Risqué Titles?

3 years ago | Moonfeather (Member)

What's the opinion on suggestive titles? Such as Sex or Lust, etc. I'm the process of reworking my novel and I want and I wanted to change the title to something that has some punch and that I feel represents some of the greater themes of the novel. I was originally going to use Thirst, but that title is already in the listing, and I don't feel like using it anymore.

My novel is not adult or explicit in nature, it's probably targets the late teens to early adults. It deals with superpowers, aliens, sci-fi, and fantasy stuff.

I still want to use that type of title as it fits to me. Will this cause any problems in the future, say if I wanted to eventually sell it or something?

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Responses

  1. TanaNari (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I guess it depends on what you're writing and how much the title represents the work itself.

    I don't have an objection to sexual titles (though I will warn you that it's a harder sell), but misleading titles are just uncool.

    Author of Price.
  2. Team Contract (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'm in the process of reworking my title now so that it fits a genre to sell. That's the key really. To sell, the title must be less about what the story is about and more what the genre is about. In essence it should hint at the genre. If that helps.

  3. Tartra (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    When you hear a title like "Sex or Lust", do you think teens to early adults, or do you think erotica?

    It's not that you can't use it, but titles, covers, taglines and book blurbs are all the real information a reader can get before actually starting to read. Your job is to got them to start and then continue reading, based on matching your book to the right audience. Is youc pre-information appealing to the audience you want? Is the mismatch in expectations versus story something you want your audience to appreciate or something unintentionally frustrating?

    Bottom line, it's your story, and people pull this kind of thing off all the time. Do you want to make it easier on yourself and your readers, or is it worth making them work a little bit to discover what you're really writing (even if that confuses some people away)?

    The Other Kind of Roommate — Like Fight Club meets X-Men meets The Matrix meets Superbad.
  4. unice5656 (Moderator)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I would 110% not name anything "Sex".

    Good titles are generally short and to the point. Single-word titles need words that are in and of themselves specific and evocative. "Sex" might be evocative, but it sure isn't specific. "Lust" is slightly better, but only because it might be a reference to the seven deadly sins.

    Giving things good titles really requires a close knowledge of the story, so even if you write a synopsis of it here, people who haven't read your novel won't be able to give you good title suggestions. If you have readers who are active commenters, I suggest you hold a "title contest" with the prize being a mention to whoever suggests the title you end up going with.

  5. Stable (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    The Gods Are Bastards has a curse there right in the title and that does just fine. I don't know how that would affect it if DD wanted to put an ebook on amazon or whatever.

    The Archive Of Unusual Events
    https://theunusualarchive.wordpress.com/
  6. Tintenteufel (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    I'm not much for overtly risqué titles. Not because I'm a prude, but because I consider them to be cheap or vulgar in most cases. A good title firstly gives an impression of the actual work and secondly grabs the interest of the reader.
    "The Delta of Venus" - which, to be fair, is strictly erotica - is a grandiose title for exactly these reasons. It is risqué but kind of goes above simply stating what it's about. Instead it veils it a bit and leaves your mind to wander - wheras "Lust" would simply...I don't know. Not grab me at all.

    I like unice5656's idea, though. :)

    Blut und Rost - German Webserial about the horror that is human interaction
  7. mooderino (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    There's nothing inherently wrong with putting some kind of sexual innuendo in a title, it all depends what you come up with and how well it suits the story you're writing. It's hard to offer specific advice without knowing what kind of story it is and what sort of titles you're considering, but the idea of a risque title is not a bad thing by any means.
    As for problems selling it, depends on how explicit it is. Pandora's Box could be a suggestive title for a book, but it would be hard for a bookseller to reject it on those grounds.

  8. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Tintype, The Delta of Venus! Awesome title.

    The title NEEDS to have something to do with the story. Period. If you can justify the title and innuendo in the story, do it.

  9. MaddiroseX (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    From a more marketing perspective; If you plan on publishing a work on Amazon, which is one of the more profitable and largest markets in the self-publishing world right now, they will pull it if it has a title like "Sex or Lust".

    I self-publish hardcore erotica on Amazon, under a variety of pen names. I've seen works much, MUCH tamer than mine get pulled off the marketplace due to their titles and/or covers and/or descriptions

    Spurs & Seraphim (ongoing) | Beta Key (complete) | Twisted Cogs (complete) | Orbital Academy (complete)
  10. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Actually, there's some pretty hardcore stuff on Amazon that seems to violate the TOS but is left up. There are cover images that they should remove according to their own rules.
    Apparently, if its not posted as erptica, but as fantasy or something else, you can get away with it.

  11. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Erotica. Sorry, this site does not work well on my phone.

  12. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    i read that as herptica. Snake porn?

  13. Psycho Gecko (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    There's gotta be something to let people know what they're walking into aside from a blurb. I didn't buy "The Death of WCW" for the hardcore bondage scenes, that's for sure. Come to think of it, I'm not sure it ever did mention the Yapapi Indian Strap Match. They were bonded together with the leather, with no one in their way, Hogan strapping Flair's flesh to make him bow down to him. Apparently the most important thing was flexibility of the wrist, so they could get their bodies in the proper position for the strapation.*

    If the cover can combine sufficiently with mere innuendo to give you an idea of the subject matter, that's ok. But I'm just fine with risque titles if they're appropriate. If a story's called Thirst and has a closeup of a woman's lips with vampire fangs poking over them fading on the other side of the cover to a shirtless man, I'm betting it's a woman's romantic fantasy vampire book. If it's titled "Pounded in the Butt by my own Butt," then it's probably the kind of story that lives up to its title, because women's romantic fantasy vampire books don't get a name like that. (Link for those interested, I assume the book is NSFW: https://www.amazon.com/Pounded-Butt-My-Own-ebook/dp/B00UYC1ASU)

    *I haven't seen this match myself. All this information is based on Hulk Hogan's own promos about the match as seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQtUftGqoyg

  14. Team Contract (Member)

    Posted 3 years ago

    Yeah as I mentioned before, the title depends on the genre. "Lust" works fine if you're writing erotica. I unfortunately was trying to use a risqué name "The Size Queen" tongue in cheek, but I'm rethinking it now, because while it makes complete sense to the story, it throws people off regarding genre and expectation. The throwing off was intentional, but I fear it just wont work with cold views on Amazon.

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