Killer book. Killer cover art. Wish I knew what to call it?

a good title

So I finished the book, and the artist I commissioned blew me away with the artwork. Now if I could just think of a name that would do it justice?

I recently finished my first book. I used scrivener to write it and the entire way through I used a working title of Bloodstone. I was pretty sure that by the end of the process I would have thought of the perfect name to replace the working title. If only life was that simple. After putting out 212’000 words in six months, why can I not come up with a handful of words after weeks of deliberating?

If you’re the kind of author that writes great books and has a host of wonderful solutions on how to come up with names, skip this article. If on the other hand this sounds like a problem you’ve faced before, then you might be interested in my experience with

For full disclosure – I get nothing from them. No kickback, no association, nothing. This is purely my experience. Actually they were not even my first choice. I tried to use Mechanical Turk from Amazon, only to be informed that if I was not in the USA they were not available to me. In a miracle of internet honesty, I did not  immediately create a fictitious address in Michigan. I know that’s hard to believe but its really true. Most of my friends find my naive attempts to comply with terms and conditions endearing.

As a result I googled alternates.

Price indications were what sent me to clickworker ($1 – $4 on one article I read). There were four or five other sites that looked good, but they were in the correct price range and had a special section on text (more about that later).

I signed up this afternoon at around 2:00pm. I could not figure out how to solicit multiple responses so I dropped their help desk a question. They were helpful and sent me a csv template that I could upload. Once I had done this I realised it was pretty easy, but I guess that’s just the learning curve for you. I used the text category – they have all kinds of SEO options, long texts etc. I picked product description as I think this was the closest match.

So what did I post – Job: “Suggest 3 names for the fantasy novel outlined in the Synopsis” + a 300 word synopsis. (Not a very good synopsis actually, but I thought I would drop in what I believed to be relevant details)

After funding the account on Paypal, the order was approved for work at 4:11pm. By 6:20pm I had already received 19 of the 20 required responses. In fact I am pretty sure that by the time I have finished writing this blog I will have the last one as well.

What did it cost? 15EUR. About the same as going to a movie with my wife.

15 EUR for 60 titles for my book.

While my working title Bloodstone was incorporated in a few titles the majority of the suggestions were really quite different from what I had in mind (in a good way). There were few duplicates and a lot of different flavours and different nuances. Even a few titles that were mediocre in their own right but sparked an idea in my head. So while I don’t like “The Blood Price” I can play with this to get “The Price of Blood” and “Blood’s Cost” etc.

Now I guess you could solicit this kind of feedback in a variety of forums, and get some good suggestions. I just wanted it now. I thought the money was well spent. Next steps – solicit some feedback from people as to which book they would buy based on the title.

If you liked this article, read through the synopsis and suggested names and tell me which one you like. If you have a better suggestion of your own I’d really like to hear it.

And guess what, I’ve got unread mail – bet that’s number twenty.

Here are the suggestions and synopsis if you are interested in the kind of detail I posted and the quality of the submissions.

Suggested Titles

  1. Blood of the Sage
  2. In Blood we Trust
  3. For Blood and Honour
  4. The blood price
  5. Blood is thicker than water
  6. Blood plague
  7. Fatal Resistance
  8. Adventures of Rhys in Fallon
  9. Rhys Split Decision
  10. Blood Struggle
  11. Choosing of the blood
  12. Bloodstones of the Innocent
  13. A father for Fallon
  14. Rhys has Fallon
  15. Fallon in Blood
  16. The Plague of Fallon
  17. Orinth’s Magical Power
  18. Bloodstones and Rituals
  19. The Power of Bloodstones
  20. Rhys, The saviour of Fallon
  21. The Fallon Resistance
  22. The Blood Mage of Fallon
  23. The Mage of Deception
  24. The Resistance of Fallon
  25. The Power of the Bloodstone
  26. The Resistance of Rhys
  27. A man from Erminu
  28. Ties of Blood and Honour
  29. Road of Blood and Honour
  30. Trials of the Blood
  31. Rhys’ Tunneling Adventure
  32. The Quest of Morality
  33. The Troubled life of Rhys
  34. The Court of Orinth
  35. Holocaust in Fallon
  36. Family or Fate
  37. The Bloodstone Maverick
  38. Of Loyalty and Tyranny
  39. The Fallonese Quarantine
  40. The Fallon Plague
  41. Rhys, The Blood Mage
  42. The Orinth Execution
  43. Blood of the Father
  44. Blood Tunnels of Orinth
  45. Bloodstone ties
  46. The Cost of Magic in Erminu
  47. The Magician of Orinth
  48. Rhys’s Dilemmas
  49. Blood Magic
  50. The Protector of Fallon
  51. The Blood Mage of Orinth
  52. Blood and Betrayal
  53. The Brothers of Erminu
  54. The Sanguine Saga
  55. A blood sacrifice
  56. A plague on both our houses
  57. Bloodstone Regal


The job is to read the following synopsis and suggest three titles for the book described below.

Rhys, is a mage who uses the power of bloodstones to power his spells. He is forty something and disillusioned with working for the Court of Orinth. He just wants to keep his head down until he can retire but goes against orders when he refuses to murder a young boy with a deadly secret. The boy has discovered that court sanctioned murder creates new bloodstones, the magical power that supports the crown in Orinth.

Rhys’ failure to murder the boy is betrayed to the king by his friend. He is disgraced and sent on a dangerous mission to investigate a plague in a neighbouring country called Fallon. In the course of the investigation, he discovers that the Siabarans, have invaded Fallon and are systematically killing it’s entire population. They have been quarantining the country with a fictitious plague to ensure they are not discovered until it is too late.

Rhys joins the Fallon resistance, and they manage to thwart the invasion temporarily. When Rhys returns to Orinth for reinforcements, he is faced with an awful choice. His father has been falsely accused of a crime and is to be executed. However, if Rhys does not return with reinforcements, the slaughter in Fallon will result in a genocide.

He chooses to leave his father to his fate and save Fallon. The resistance is ultimately successful, at the cost of his father’s life.

Other relevant information:

The world depends on a series of tunnels to travel between countries. The world is called Erminu.

All magic in the world is powered by blood, in various forms / rituals.

Themes in the book include: 1) Whether individuals are worth more than the state? 2) Whether loyalty to your family is subordinate to your moral duty.

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