Every week (or so), we'll ask authors how they chose their book title. Today: Zaron Burnett III on his eBook, Love, Sex, and Other Things You Might Find At The Airport.
As with all things, I started out with absolute shit. Two handfuls of it. I had no idea how to name a book so I just started reaching, and the first handfuls of ideas were all absolute shit. Some were cliché. Some were cheesy. Some were irretrievably stupid. Some, if they were ambitious, might one day grow into pretentious ideas, but as they stood now they were just obnoxious. I went through handfuls of shit until I finally I hit on some word combinations that made me curious, title ideas that I’d remember; words that make a reader feel the book working on their imagination before they’ve even read a page. A title is like a whispered contract that the book won’t suck. You’re suggesting with the title that the author took time to consider this essential contract “not to suck” and to always entertain the reader. It all starts with the title.
I wanted an entertaining title. Being a performer at heart, I took my ideas to the people and road-tested different titles until I had two that really made people laugh. They liked to say them back to me. I googled one title and, of course, it was taken. Numerous times. And so was my second favorite. They were both way too common.
Since I’ve always been a fan of magical realism titles, I tried my hand at a whimsical title that suggested what the book was about, was fun to say, and was something a person could remember. Also, I wanted a title I could stand saying a thousand times, because you will say it out loud... a lot. You better like saying it. The first time I said the title out loud, it sounded good and felt right. It’s still fun to watch people sort of snicker when I say, “Love, Sex and Other Things You Might Find at the Airport.”
Zaron Burnett III is a freelance journalist and screenwriter, living in Los Angeles. He enjoys surfing, Woody Allen movies, thinking about the future, and longs walks with no particular destination. You can reach him at email@example.com.