Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guest Post + Spotlight + Giveaway ~ When Love Takes Over by Jacob Z. Flores

Why a Book Title is So Important

Hi there, everyone! My name is Jacob Z. Flores, and I’m so excited to be back here at Books Books and More Books. I was here this past May, and I had such a good time that I jumped at the chance to come back.

I’m here today to promote When Love Takes Over, my latest book from Dreamspinner Press, which was released on August 5th. This novel is the first book of the Provincetown Series, and it’s a very special book to me.

Why is that? Well, it’s because of the title. When Love Takes Over holds a special place in my heart because Kelly Rowland’s song with the same name was my inspiration. My husband and I danced to “When Love Takes Over” after we were married in Provincetown, so naturally, the title, the town, and the song mean a great deal to us.

Since the title of this book was so important to me, I wanted to share my thoughts on why a book’s title is so important.

A Good Title Sets the Tone of a Book

A good title gives readers an idea of what they can expect from the book. That’s why a well-crafted title is important. If it’s plain and uninspired, it reveals nothing. The title Love in Provincetown is one such example. Sure, it provides the setting and reveals the fact that at least two people are going to find love, but it doesn’t adequately set the tone for the book, does it?

When Love Takes Over, however, tells the reader everything they need to know. It’s about love, sure, but the “takes over” part is integral. It tells readers that the two characters involved perhaps fight that attraction. For some reason, they refuse to give into the emotion, and that provides readers their first clue as to what the book is about—love completely taking over, as it is want to do.

Additionally, the whimsical quality of the title, like the song, informs readers that this isn’t an angst-filled book. Naturally, there will be conflict, but the title promises a more light-hearted read, which will appeal to readers who enjoy such books.

The boring and plain Love in Provincetown doesn’t do any of that.

A Good Title Produces an Emotional Reaction

A title like Love in Provincetown wouldn’t produce much excitement for me and perhaps not even for the readers. A good title though will.

In order to do that, it needs to be memorable, which means it should be simple and clear. Long titles can get confusing.

A concise, well-crafted title can excite readers and get them talking about it. It can even intrigue them enough to buy the book, and for lesser-known authors, that’s important.

My first published book was titled 3. A very simple title, yes, but readers found it intriguing. As a result, sales for the book by a first time and unknown author exceeded my expectations.

As a reader, I have purchased books based on the title alone, such as Hot Head by Damon Suede, When Dachshunds Rules the Serengeti by Michael Murphy, and Pup by SJD Peterson, to name a few.

Why did those titles make me hit the purchase button? Well, I found the sensuality of Hot Head too good to pass up. I just had to know about the Dachshunds ruling the Serengeti, and, well, Pup just spoke to the badass leather man inside me.

That’s what a good title should do. It should speak to the reader. What better marketing strategy could there be?

So titles are important because they provide readers information and stimulate an emotional reaction. When those two aspects are successfully combined, they can be an unbeatable combination.

What do you think?

Before I go, I want to thank everyone who visited me here today, and I also want to thank the folks here at Books Books and More Books for allowing me to stop by.

For those interested, I have included a blurb and an excerpt below. Additionally, as part of my blog tour I’m holding a contest. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post, and your name is entered to win a free copy of When Love Takes Over. If a reader happens to follow all my blog stops, then she or he can leave a comment at the other sites a well. At the end of the tour, a winner will be chosen and announced.

Zach Kelly’s life is a shambles. His boyfriend of three years dumped him, and his writing career is going nowhere. On a whim, he heads to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to nurse his broken heart and figure out his next step. He’s expecting to find rest and relaxation on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Instead, Zach meets a hunky porn star during a chance encounter at a leather shop he mistakes as a place to buy a belt that is definitely not for whipping.


Van Pierce is smitten when shy and inexperienced Zach crashes through a shelf of fetish gear. Though Van’s got an insatiable appetite for men on and off the set, his porn persona, Hart Throb, hides a broken heart. He’s struggling to find the reality the porno set doesn’t offer, and Zach is fighting to find the fantasy that will set his writing on fire. The odd goofball and the suave beefcake may either find love amid Provincetown’s colorful pageantry where summer never seems to end—or more heartbreak than either can imagine.

Excerpt:

