Contest! What’s In A Name? The Evolution of a Title with Amy E. Reichert


** Sorry, This Sweepstakes Has Ended**

What’s in a name? A lot, especially when dealing with books! Book titles have the hugely important job of capturing potential readers’ attentions and pulling them in right off the bat. That’s hard work! So how does an author end up choosing the perfect title? Luckily we have author Amy E. Reichert here today on the XOXO blog to tell us! Keep reading and be sure to pick up a copy of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, on sale now from Gallery Books!

By the time a book appears in a reader’s hands, it’s shiny and new. Readers don’t see the ten different cover versions, the eight different drafts that included a crazy uncle who got cut, or the fifty different titles. THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE had its share of changes, too. During its evolution, it had four distinct and separate titles. Let’s look at the logic.


This was the very first title. In fact, I came up with the title before I wrote the book. It’s a phrase we hear a lot in Milwaukee, and I knew from the start I wanted Milwaukee to play a major role. For those not familiar with living near a large body of water, it can radically drop the air temperature up to a few miles inland. I loved the double meaning that things were also more cool/awesome near the lake, as that fit nicely with the themes of the book. During my first writing workshop, several people commented that it didn’t reflect the tone or content of the book as well as it could. They were right.


At the above-mentioned writing conference, a fellow attendee came up with THE CAKE EFFECT. It accomplished the nod to Wisconsin weather I loved about Cooler Near the Lake, but took it a step further with the play on words (“lake effect” is another common weather term, but it also includes crazy snow storms). I still love this title. This is the one I used all during the query and submission process. Alas, once Gallery bought it, the thought was we could do better. And they were right.


This was a short-lived title, but much loved. Ultimately, it was deemed too similar to cozy mystery titles. This is where having people who know the industry working with you pays off. Once again, they were right. But I did put an homage to this brief but much loved title in the book – I name a restaurant A Simple Twist. So now you know where that came from.


Looking back on the emails, we had a long discussion about how many syllables was the right number and our initial thoughts were this was too long of a title. We were wrong. After playing with the XXX of XXX construction, we finally settled on THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (after my ridiculous suggestions of The Coup d’etat of Coconut Cake and The Crustiness of Coconut Cake). It’s alliterative, captures the mood of the book, and I can call it C3 or C-cubed for short. Ultimately, we found the perfect title.



Let us know in the comments what your favorite book title is and you could win a copy of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and some yummy coconut cookies!


Sweepstakes ends August 4th 2015, for official rules, click here!

<< read previous read next >>
Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Amy E. Reichert

You’ve Got Mail meets How to Eat a Cupcake in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.



18 comments so far

  1. preshles

    One of my favorite titles (although as an avid reader, I have dozens!) is

    Red Mojo Mama.

    The feeling it invokes is sexy, tasteful, and a little bit naughty. It’s how I’d want to be described if I was a cougar. Lol. I love it!

  2. One favorite is The Memory Painter.

  3. I am reading this right now…love it!!! I think The Cake Effect was a good choice, but the current title is perfect. I can’t post just one favorite title…though I love the color named books of the Travis Mcgee series are good–I loved finding the color reference somewhere in the book. I like book titles that aren’t obvious (The Fault In Our Stars), ones that are humorous (Carpe Demon), or keep the same theme (like mentioned above).

  4. RobGrieco

    One of my favorite book titles is “Why Do Men Have Nipples?” by Mark Leyner

  5. bookbunny68

    My Heart and Other Black Holes – I thought was very funny.

  6. Amandanicolebooks

    The Dorito Effect, gets you thinking right? Had to read it and the book is just as thought provoking as the title!

  7. Rock Chicks by Kristen Ashley!

  8. Apachewoman59

    Shogun by James Clavell

  9. bamaforever

    One of my favorite book titles is “What to Do with a Bad Boy”. It’s sexy and fun!

  10. amber123

    Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

  11. llovejoy66

    Wallbanger by Alice Clayton….love the title, cover and book !

  12. momlrg04

    One Fish
    Two Fish
    Red Fish
    Blue Fish

    I am a lover of all things Suess!

  13. lrhubble

    Southern Comfort is fun. There are some really great book titles that can make me laugh out loud just reading the title. 🙂 Another favorite is The Mane Event.

  14. pride and prejudice

  15. Jennifer huelsebusch

    Karen White’s Tradd Street series.

  16. aviatorT

    The Storied Life of AJ Filkry…

  17. I’m reading this right now and I seriously need a piece of coconut cake! 🙂 I love the book title from a book I read recently: “The Trouble With Paper Planes” primarily because the author told the story of how she was inspired to go with this particular title and I found it very touching and heartwarming. Love it when authors get personal…

  18. Hard to pick just one! A title is often the draw to picking my next read.
    A favorite recent read is Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah. Hard to resist reading a book with that title when one has lived in France and loves good French cuisine.

Post a comment