BookBub, an ebook promotion services company, published a blog post about words that are trending in book titles. Using data from the last six months, BookBub analyzed 3,850 books from multiple fiction categories to see which words turn up most frequently in titles and then turned their results into word clouds.
Which word was used the most often? Love. Love appeared in the titles of religious and romance novels, but also horror, historical fiction, women’s fiction, and mysteries. Pious turned up in the titles of action-adventure novels, but not religious. (Religious, however, had Couponing. How inspirational is that?)
Murder and Death were huge for the mystery category, as you might guess, but some mysteries also used Dumpty (but not Humpty, as far as I could tell). Thriller titles used Justice, Blood, Black, and Blue the most (I guess there’s a lot of bruising going on in thrillers). War was the word used most often in historical fiction titles, and Destiny and Deadly—but also River—in action-adventure. Zombie and Dead turned up most frequently in horror titles, but historical fiction by a huge margin went with Bride. Historical fiction titles also used Sourdough and Bushwhacked. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to use “Bushwhacked” in a title. Or anywhere.)
Contemporary romance titles included the words Audubon and Shopper. Children’s books went with Amazing, Treasure, and Princess. Religious books used the word Heaven most often in their titles (and let’s not forget Couponing).
Women’s fiction went big with food words: Ate, Pickled, Chocolate, Coffee, Shelled, Shucked, Fried, and my favorite, Geoducks.
Lots of words in book titles seem to be possessives. Everybody’s got one — God and the Devil, as well as normal people: Anne, Darcy, Doctor, Else, Gasparilla, Horatio, Jacob, Nefertiti, and Nobody. Tough guys get their time on the cover—Assassin, Hunter, Monster, Pirate, Rogue, Shooter, Warrior—as well as royalty: Emperor, King, Knight, Duke, and Lady. Abstracts that own things: Heaven and Freedom. Places that own things: Chicago and a Kingdom. Things that fly that own things: Bird and Fairy.
I couldn’t resist: I made up a few titles of my own using trending words. Ready?
The Assassin’s Princess Treasure (action-adventure)
Darcy’s Zombie Love Bride (historical romance)
Couponing on the Dumpty River (women’s fiction)
Deadly Destiny: Bushwhacked Justice (thriller)
Nobody’s Sourdough War (historical fiction)
Life just doesn’t get any better than those trending words—as long as you’re not bushwhacked.