Zach blinked back his tears and swallowed the lump in his throat.
“I’m sorry,” Ben said after a few moments. His voice broke the silence like an exploding cannon. “I truly am.”
Although the words were apologetic, the tone expressed no such emotion. Ben sounded irritated, like he often did when Zach proved too dense for Ben’s liking.
He had to get the hell out of there. Now.
Zach stood up from the bed and crossed to the closet. He reached inside, grabbing his suitcase from the floor and his backpack from the chair that sat to the left. He placed both on the carpet just outside the closet door.
Ben said nothing. He simply watched in silence, but the arch to Ben’s eyebrow told Zach Ben was interested in what he planned on taking with him. What he wanted to take was the big screen television or the expensive leather couch they bought a few months ago, but none of those things would fit in his luggage. Ben’s head would. If he could stuff the oversized melon filled with Ben’s own high opinion of himself into his backpack.
But instead of acting out or saying the awful things that crossed his mind, Zach kept mum like the lame ass loser he was. He also only reached for the items that were his, not anything they’d purchased together.
He shoved a couple pair of jeans in his duffel bag. He then lifted out his suit jacket, the one Ben had bought for him to wear on their last trip to New York. The trip that Ben had planned because Zach sucked at making travel arrangements and packing appropriate attire. The one trip Ben had allowed him to be cruise director for hadn’t gone over well. He had booked accommodations not to Ben’s liking and then didn’t bring clothes worthy of dining or clubbing. Ben had been mortified and shanghaied all future travel plans after that debacle.
That was why Ben purchased the suit. He wanted Zach to look the way Ben expected him to.
Before he could stop himself, he turned around, suit jacket in hand and asked, “Should I?” Then, realizing what he’d done, he put the jacket back. Even now, after Ben had kicked him to the curb, he fell back on asking Ben if he should or shouldn’t do something. He needed help. Or a lobotomy. Yeah, an ice pick shoved into his eye just might do the trick.
“Just take the jacket,” Ben blurted. “It’s yours!”
Zach didn’t answer. He tore some of his favorite shirts off the hangers and tossed them into the open suitcase. He then yanked open his assigned drawer in their dresser and emptied the contents on top of the balled up shirts.
While he tossed his underwear into the disorganized mess, he watched Ben’s blank expression change. He was no longer indifferent. The absolute mess he was making of his belongings and the fact that he wasn’t taking any of the nice clothes Ben had purchased over the years evidently pissed him off. Ben’s face burned red, and his hands clenched into fists.
“You’re making a mess!” Ben shouted as he crossed over to the closet. “And you’re not even taking the good stuff.” He carefully removed the button-down shirts from some Italian designer Zach couldn’t remember. Ben then began folding them and placing them into a nice, even pile on top of the chest of drawers. “You might as well take them,” he told Zach. “Lord knows, I can’t fit into them. I’m far too lithe for your clothes.”
If Zach had a bat in his hand, Ben’s head would be a bloody red spot on the wall.
“I don’t want them,” Zach told Ben.
Ben didn’t listen. He continued folding the shirts into perfect little squares. When he was done, he headed for the open suitcase. He stood over it, eying its contents. No doubt trying to decide how best to reorganize the clothes until it met Ben’s approval.
When he bent down to begin the process, Zach snapped. He yanked the suitcase out of Ben’s reach, spilling his clothes onto the bedroom carpet. “Don’t touch my shit.”
“I agree,” Ben replied with a crooked smile. “Your clothes are shit. That’s why I want you to take the nice ones.”
Zach couldn’t respond. His throat once again closed shut. He swept the pile of tumbled clothes back into his open suitcase and zipped it shut. He then headed for his desk. On it rested his laptop, which sat next to the Out magazine he had been reading this morning, the one that had all those entrancing pictures of a place called Provincetown at the back of the magazine. He’d wanted to discuss possibly vacationing there with Ben. In fact, daydreaming about it kept him from writing, but now, the sight of the magazine and the vacation they would never have together punched him in the stomach.
He scooped up his laptop and placed it in his backpack. He turned to leave, but he just couldn’t leave the magazine behind. So he rolled it up, stuck it in the back pocket of his shorts, and headed for his suitcase.
With it in hand, he exited the bedroom, the one where he and Ben had planned the future they would no longer have. He then left the apartment without a word and with a shattered heart.
He had no idea where he would now live, but right now that didn’t matter. He had a plan.
He was going to Provincetown.

About the Author:

Jacob Z. Flores lives a double life. During the day, he is a respected college English professor and mid-level administrator. At night and during his summer vacation, he loosens the tie and tosses aside the trendy sports coat to write man on man fiction, where the hard ass assessor of freshmen level composition turns his attention to the firm posteriors and other rigid appendages of the characters in his fictional world.

Summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, provide Jacob with inspiration for his fiction. The abundance of barely clothed man flesh and daily debauchery stimulates his personal muse. When he isn’t stroking the keyboard, Jacob spends time with his husband, Bruce, their three children, and two dogs, who represent a bright blue blip in an otherwise predominantly red swath in south Texas.

You can follow Jacob’s musings on his blog at http://jacobzflores.com or become a part of his social media network by visiting http://www.facebook.com/jacob.flores2, http://twitter.com/#!/JacobZFlores, or http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5142501.Jacob_Z_Flores.
Jacob is giving away a copy of his book When Love Takes Over to one lucky winner at the end of the tour. 

15 comments:

  1. The book looks really intriguing. I love a good m/m romance.

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  2. Thanks for having me here at BB&MB. It was great fun. :)

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  3. WHEN LOVE TAKES OVER *is* a grabber of a title, for sure! (And yes, HOT HEAD does live up to its name, oh my...)

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Yes, it does, Vita. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Thank you for your insight and perspective into selecting book titles. I had never thought too much about how the author chooses the best title for the book, but your reasoning sounds valid to me. I am not sure if I have ever purchased or not purchased a book based on its title alone, but I do know good titles have intrigued me enough to delve into blurbs and excerpts. Looking forward to reading this series!

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    1. Thanks, Megan. A good title always grabs me too! :)

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  5. Okay, I got here when a wormhole opened up underneath me and deposited me at BBaMB. I have no idea how I wil get back. ;) Seriously, I do like the name and you are right. The excerpt caught my attention even more. I am putting it on my TBR pile.
    romanczukc AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. I'm glad you got here safely, Cathy. As for the return trip, I obviously didn't plan that one out. Sorry. :)

      Thanks for putting WLTO on your TBR list, and thanks a bunch for stopping by. :)

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  6. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND TOUR! THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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    1. You're welcome, Shelley. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. Your titles definitely make me pay attention to the books. I have The Gifted One and this one is on my wish list. There is another writer that I really enjoy now but the titles caused me to pass them over until I won one of her books so I understand how much they can set either a good or very bad tone.

    Andrea
    andreanow1999 at yahoo.com

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  8. Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds good so count me in for trying to win it.

    ilona
    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

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    1. You're counted, Ilona. Thanks for stopping by. :)

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