Considering a new title: Playing with Lulu’s Titlescorer

I’ve been considering changing the title of “City of Glass” for some time now, but I recently bought a premade cover for the book, so now it is definitely time for me to make up my mind. By the way, here’s the cover I bought:

While I like the title “City of Glass,” there is a YA book now in the top 100 on Amazon also called “City of Glass.” I wrote my short story “City of Glass” years ago, long before the novel of the same name came out, but it might still look like I was using the title to try and capitalize on someone else’s success. Even though it wouldn’t be true, I don’t much like the idea.

So I started playing with titles today, and to increase the fun factor, I sent them through the Lulu Titlescorer. I’m not quite sure how the Lulu app rates things, but it is based on 700 published titles. The most important element seems to be “grammar type,” and I’ve noticed the app seems to like “___ of ___” titles — like “City of Glass,” which promptly landed a 69% chance of being a bestseller. :)

Anyway, here are some of the alternate titles I sent through the Titlescorer, along with their respective rankings:

Empire of Glass – 64.8

Making Glass for a Prince – 55.4

Glass for a Prince – 10.2

Gifts of Glass – 41.4

Glass Magic – 63.7

The Glass Prison – 63.7

Prison of Glass – 69

Facets of Glass – 69

I would love some feedback on the titles! A little background: Chiara is a glassmaker on Murano in an alternate 17th century, at the height of the demand for Venetian glass. It is forbidden for glassmakers to leave Venice, for fear that they will sell trade secrets, and the Venetian monopoly will crumble. (This was true, by the way — just not the magic and princes in my story …)

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time the last couple of days to work on the novella, whatever it will end up being called. I completed the edits of From Earth to Mars and Beyond and got it uploaded again. I also had some formatting concerns I had to address for the Apple store version. I started putting together the ebook version of my story “The Leaving Sweater” and my short collection “Story Hunger.” To sum up, recently I have been concentrating on the marketing side of my career. This doesn’t fit with my goals, which had been to complete at least some writing each day before tackling marketing tasks. That plan doesn’t seem to be working for me, so now I’m considering alternating writing days and business days. Perhaps I will be more efficient if I can concentrate on one aspect of my writing career at a time.

Wishing everyone a great week!

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About Ruth Nestvold

Ruth Nestvold's short fiction has appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov's, F&SF, Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, and Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" award for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House, Penhaligon, in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at www.ruthnestvold.com.
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19 Responses to Considering a new title: Playing with Lulu’s Titlescorer

  1. terrymcgarry says:

    I didn’t know that Lulu had a Titlescorer. That *is* fun.

    My vote goes to Empire of Glass. Or a write-in candidate: Glass Empire.

  2. Ryan King says:

    Pretty cover. Yeah, I agree with you about changing the name. If there’s one that’s already taken the name and it’s doing well, time to change it to something else to avoid the look of wrong doing. Glass Magic and Empire of Glass are my favorites.

  3. I liked both Prison of Glass (intriguing idea) and Empire of Glass. When you mentioned City of Glass a few posts back, something bothered me about that, and now I know why–I’d read it before.

    Naming a book is a labor of love, and I hope you can make a decision that feels just right.

  4. Widdershins says:

    None of them really turn my crank … so how about just, ‘Glass’? or Terry’s alternate, ‘Glass Empire’?

  5. Shah Wharton says:

    Never heard of that app but I’m so going to check it out. As for title. 69 is a decent score and I think Prison of Glass goes with what you tell of the story. I also get the marketing/writing facets of this business mixed up – I think you could be right to try the alternate days. I might too! :D X

  6. I like Prison of Glass or maybe The Glass Prison, but my issue is more with the word ‘glass’. Would you consider something more specific? Maybe The Crystal Cage. The hard c sounds have a crisper tone when saying the title aloud.

  7. Margaret says:

    I don’t know if it’s helpful or not but there is an old photo of some Murano glass makers actually spinning glass thread. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b20823/

    I’m attracted to some of the lower scoring titles and it makes me think that there might be a good reason why once-up-a-time Commonwealth published books and movies were often re titled (and recovered) specifically for the US market. “Threads of Glass” also scored around 10 – I tried it just for fun :)

    • That’s a cool photo, Margaret, thanks! Much later than my period, of course, but still fun. :)

      On the title, right now I’m leaning towards Island of Glass or Prison of Glass. Almost done, so I should decide soon!

  8. The cover is beautiful Ruth and I understand your concern. You need a title that is uniquely yours. I liked Glass for a Prince and Prison of Glass. They both made me want to read more.

    Alternating writing and marketing days sounds like a good plan. Whatever works for you personally, just do it.

    Wishing you the very best of luck.

  9. Hi Ruth, it looks like Kait has hit some trouble and we have no mid-week check-in. So no one is left out, please come over to our Facebook group and leave a link to your check-in post and we will be over to visit. The page address is https://www.facebook.com/groups/row80/ Alternatively, email me at katiecrcole@gmail.com and I’ll pass your post on. I know Facebook isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

    Should we have no Linky on Sunday, we’ll just keep working this way until things sort themselves out.

    Cheers!
    Cate (Round 1 Sponsor)

  10. Sorry if you already chose one, but what about The Glass Wall or Wall of Glass since she is literally walled in by her glass? The Glass Wall is a little play on Glass Ceiling lol,

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