Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

What’s in a Name?

Some authors spend days or months agonizing over the title of their book and for good reason. How many of us have picked up a book caught by an intriguing title, or for that matter, passed over a book because the title didn’t engage us? How many of us have looked up a book that someone had mentioned or we’d read in passing, thankfully remembering the name?

The original title, Oilspill.com, came to me pretty naturally. The novel deals with an oil company and the emergence of the Internet through a website that my protagonist creates, at a time when interactive website advocacy was non-existent. The website is what enables the heroes to stand up for themselves in court and battle a top legal team employed by the multinational.

The problem with this title is that it is a website of a company that cleans up … oil spills. The first time I put out an email telling the world about my book, I’m sure the company mentioned received quite a few hits on their website.

And so I changed the title to Oilspill Dotcom, but this surfaced as one of the doubts that I mentioned in my last post. Is Oilspill Dotcom, in particular Dotcom, a recognizable (and memorable) word? Would it confuse the customer, prevent them remembering it and knowing how to order or search for it?

So my latest idea (Alan Rinzler’s actually) is one word: Oilspilldotcom. I hope it is easier to remember, easier to visualize and even … memorable?

What do you think? I would love to receive some feedback. I have another week or so before I’ll need to make a final decision, but it’s a big decision. It’s all in the name.

Good Writing,


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