My title changed very little from the beginning. My protagonist was such an unusual creature that I felt his name alone held enough “intrigue” to pick it up and thumb through it. And since this book introduces the series, I also felt the title didn’t have to be anything more than a straightforward and bold statement. I did consider a question for the title: "Who is Centipede Dragon?" But then, I used that line in the introductory text in an early draft of the manuscript:
Who is Centipede Dragon?
He is part centipede, and part dragon!
He is a benevolent creature who takes the shape of many forms.
What I wanted to make sure is that the parents, our second (but not secondary) audience, knew that Centipede Dragon was one of the good guys. Sure, we may be more amused and entertained by the antics of the bad guy/gal, but, we also want to have good role models as well. Enter Centipede Dragon, stage left!
I was also pretty adamant about putting the word “benevolent” in the title. Initial manuscript critiques questioned whether the vocabulary might be too intimidating or off-putting...a valid point. But “benevolence” was used in the research to describe Centipede Dragon so, to keep some authenticity, I did not waver on using it.
And, I was hoping that the pre-reading set would get hooked by the pictures!
Now, take a look at this first crack at the cover for book 2. What are YOUR thoughts on the title and cover image?