Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Title Bingo

It's (relatively) easy to self-publish these days.  Amazon offers a service that's pretty well-priced, and in my hunting for new YA offerings, I've come across loads of start-up publishers that seem to accept anyone and everyone and put them in print.  I'm not against self-publishing.  Maybe it's the only way for you to get your work out there.  You can't stop people from publishing their own work.  If you don't like it, don't buy it.  Maybe, one day, I'll write a book.  It won't make me a lot of money.  Maybe I'll publish it myself.  Maybe I won't.  That's a lot of maybes.  But without the explosion in the self-publishing industry, I wouldn't even have those options.

But here's the thing.  I can often spot a self-published book by the title.  By which I mean that the title is decidedly odd.  Not funny odd, like those pink large-print romance books whose title formula goes something like "member of royalty + synonym for dastardly + virgin/governess."  Bonus points for use of "secret baby."  No, no.

I like to browse the Goodreads giveaways section (disclaimer: not affiliated, not a paid mention, etc.).  Sometimes I find some neat books on there--things I wouldn't have found on my own.  And other times I find ... interesting titles.  Titles that might benefit from a professional publisher.  Then again, people are requesting these titles, so evidently there's an audience.  Somewhere.

My all-time favorite is a sci-fi/action/thriller book entitled Speculum.  Yes, it was written by a man.  I have no idea if any women in his life actually looked at the title of the book.  Gosh, just reading the word "speculum" makes me cringe and curl up a bit to protect myself.

*NOTE* I considered adding a photo here for full-on horror, but I could barely look at the image search for two seconds without having a complete meltdown.  You're welcome.

I was entering some more giveaways today and found this interesting title: Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos.  I honestly don't know how to parse that.  I assume it's the story of a zombie fighting a fairy, featuring a group of albinos.  An albino what?  Is the author insinuating that albinos are monsters or supernatural creatures?  Because that is just a great big NO.  Who is the Albino Whatever siding with?  It's got really great ratings, though, so maybe I am just too dense to understand the humor.

The title of this next one, Simple Steps on How to Prevent and Cure Many Types of Cancer, isn't awful, but it sure is wordy.  The description, though, is one of the best I've read in a while: "WARNING: JUST LIKE HOUSEHOLD ELECTRICITY, THERE IS DANGER IN TAKING TOO MUCH SHITAKE MUSHROOMS."  Firstly, it should be "too many shitake mushrooms."  Secondly, I don't think using electricity is the best comparison here.  Most people don't "take too much household electricity," which is the parallel set up here.  Also, what do shitake mushrooms have to do with cancer?

And my final choice for the day, a run-on of the highest order, Your Manners and Their Effect on Dating, Becoming Engaged and Getting Married: Learn How to Make Sure He's Just That Into You by Using Etiquette Class and Style in the Bedroom. 

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