Friday, December 13, 2013

The Straight Title

I can discard all the suggestions for alternate book titles and debate on this post very, very easily.
The five most popular posts on this blog are:
  • How To Dungeon Master (The 10,000 Word Post)
  • How to Play a Character (The 10,000 Word Post)
  • Ornamental Gems
  • Mining - Metal & Minerals
  • Vegetation Classification
Why? Because these are the most GOOGLE FRIENDLY titles.

A flashy title no longer means shit. A flashy cover no longer means shit. We live in a world of previews, google searches and facebook. Word of mouth means everything. Flash only makes something obscure. Flash only makes a unknown title about a wanted subject HARDER TO FIND.

I'm sorry many don't know this yet. But I know it.


AnAxeToGrind said...

I know of three books using dungeon master in their title none of which are written by WoTC. the Lazy Dungeon Master, dungeon Master tIps and the Dungeon Master by William dear. Two of which were published in the last three years.

tesseractive said...

Personally, when I saw that you planned to call it How to Run, I figured that meant you weren't concerned with search optimization. The subtitle certainly helps, but the initial title is completely opaque regarding the subject matter, which is suboptimal.

Alexis Smolensk said...


The Lazy Dungeon Master and Dungeon Master Tips are both written by the same author, Micheal Shea, and both are slapped together bullshit advice quotes written in 200 word paragraphs. Here's a useful tip: "There's nothing wrong with demanding more from your game, but don't let that get you down at the table. When it comes to your game, take it easy and let the game go where it will."

Here's another: "Being a lazy dungeon master isn't just about saving time. It's about spending time where it has the most impact on the enjoyment of you and your group."

Shea's writing is full of this kind of obscure, meaningless bullshit. What the does he actually mean? Who really knows. But it fills paper. It's right up there with "If you don't master your rage, your rage will be your master."

William Dear's book isn't about D&D, it's about the disappearance of a kid who played D&D. It's part of the typical media crapfest of the early 1980s that was trying to vilify roleplaying games as Satanic, abusive and too dangerous for children. I'm pretty sure that WOTC didn't put it out because the book was released in 1984.

tesseractive said...

I think the point Axe was trying to get at was that there are books using the term whose authors apparently haven't been sued, not that there are good books on the topic already out there.

But I think your earlier point -- the more successful the book is, the more likely it is to get sued -- is a good one. Violating a trademark and hoping no one noticed seems like a pretty bad idea.

Charles Taylor (Charles Angus) said...

So, are you no longer thinking of "How to Run" for the title? That is not very Google-able.

Or, rather, it is very Google-able, but will not turn up your book.

Alexis Smolensk said...

And yet, somehow, people seem to find my blog when they search "vegetation" and "minerals." Weird.