Book titles are crucial, and fonts can be fun, but copyright changes are expensive.
I thought I had my book title down from almost the minute I finished my first draft, and I was happy with my choice, until I started reading about marketing.
Marketing, for those of us interested in establishing a name, or “brand” as it is often called, is even more crucial than the book title. A better way to put this would be that the book title can also be a crucial part of your marketing plan. If no one knows you are out there, no one will read your book, which is important even for those folks who write for the sheer enjoyment of the endeavor. They may not care about the financial rewards, but they do want to be read.
The original title of my book was A Noble Task. It reflected the book’s story, i.e. a boy’s task to solve a riddle, but it lacked pizzazz. It could easily get lost in the piles of books published every day. I needed a title—and a book cover (more about that in a subsequent post)—that would grab the attention of readers looking for a YA fantasy. I also want the title to be able to be marketed in its own right. Therefore, I changed the title to The Riddle of Riddles.
This new title spoke more directly to the reader about the specificity of the task of my protagonist. Plus, I now had a subject, “riddles”, which I could exploit for marketing purposes, as opposed to a “task”, noble or not, which was too vanilla.
To that very purpose, I created a second website dedicated to just riddles, puzzles, logic problems, etc. This gave me a venue in which I could market riddles as well as my book, tying the two together.
Changing the title did cause me some concern. I had, of course, copyrighted the manuscript with the original title. After much thought, I decided that it would be best to register the new title change lest someone else, duplicitous, or just another creative mind at work, might find that particular title attractive. Registering just the title change with the copyright office was expensive, $130 dollars.
In preparation for publishing my manuscript, I thought some more pizzazz in the title font might be apropos, and fun. There are thousands of free fonts out there; a quick Google check will validate this. One common source for new fonts is dafont.com, but there are many others. A few allow you to view the text you will be using in the new font style right there on their website before you decide to download. This is a convenient option that should be more readily available.
Since the title of my book conjures up thoughts of other fantasies now in print, I looked for a font that would express that medieval, gothic, Celtic look. There were many, and I selected a few to try out before downloading. What you see is not always what you get. On these websites, the font name is written in the font type, but when you translate it onto your page, it doesn’t always look as anticipated. The size of the font, its slant, the space between letters, and other hairy appendages can quickly dissuade its use.
Once you decide on the font you want, simply click on “Download.” A dialog box will appear containing the font name with a TTF file type. Click on it and then click on “Extract All Files.” Browse in the next dialogue box to where you want the file stored and click “Extract.”
The next step is to place the new font into your computer along with all the other fonts. To do this, click on the Start button, “Computer,” and then click on the “C” drive. A dialogue box opens. Select “Windows” and then “Fonts.” This will open a list of all the fonts that are already installed on your computer, the ones you get on the drop-down menu when you are in Word and are deciding on the font type and size. Drag and drop your new font into the list you have just opened and you have it forever.
I am still experimenting with embedding fonts so that readers who do not have a specific font embedded in their computers can still see what the author of the piece intended. So far I have had limited success. I could not successfully transfer my title in Press Gutenberg font onto my blog. So I still have work to do. I will keep you informed as to my progress.