No Title

blog post
No title, you question. Well, one might think it was an auto fill or something like that from the software. It’s not. I did and I’m glad! [mfn] As said in at least one Perry Mason episode. [/mfn]

The title of a _____ is supposed to give a clue about content or at least spike a browser’s curiosity. Or it could be something that makes a reader think/say, “Why that title? I read it as…” I’m guilty of putting a title into the same vein as you can’t tell a book by its cover. I have a copy of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman with only her name on the cover. The dust jacket, however, has a picture of a tree and approaching train on tracks converging to a horizon. I know from where ‘go set a watchman’ comes, but who might that title interest without having heard of Harper Lee or her To Kill a Mockingbird?

Titling is tricky, or so I’ve been told. However, I say without malice aforethought that titles for work by well-known writers are nearly irrelevant. One would expect a good story, no matter what the title, from _____.

Designing covers for and Nescient Decoy, Echoes of Nam, and Iniquities of The Fathers was a challenge to match titles and backgrounds.

In retrospect, I believe my covers would help sales if the books were on a bookstore shelf instead of online. But promotion of one’s work is an issue much broader than a good title and cover.

As one thought leads to another, and my mind tends to do that, I wanted to make some comments about promotion. I’ve read several blogs about promoting work, and most end with a sales pitch for a paid program to help. Several years ago, when I was looking for an agent for the first version of Echoes of Nam, I included my age thinking it would bring some credibility to the topic of the book. I wasn’t too surprised at the agent’s saying something like, “At your age, you might not have the energy to travel to promote your work, so I can’t commit to representing it.” Wish I had saved the e-mail for an exact quote.

My non-family validation came from several Nam Vets, but mostly from this one from Ray LePoidevin [mfn]Not the man from Australia as shown on “Find a Grave” site.[/mfn]

“Even though a work of fiction, in ECHOES OF NAM, John Benson does a superb job in articulating the mental and physical pain, confusion and suffering that many survivors of war deal with daily. Even as a combat vet, this story has affected the way I look at homelessness among veterans. While the V.A. has come a long way in dealing with PTSD and other disorders facing our soldiers, sadly there are many who still “slip through the cracks.” For that reason alone, this could be a true story.”

Ray authored his own Vietnam experience in Alternate Route: One Man’s Journey Through the Fog of PTSD.

Did you notice my change of title for this site?
I feel that it better represents me and how I tend to think.[mfn]Self-analysis, not opinion from a professional.[/mfn] And my SEO went up 3 points.