Have you ever tried to use code for yourself, as a writer, or when talking with others, as a reader? Like FSOG means Fifty Shades of Grey? Or LOTR means Lord of the Rings? Or even FIOS means The Fault in Our Stars?
I use them all the time, when writing notes for myself on what to work on, what to edit etc, but I forget that no-one else knows what I’m talking about:
TSOAC – The Secrets of Avelina Chronicles
RG – Runaway Girl
RA – Reckless Abandon
TOS – The Other Side
MOTHS is actually my favourite. It’s the name of the third book in my crime series, which is still a WIP. I’m actually on book 11, but I’ve got so much else to do that I can’t take the time to read and edit all 10 books, to make sure I answer all questions and cover any possible plot gaps in book 11. And it’s meaning? Murder on the High Seas. I love that it’s an actual word though, because that would be confusing as hell, right? Imagine that you’re talking to someone and you say you’re working on MOTHS. They’re going to think you’re smoking something.
But then, it gets a little confusing sometimes, when you have a bunch of stories with the same acronyms. Like Betrayed and Bromantic; Within You and Without You. I always try to make sure the title fits the story, but when you end up with a really long title, just because it fits, an acronym is all you have left to get your point across quickly. Like my upcoming shifter book; the series is The Belesone Pack Trilogy (TBP for short) and book 1 is called The Alpha and the Oracle (TAATO), book 2 is The Story of the Exile (TSOTE) and book 3 is The Beta and His Angel (TBAHA). Now, writing out the acronym is almost as bad as writing out the title itself.
Forget trying to make a hashtag out of the actual title. My m/m story ‘Decadent’ is great. It’s a real word and it has positive connotations, while being short and to the point. Great. But I’ve found that when talking about the next two books in the series – The Other Side and Right Side of Wrong – it’s easier just to say ‘Decadent 2’ or ‘Decadent 3’.
Should that stop me from using a longer title, then? Wouldn’t it make my life easier? Sure it would, but I’m not going to do that. These titles are chosen for a reason. They give an overview of the type of story that’s going to be inside.
The Alpha and the Oracle – surprisingly enough, it’s about a wolf-shifter Alpha and an Oracle.
Runaway Girl – is about a girl who runs away.
Murder on the High Seas – is about a murder that occurs on a cruise ship, on the ocean.
If I were to change the titles, then I’d still have to come up with something else, and having one word titles for every single book would be laziness. It works for some series, or some books, but only if it’s the right fit for the story (Bromantic, Decadent and Betrayed all fit in that category). I’ve got stories that get straight to the point, when it comes to the title: Visceral, Anonymous, Isabelle, Unconditional. I’m no stranger to one word titles, but more often than not, the book is going to have a longer title.
Can you imagine trying to post a Twitter message and trying to type out The Alpha and the Oracle – Book 1 in the Belesone Pack Trilogy – Coming Jan 2015? That’s already 80 of your characters gone. That leaves you with just 60 characters to get your actual message out there. Adding on a poster, takes you down to 37 characters left. That’s barely enough room for a smartURL. If you nix the poster, then you might get in a tagline, but you probably won’t get in a buy link as well.
Go on…tell me the longest or most ridiculous, or best acronym you’ve seen for a book or movie. I want to hear them. In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with my favourite.