Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ten Trends in Book Titles That Keep Me Up at Night

By Karin Gillespie

A few years I wrote a blog post called Ten Things About Publishing That Keep Me Up at Night. Recently book titles have been giving me restless nights.
1.      Wives are the hot new thing: The Silent Wife, (as if), The Shoemaker’s Wife, The Reliable Wife, The Last Original Wife, The Headmasters Wife and The Unwilling Wife.  (Sounds like last Saturday night at my house.)
2.      Husbands, by the way, are not completely left out. One of my favorite books this year was The Husband’s Secret, but a quick check of Amazon reveals wife books are far more popular. Here are some of the husband titles: The Husband School (one hopes back rubs are part of the curriculum) Rent a Husband and The Perfect Husband (a fantasy novel, of course).
3.      Next is that ever-popular genre, wives of famous dead guys. You got your Aviator’s Wife, The Paris Wife, The Traitor’s Wife, The Astronaut Wives Club and The Wives of Los Alamos.
4.       Not to be outdone, mistresses have also entered the fray, i.e. Freud’s Mistress and Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival. Would this trend work in reverse? How about Madame Curie’s Main Squeeze, Amelia Earhart’s Arm Candy or Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Hottie? Something to consider.
5.      On a related note, before you’re a wife, you need to be a bride. Did you think bride books became passé with the death of chick lit? Think again. For some reason mail-order brides are huge. More brides include The Rancher and the Runaway Bride, Prairie Brides, the Cowboy’s Reluctant Bride, and my favorite, Badass Brides.
6.      Almost everyone knows that Fifty Shades of Grey made erotic romance lit even hotter, but did you also know it has paved the way for a rash of billionaire books? There’s the Billionaire’s Obsession, Forbidden Disclosure (A Billionaire in Disguise), Bedding the Billionaire, The Billionaire’s Wife (two birds with one stone) The Billionaire’s Bride of Vengeance, the Billionaire’s Mistress and let’s not forget The Billionaire’s Pregnant Mistress. (Shrewd move, girlie.)
7.      Before you’re a bride, you’re a daughter, and that’s also a popular word in book titles. You have the Memory Keeper’s Daughter, The Rancher’s Daughter, (What’s up with ranchers? Is that a thing?) The Bloodletter’s Daughter, The Daughter of Darkness and of course, The Billionaire’s Daughter. 
8.       And let’s not forget sisters: Two Sisters, Sisters in Love (Not with each other one imagines), Between Sisters, Twisted Sisters, Weird Sisters, and The Divine Secrets of the Whoopie Pie Sisters. (Yes. That is a real book title.)
9.      Many titles enjoy being a girl, particularly after the success of Gone Girl. You have The Rancher’s Girl (again? It must be a thing), Girl Missing, Clever Girl, Mafia Girl and The Girl Who Bit Back. (Maybe because she’s tired of being in so many novels?) 

10.  Finally, related to girl titles are girlfriend titles which include Girlfriends Forever, Secret Girlfriend, One Week Girlfriend and the oh-so-relatable book Life With a Fire-Breathing Girlfriend.

(The last one is my favorite trend considering this is The Girlfriends Book Club.)
How about you? Seen any trends in titles? Share them here.

Karin Gillespie is the author of five novels; three titles have the word dollar in them, one has the word pleasures in it and another one, a co-written novel, has the words “big ass” in it. (No. She does not write money management books or erotica.) Visit her at Karin Gillespie.     


  1. Funny brilliant, Karin! I am particularly fond of the wives of famous dead men category. I'm thinking of starting a presidential series: Wilson's Wife, Washington's Widow, Truman's True Love, Taft's Titillation... Oh, wait. Maybe that one isn't about his wife. Anyway, if they're a hit, that's 44 books in the bag. Great post!

  2. LOL! Thanks for the laugh, Karin! I just finished reading The All-Girls Filling Station's Last Reunion. Leave it to Fannie Flagg!

  3. Karin, this is hilarious!!! What a way to start my morning-- off to share this!!

  4. Karin, I've been listening to The Husband's Secret the last few days. You're on to Titular Trends! Loved the samples.

  5. Karin, I've represented with two of your categories, The Twin's Daughter (for teens thru adult) and The Sisters 8 series for young readers. One peculiar word you left off your list, though, that has been used for many a bestseller? BEES.

    1. So true. And strangely I am starting a novel about bees. Maybe I'll call it the beekeeper's daughter's husband.


  7. Thank you, Maria, Laura and Brenda. Glad you enjoyed the post. Do you like The Husband's Secret, Shelia? I've been devouring all her books. BEES! Of course, Lauren. How could I have missed that. Amy Sue Nathan, a great title. You should use it.

  8. Cracked up at this post! I guess that's been my problem not hitting bestseller lists.....I didn't have even ONE of the above words in my titles. What was I thinking? *headslap* I'm with Amy, I think we should all jump on that bandwagon, maybe do a multi-author book with that title and we'll all be millionaires. Oh sorry....make that billionaires. Better word choice. :)

  9. This is so funny.
    I'm happy to have never used any of these words, though I would probably be more successful if I had.

  10. Such a clever post, Karin! And oh so true. I think my next title will be the The Billionaire Wife's Sister's Husband, his Mistress and the Missing Girl. And maybe the sequel will have something to do with vegetarian whales. Just sayin. It could be the next trend!

  11. Yes, Sharla. Now that we know the secrets. I've never used any of these words in my published books, Ariella, but I do have a book on submission with called Girl in Deep.

    Thanks, Saralee. Vegetarian whales? Sounds like a winner.

  12. Karin, you have much more fun being kept awake at night than I do! When I'm lying awake at night, I'm usually struggling to plot out the next day's writing. But since you mentioned it, yes, ranchers and billionaires have been very hot in series romance for years. Hmm--maybe I should title my next romance novel The Billionaire Rancher Buys a Wife. (Never mind--there's already a book by that title for sale all over the internet!)

  13. Love that title, Judith. Too bad some minx already took it.

    I figured ranchers had been around, but billionaires? Inflation no doubt because I bet it used to millionaires. Wonder when the first trillionaire book will come out?

  14. Ha!! Karin, this list had me laughing aloud...literally. My son even came into the room to ask me what could possibly be so funny ;). This part was snort worthy: "Would this trend work in reverse? How about Madame Curie’s Main Squeeze, Amelia Earhart’s Arm Candy or Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Hottie." Someone needs to write these books ASAP!

  15. Thanks,Jenny. Glad you related, Marilyn. But honestly it's possible Harriet Beecher Stowe didn't even have a hottie :)

  16. I'm hoping "The Art of-----" trend has expired.