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I recently bought Deirdre Savoy’s Body of Lies from Amazon, due to a great review over on Angela’s (Black Romance Reader) blog.

What pissed me off though, is that when I put the title in the search bar, I had to scroll down quite a long way, before I found Body of Lies.

These are some of the titles that were listed before Savoy’s book on Amazon UK:

Body of Lies by David Ignatius
Your Body Doesn’t Lie By John Diamond
The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting, byAlice Miller and Andrew Jenkins

Once I’d spotted Savoy’s book, it came up slightly higher in my searches, but it still wasn’t in the number one spot.

I then decided to to the same searches on Amazon.com, here were some of the books that came before Body of Lies:

House of Lies, By David Ignatius
Body of Lies By David Ignatius
Body of Lies By Iris Johansen
Your Body Doesn’t Lie, by John Diamond
Your Body Doesn’t Lie By Michio Kushy
Secertes, Lies, Betrayals, The Body/Mind Connection By Maggie Scarf
My Body Lies Over The Ocean, By J.S. Borthwick

Savoy’s book was actually last on the Amazon page, even though I’d put in the exact name of her book.

Anyway, the moral of this post? Try not land your book with a title that guarantees that it will get lost amongst other book titles. Steven King can use as many crappy titles as he likes and his books will always be at the top, but if you’re an author languishing in mid-list mediocrity, then the title of your book is very important methinks.

I know that authors don’t always have a choice in these things, but the same applies to whoever makes the ultimate decision whether it be editor or author.


  • Dorothy Mantooth
    June 24
    12:14 pm

    I think part of the problem is Amazon’s crappy search engine, which looks at words individually instead of as a phrase. It makes it difficult to search for a specific author, too, because others with the same first or last name tend to pop up.


  • Try looking at B&N’s website. You’ll be lucky if the *exact title* you type in comes up by page two! The cookie cutter words in most romance book titles don’t help at all. Lord, Duke, Passion, Surrender, Midnight, Wicked, Scandal, Seduction, Rake, Tycoon, Mistress, Daddy, Billionaire. Mix and match your way to a book title that will lead to scrolling through pages of titles before you find the one you want.


  • It seems to me that the last few versions of Amazon’s search machine have been made worse. I just noticed that when you pick an author and it spits out all kinds of stuff by other people and you then pick the category romance, it will not narrow, but spit out ALL romance books by authors whose first name is the same as the one you searched for… HUH?


  • I don’t know, man. My body lies all the time. Right now it’s telling me I need doughnuts, but I know that’s not true, considering I just HAD one.

    More usefully — when I search on a title I put in the author’s last name as well as the main title words. It helps.


  • I agree with GrowlyCub, it seems as if the search function at amazon is less and less reliable these days.


  • When I’m just looking for a title I put it in quotes. When I did that, Deidre’s book came up #4.


  • bam
    June 24
    3:30 pm

    it’s Stephen!


  • I had that problem when looking up Sam’s Creed by Sarah McCarty and Through The Veil by Shiloh Walker but only before the books were out. Amazon isn’t my friend lately. I seem to like B&N more as with their free shipping with purchase of $25, your shipping is EXPEDITED. I had my books in 3 days.


  • Dalia
    June 24
    10:33 pm

    I put some part of the author’s name as well in addition to the title. Whichever is more ‘rare’.


  • DS
    June 25
    1:02 am

    Amazon has a great book search page– it’s just hard to find. Upper left corner select books from Shop All Departments dropdown. Then on the bar at the top select Advanced Search. I used the name Deirdre and Body of Lies and that book was the only one which appeared.

    It used to be harder to find. It was at the very bottom of the home page.


  • Good observation, Karen. Many words are overused in romance titles — and I mean “romance” in all the genre’s many manifestations. I even blogged about this in relation to the word wicked. I suspect there are many, many others (passion, heat, magic, lover . . .) Yikes, I’d better end this before I start going through the dictionary!


  • Ouch; good point. Best to do at least a cursory search on your title before it goes to print.


  • LOL, as an author who has titles that seem ripped straight off other author’s covers, all I can say is that it happens more often than not. It’s hard to come up with an original title any more and usually the author has little or no say. The only thing I can hope is that readers stumble on mine while looking for theirs!


  • The only thing I can hope is that readers stumble on mine while looking for theirs!

    That makes me wonder if some publishers do it deliberately… you know, so when readers search for that similar-sounding Stephen King novel, maybe they’ll look at that novel by the lesser-known author too. Don’t know if it would actually do any good, but I could imagine a publisher trying it.

    And yeah, it’s true, there are so many books now, it would be tough to avoid.


  • dee
    June 30
    9:52 pm

    Hey Karen,

    Thanks for all of the discussion of my book. Makes it almost worthwhile to be languishing in midlist mediocrity. Just so you know, though–the title was chosen two years before it even went to press. BOL was the second in a series. At the time of naming the only other book listed on Amazon was by Iris Johanson, I think. Just my luck a couple other books came out in the interim with that title.

    So what did you think, or haven’t you read it yet?


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