QUESTION: Since you are creative with advertising and marketing experience, this is for you.
I have written a vampire story, a "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter" in modern times.
Would the best title be "Night Hunger" or "Night Fighter"
What rules or guidelines determine what title to use when naming this or any product?
ANSWER: Dear Demetrius,
Some of the elements of product naming are:
1. Relevance: this means the name will suggest or infer some attribute or benefit of the product. While "Night Hunger" or Night Fighter" are relevant.
2. Compelling: designed to generate interest in the product and encourage a purchase. Those titles are rather plain, not very compelling. "The Blood Letting" or "Hunger After Dark" are examples that might be more compelling.
3. Uniqueness: a name that is not being used for a similar product. Often, uniqueness is established by making-up a new word (e.g., Swiffer). For book titles, this is less of a factor.
4. Availability: whatever name you use should not be copyrighted by someone else.
Publishers may also have specific direction on the title of a book they are considering marketing.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi and thanks.
In the titles "Hunger After Dark" and "Night Hunger" you said "After Dark" may be more compelling. But would "Night" be the same as "After Dark" ?
Could you explain why two words or "After Dark" is stronger?
The answer would be informative and appreciated.
It is purely an opinion, not a fact-based conclusion. I believe the word night generally has more innocent connotations than "after dark". There are two components to my belief: first, the tonality of "night" is softer than "after dark" which has more hard consonants; secondly, the definition of "dark" is generally more negative or foreboding.
Please note, if that is not the feeling you want to convey--if you are telling a story that has a softer affect, then Night Hunger could be appropriate, regardless of how compelling or not it may be.
I hope that helps clarify.