stunning” wording, one of each with “Character” and one of each with “Greatness.”

    Assuming that’s true, my preference is “How Jesus’ Greatness Still Stuns His Followers and Stumps His Critics.”

    For the main title, I chose the more specific option. For the subtitle, I chose one of the less wordy options (“Still Stuns”), and then the most specific between those two. (“Character” is a very broad, boring word, especially compared to “greatness.”)

    One more note: the current edition (17th) of the Chicago Manual of Style recommends “Jesus’s” over “Jesus'” (even though the latter is traditional). On the other hand, Garner’s Modern English Usage (which I very highly respect) still favors just the apostrophe. (I’m a retired technical writer and current freelance proofreader, so I notice things like that!)

  2. Tom Gilson says:

    Weird how that happened. Will fix now. Thanks.

  3. Tom, this sounds like a great book. I must tell you that my reaction to “Our Astonishing Savior” wasn’t all that positive. I don’t in any way mean to deny he is our savior or that he is astonishing, but that terminology strikes me as very “1950s Christian.” I’m guessing it would not resonate with a lot of Millennials, and I’m assuming that it a group you’d like to reach.

  4. Tom Gilson says:

    How about simply “Astonishing!”?

  5. Travis K Wakeman says:

    I don’t like astonishing either. Who is the target audience for this book? It comes across as overly breathless (esp with the exclamation point) and saccharine.

    I would say something like: “Rediscovering the Sublime: …” That along with the alliteration of “still stuns… stumps” gives it a nice ring. I’m a relatively bookish Millenial by the way.

  6. Tom Gilson says:

    Good point. Overnight we came up with some alternatives, mostly because of that same breathlessness. The book actually makes the case for several astonishing features of Jesus’ character that I don’t see being mentioned anywhere else. He really fits the adjective. To put that on the cover, though, is to ask the readers to reach that conclusion before the case has been made, which is premature at best.

    So we’re giving that up, too. “Matchless” is currently the top option.

  7. BillT says:

    I think the word “character” is too passive. Or maybe it’s not passive but I’m not sure it resonates with people today. Thus, I like “greatness” as it’s more direct and challenging. The reaction should Be “Jesus, great?” how could anyone make such an absurd claim and how could that “stump his critics”. That seems more attention grabbing.

  8. Tom Gilson says:

    This is all really helpful. I think we’re landing on something that takes all this into account, but also adds a new line of thought. It comes out, Matchless: How Jesus’ Greatness Keeps on Stunning His Followers and Silencing His Foes.

    It isn’t final, but it’s close. Thanks, all.

  9. Tom Gilson says:

    Or, Matchless: How Jesus’ Greatness Continues to Stun His Followers and Silence His Foes

  10. Kerry L says:

    I don’t like the use of ‘astonishing’ at all in either option – it doesn’t have descriptive strength. I liked Travis’ use of ‘sublime’ – I would use that in the same phrase as in the good old hymn – ‘Ineffably sublime.” For the subtitle part, I prefer ‘character’ as it seems to me that ‘character’ will reveal more about Jesus Himself, whereas ‘greatness’ will be more relevant to what Jesus did. I think the word ‘character’ also flows better. Also a person’s ‘character’ might be said to ‘stun’ and ‘stump’ more than ‘greatness’ would. And although I had to choose an option with ‘still’ or ‘keeps on’ I didn’t like them – it sounded clumsy and again affected the flow. I’d drop them. So – “Ineffably Sublime: How Jesus’ Character Stuns His Followers and Stumps His Critics’. ‘Character’ can be deemed ‘Ineffably sublime,’ I feel, but not ‘greatness.’

  11. Kerry L says:

    Following on from my previous comment above – I did edit it a little in the 4 minute grace period allowed for editing, but it seems not to have saved the edits, so apologies for anything that may be unclear.

  12. Tom Gilson says:

    We’re still working it. It’s definitely Matchless, not Astonishing. The subtitle is almost decided on, but not quite totally yet. Thanks so much for your input!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.