Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's All About the Title

How does one decide upon a book title? No doubt great insights have been written about this subject but as proven by one post-a-day challenger, it really is all about the title. I know that as I go down the blog roll each day to choose where to visit and where to comment, the appealing subject titles pull me in first.

Ideally that's what we want to have happen with a book title. But how does one come up with a book title that is perfect for the book as well as appealing to the reader? I welcome ideas from you on this subject.

In our case, our book was primarily about hope in the midst of the most devastating experience a parent can ever face. So naturally we thought about using the word "hope" in our title. Our original title was, "Where There is Hope." It was ok, but not particularly great.

But another aspect of our story was its setting in Hawaii. And the more we learned about Hawaii and its spiritual heritage, the more it seemed logical to include part of that cultural aspect in our book title.

As we researched Hawaii's spiritual heritage, we discovered that the first Hawaiians were believers in a benevolent creator God whose name was Io. I'll share more about that in another post, but we also discovered that the word "aloha" had a much more profound meaning than just "hello" and "good-bye." It encompassed a blessing similar to the Old Testament blessing from the Bible that goes something like this, "The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace" (paraphrased). So as we thought about it, using the word "aloha" in our book title seemed logical and fitting. Thus the book became, "Aloha is Forever."

A friend just the other day asked if it wouldn't be more appropriate to use the title, "Aloha Was Forever." But we our response was that our son was welcomed into the Lord's presence forever and that is a present reality, not a past one.

We still have time to change our title if we think of a better one. So be sure and vote in our poll about our book title. And feel free to add your 2 cents worth by adding your comment.


  1. I think the title is perfect as it is. Aloha is forever says it all.

  2. Your title is perfect. I thought so the first time I read it.


  3. I think the title fits the subject matter. I'd keep it. Maybe it's the title with the book cover, but it "feels" calming to me.


  4. I agree that the title fits and is perfect.

  5. I like the title very much.
    My condolences on your loss.


  6. I think your title is perfect. I'm sure this book was painful to write, but with such strong faith, you were able to write the story the Lord placed on your heart. Much success.

    Joy Delgado
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  7. I like your title choice, but also wondered if you need the is or was? Could simply be - Aloha Forever.

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  8. Hey Jane, that's a great idea. I'll have to run that by my husband and see what he thinks.

    Thank you all for your comments and ideas! You're great!


  9. Aloha is's the perfect title for your book. As an avid reader of books, I usually pick those with catchy titles or those that sounds mysterious. I write essay jobs for clients and so I really need to choose carefully the books that I will read because I have limited time.

  10. I agree -- great title!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts.